Manchester City turned up the heat in the second half in Switzerland to defeat Young Boys 3-1 thanks to goals from Manuel Akanji and Erling Haaland, as they maintained a 100 percent Group G record in the 2023/24 Champions League season.
The opener came following a corner in the 48th minute, when Jack Grealish supplied Rodri the ball inside the box. The Spaniard clipped the ball up towards the six-yard line and Ruben Dias won the header, which thundered off the bar. Akanji was the first to react to bundle the ball into the empty goal in front of him.
But the lead wouldn’t even last five minutes as Chiekh Niasse released Meschack Elia in behind after the former made a diagonal run from the left-wing. Once faced with Ederson calmly lifted the ball over the Brazilian to level the game.
Young Boys gained confidence, spurred on by the raucous Swiss crowd, but it would take the defending champions just 13 minutes to regain control of the contest as Rodri was fouled by Mohamed Camara in the box after tricky work by Grealish. VAR upheld the on-field call and Haaland dispatched his penalty towards the right-middle of the goal to notch his first Champions League goal of the season.
The Norwegian then sealed the win after Rodri played a sharp pass into him, just into the area. Sizing up the picture in front of him, he shifted from his favored left foot to his right and curled an effort high into the top corner with Anthony Racioppi only capable of watching the ball, and game, get away from him.
Potent second-half overshadows a timid first
The opening half was far from a classic, with Manchester City controlling the tempo and possession (75%) but creating 0.12 expected goals (xG) per shot and 1.26 xG total indicating their lack of clear-cut chances.
But they took over in the second-half, taking 14 shots (50% on target) for an xG of 2.59 (0.18 per shot). They created four big chances and maintained a passing accuracy of 94%, showing the potency that allowed them to claim their first ever Champions League trophy earlier this year in May.
City have now won all of their games and lead RB Leipzig.