Ilkay Gundogan dazzled with two goals in Manchester City’s 4-0 romp at FC Basel on Tuesday to leave the Premier League leaders on the verge of the Champions League quarter-finals.
Pep Guardiola’s side effectively settled the last-16 tie after just 23 minutes by racing into a 3-0 lead at Basel’s Sankt Jakob Park.
Their first three goals came in a devastating nine-minute spell thanks to a Gundogan header, a Bernardo Silva volley and a long-range Sergio Aguero strike.
Basel’s misery continued just after the break when Gundogan deftly added a fourth from outside the area and he could easily have finished with a hat-trick.
As expected, Basel were starved of the ball as City enjoyed 69 percent possession and completed 754 of their 882 passes.
Germany midfielder Gundogan gave Basel a masterclass in defensive midfield play, complementing his two-goal display by repeatedly snuffing out fledgling Swiss attacks.
With Basel’s defence buckling, Aguero, who terrorised Leicester City in the Premier League last Saturday with four goals in a 5-1 rout, hit his 29th goal of the season.
It was 3-0 at the break, but City could have ended the first half with two more goals as Sterling forced Vaclik into a desperate scramble and De Bruyne volleyed wide.
Basel made a bright start to the second half, but Gundogan left the Swiss with a mountain to climb when he hit the top right-hand corner on 53 minutes.
With 15 minutes left, Gundogan was only denied the first hat-trick of his career by Vaclik’s determination.