By 90Min
March 07, 2018

Manchester City eased into the quarter-finals of the Champions League despite suffering a first home defeat of the season at the hands of Swiss champions Basel, who were a completely different prospect from the side that capitulated in the home leg three weeks ago.

Gabriel Jesus and Mohamed Elyounoussi exchanged first-half goals, and the game seemed to be petering out before Michael Lang fired in a shock winner to send the amazing away supporters back to Switzerland with a great story to tell.

With City's progress assured, Pep Guardiola named a much-changed team from the first leg, with only Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva retaining their places. The most significant change was to give young Englishman Phil Foden, who won the Under-17 World Cup last year, his first home start in European competition. 

City's personnel may have been different, but their attacking prowess remained, and they led within eight minutes. Leroy Sane drove at the retreating Basel defence and laid the ball out to Bernardo Silva, whose low ball in eluded the defenders and presented Jesus with a simple chance to extend the aggregate lead to 5-0.

The dangerous Sane beat his man out wide before whipping in a low cross into the box, but Silva failed to connect. The Portuguese international then redeemed himself for that with a beautiful cross to Gundogan, but Tomas Vaclik got down quickly to foil him.

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As good as City were going forwards, their experimental defence looked vulnerable, and Basel made them pay. Blas Riveros worked his way into the box before slipping the ball to Elyounoussi, who took one touch before firing in the equaliser.

Elyounoussi then raced past the City defence before slipping at the crucial moment with the goal at his mercy. The visitors continued to create the better chances, and Riveros posed a threat with a low shot which Claudio Bravo did well to hold. Guardiola looked distinctly unhappy, and was glad to hear the half-time whistle.

Both sides continued to attack after the interval, but with less dynamism than before, and chances were very thin on the ground. Midway through the half, 17-year-old Foden was joined on the pitch by 18-year-old Brahim Diaz as Guardiola continued to mix it up despite City's fragmented display.

If there was going to be a decisive goal it seemed inevitable that City would get it, so the sucker-punch that came twenty minutes from time shocked the Etihad. Elyounoussi played in Lang and, with the home defence sleeping, the right-back fired into the top corner of Bravo's net to put City's unbeaten home run under serious threat.

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Suddenly there was a real edge to the game, and Vaclik stood his ground to deny Diaz. As superb as Basel were, City were very sloppy, and were even booed by their own supporters as they showed no intent to score an equaliser in the dying minutes.

It meant that City's unbeaten home run ended at 459 days, but they still progressed to the quarter-finals 5-2 on aggregate.

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