Manchester City produced a devastating performance in the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday, beating Schalke 7-0 at the Etihad to complete a 10-2 aggregate victory.
And, as you’d expect after one of the most ruthless Champions League displays of all time, the media has been awash with praise.
Former City striker Paul Dickov, speaking in his role as a pundit on Sky Sports’ The Debate programme, says City’s strength in depth means an unprecedented Quadruple isn’t completely out of the question.
“It’s like five-a-side stuff they are playing at the minute. When they were 3-0, 4-0 up, it feels the norm at the minute, especially at the Etihad,” he said.
“They’ve got such a strong squad. The last couple of weeks there has been no Fernandinho, no Kevin De Bruyne; Ilkay Gundogan has been sitting in front of the back four and has done phenomenal. The strength in depth they’ve got is scary, really.
“With the games left, you need a strong squad. Tonight, there was no Kompany, no Stones, Fernandinho, De Bruyne. They’ve all got to come back for that run-in too.
“Can they do it [win the quadruple]? Yes I think they can. It’s going to be really difficult, but with the squad they’ve got, I think they can do it.”
Former England and West Ham centre-back Rio Ferdinand says City are his tip for the Champions League.
“They’re the favourites for me,” he told talkSPORT. “In terms of depth, quality and the variations they possess, I think they’ve got the best squad.
The Manchester Evening News’ Stuart Brennan filed his post-match player ratings – and it was Leroy Sane who was singled out for the heaviest praise.
He writes: “Leroy Sane. Turned on the style after a quiet opening period – his assists for Sterling and Foden were highlights of the night, but he scored a nice one himself – 9.”
Brennan’s colleague Simon Bajkowski was just as impressed with Ilkay Gundogan, a player he sees as having genuine Champions League pedigree.
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Tuesday, March 12, 2019 9:49 PM
When is the Champions League quarter-final draw?: The UEFA Champions League quarter-final and semi-final draws will both take place at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland, on Friday 15 March.
“The German – a Champions League finalist with Dortmund – has been particularly influential in European games ever since he made his club debut against Borussia Monchengladbach, and he was the primary architect of the Schalke rout,” he writes. “As well as hoovering up any counter-attacks from the away team, and producing delicate wedges lofted over the top brought about the penalty for the first goal and nearly put Sergio Aguero through minutes later.”
And, finally, ESPN’s Jonathan Smith says the comfortable win over Schalke was ideal for City given the hectic nature of our schedule.
“Bundesliga strugglers Schalke were given little chance before the second leg and City ended up getting the job done without too much trouble to take their place in the last eight of the competition,” he writes. “With a hectic schedule coming in the final months of the season as they continue to compete on four fronts, they managed to waste as little energy as possible to ruthlessly dump out their German opponents.”
That’s all for this morning’s Media Watch – but stay with us throughout the day as we continue to bring you reaction from last night’s game.