Sergio Aguero scored one goal and helped create another as Manchester City powered to a 3-1 first-leg win over Dynamo Kiev in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday.
Aguero and David Silva’s goals gave City a 2-0 cushion at the break before Vitaliy Buyalskiy pulled one back for Dynamo and Yaya Toure secured a valuable third away goal for City.
“It is not finished but playing away and having a two-goal lead is very good,” City coach Manuel Pellegrini said. “Maybe when it was 2-1 we had moments of doubt, but then we got the third goal.”
Facing a Ukrainian team which had not played competitively since December, Aguero took full advantage of poor Dynamo defending at a corner to score his 15th-minute opener with a simple finish after being left unmarked.
Aguero has now scored eight goals in City’s last nine games and 16 in his last 17 Champions League starts. The Argentine also helped to set up City’s second, feeding Raheem Sterling with a backheel on the edge of the box. Sterling then crossed low for Silva to score at the far post just before halftime.
Dynamo shook off some of the rust in the second half and struck back in the 59th minute through Buyalskiy, whose shot from 20 yards (18 meters) deflected in off Nicolas Otamendi. That marked the 10th Champions League game in a row in which City has conceded at least one goal.
Buyalskiy’s goal breathed new life into the Dynamo team, as well as delighting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who was watching from the stands with a group of soldiers in a show of support for Ukrainian forces fighting Russian-back separatists in the country’s east.
It was Hart’s second notable save of the night, after he tipped over an effort from Dynamo’s star winger Andriy Yarmolenko in the opening minutes.
The win ends a three-game losing run for City in all competitions and comes after Pellegrini rested star players for a 5-1 loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup on Sunday, opting to focus instead on City’s push to reach a first Champions League quarterfinal.
However, UEFA reduced the sanction, allowing fans into the Olimpiyskiy stadium, which was far from full, though the home crowd was vocal. No major incidents of disorder appeared to occur in the stadium.
In the other game of the day, Atletico Madrid were held to a frustrating goalless draw by PSV Eindhoven in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie at Philips Stadion.
Although Atletico had chances to score a goal in the first-half, Luciano Vietto and Antoine Griezmann missed one-on-ones, Sport24 reported.
Griezmann also wasted the best chance to score away goal when he raced onto midfielder Koke’s through ball as goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet abandoned his efforts by making a vital save.
Meanwhile, PSV also had a chance to open their account when midfielder Davy Propper shot straight towards Atletico’s goalkeeper Jan Oblak from close range.
The hosts also reduced to 10 man when their forward Gaston Pereiro received a red card in the 68th minute for a flying elbow on Atletico’s Diego Godin.
The two side will now meet again in the second leg of the last-16 tie, with an aim to book their place in quarterfinals at the Vicente Calderon on March 15.