Manchester City kicked off their Champions League group stage Wednesday against Porto without several key players. Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, and Aymeric Laporte were all out with injury. The Premier League club still got the job done in a 3-1 victory to start their 2020-21 Champions League campaign.
City went down early in the match as Porto's Luis Diaz scored the opening goal in the 14th minute after a great run where he sliced through defenders and slotted the ball to the far post.
The lead was short-lived, however, as a bit of chaos ensued in the box just minutes later and a penalty was awarded to Manchester City as VAR was used to confirm a call on Raheem Sterling. Sergio Aguero would step to the penalty spot and equalize in the 20th minute.
The two teams would be deadlocked at 1-1 into halftime, but City would pull ahead in the 65th minute on a set piece.
İlkay Gündoğan stepped up to take the kick and sent a brilliantly bent ball that cleared the wall and the keeper to give Manchester City the lead for good. Porto had been doing well to stay organized defensively, but conceding the free kick led to the loss.
City manager Pep Guardiola utilized substitutions as Ferran Torres came on for Aguero in the 68th minute and would go on to ice the match for Manchester in the 73rd minute. Torres and Phil Foran would combine up the left flank and Torres would take a fantastic touch around Porto veteran defender Pepe to connect a shot on goal in the upper right corner of the net.
City's opening group match was a clinical display on set pieces and showcased their deep roster. The team will no doubt have to continue making their adjustments in light of injuries, but City appear to be well on their way out of Group C as they eventually play Olympiacos and Marsielle.