Manchester City confirmed their status as group winners as they were somehow held to a 0-0 draw by Portuguese side Porto in their fifth Champions League group game.
City came into the game having already booked their place in the knockout stages after winning their first four games of the competition, and they started brightly against the Portuguese champions, with Raheem Sterling heavily involved.
While it wasn’t the most entertaining game at times, it was one of complete domination by Pep Guardiola’s side, with Sterling seeing efforts cleared off the line and being denied by Porto keeper Agustin Marchesín.
The Argentine made a number of good saves throughout the contest, though he was finally beaten with 10 minutes to play, the 26-year-old making a superb save before the ball dropped to Gabriel Jesus who tapped home, only for it to be eventually ruled out by VAR for an offside in the buildup.
0 – Pep Guardiola has seen his side draw 0-0 in the Champions League for the first time in 59 games since a nil-nil against Shakhtar Donetsk in February 2015 when manager of Bayern Munich. Stalemate. pic.twitter.com/fnTDHigegi
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 1, 2020
Despite their utter domination, Pep Guardiola’s side were unable to find a winner, but the Catalan was delighted to see his side confirm themselves as group winners with a game still to play.
“Congratulations to my team for this game and finishing first,” he told BT Sport. “We played to win, we didn’t concede a shot on target or a corner all game. Alongside Benfica, Porto are one of the best teams in Portugal, very physical. We did really well but unfortunately couldn’t score, all the players were fantastic.
“We struggled to score today but we played really well with incredible personality and many things about the game were brilliant.”
City’s results and performances in Europe so far this season have been far more consistent to those they have produced in the Premier League, and Guardiola was pleased with their overall play throughout the tournament so far.
“Absolutely very happy – it’s more than the results, we played really well in all the games. 11 shots on target against Olympiakos and against Marseille as well and today we had lots of chances. Maybe not as much today but enough to win clearly but the way we played, the courage and defensively we were so good.”
Next up for Man City is a home tie against Fulham on Saturday afternoon.