Manchester City reached the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time, as Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero helped them to a 5-2 win over CSKA Moscow.
Negredo scored a hat-trick and Aguero scored twice in a win that leaves City second in Group D but six points clear of third-placed CSKA with two games left. Bayern Munich have also qualified, having beaten Viktoria Plzen. Having gone out in the group stage in the last two seasons, City’s captain, Yaya Touré, said it was a “historic” night for the club.
“Amazing, amazing,” said Touré, “it is history for the club and for us because we were looking forward to this, it was unbelievable. It is a special day for the fans and the club as well, as it is the first time Manchester City will go to the second round.”
City’s manager, Manuel Pellegrini, described it as a “first step but an important step” afterwards, and said City now wanted to win the group.
Aguero scored an early penalty and then a brilliant strike before Negredo scored two simple goals from close range, set up by Aguero and Samir Nasri, and then a header in second-half added time to complete his first hat-trick in English football. “They are working well,” said Touré of City’s strikers, “they are sharp now and it was fully deserved.”
Manchester United are still top of Group A, one point ahead of Bayer Leverkusen, after drawing 0-0 away at Real Sociedad in Spain, although Marouane Fellaini was sent off in the final minute for a second yellow card. Robin van Persie hit the post with a penalty in the second half.