Manchester City have booked a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history after barely breaking a sweat against Dynamo Kiev at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side played out a goalless draw, which included just four shots on target, but progressed into the next phase thanks to their 3-1 triumph in Ukraine almost three weeks ago.
The main news of the first half was not a goal or a red card, but of an injury blow to City captain, Vincent Kompany, who has already spent large chunks of the season on the sidelines.
The Belgian defender pulled his hamstring inside the first five minutes of kickoff and immediately alerted the dugout with the realisation that he needed to return to the treatment table.
By the 25th minute, both of City’s central defenders were off the pitch as Nicolas Otamendi also succumbed to injury, leaving Eliaquim Mangala and Martin Demichelis to marshall the back line.
City created a handful of openings, including one move which resulted in Yaya Toure sending the ball over the top for Pablo Zabaleta, who headed down towards the centre of the box, but none of his teammates were there to meet it.
Joe Hart was not severely threatened, but he was the busier of the two goalkeepers as he pulled off numerous punched clearances, one of which was needed swiftly after the ball bounced right in front of him following a whipped-in cross.
After the break, the display was much of the same for the first 10 minutes or so, but City ramped up the pressure when Aguero charged past three players from the centre circle before getting brought down by Denys Garmash.
Toure took the resulting free kick, and despite getting the ball over the wall, the Ivorian’s shot was off target and it curled away from the top left corner.
The first real chance for City came in the 59th minute when Aguero met Silva’s pass before knocking it to Toure first time. The midfielder then played the return pass over the top for the Argentine, who shot across the face of goal.
Toure tried to get on the scoresheet by drilling the ball towards the centre of the goal. It was a positive move from City as Navas cut the ball back to the Ivorian, who was waiting on the edge of the area, but he was denied by the goalkeeper.
In Spain, a sudden-death penalty from Juanfran has sent Atletico Madrid through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League at the expense of PSV Eindhoven.
The two sides played out 90 minutes without a goal during the first leg in Eindhoven last month and a further 120 goalless minutes in the Spanish capital, meaning that a penalty shootout was required to determine who progressed to the last eight of the tournament.
Following seven successful penalties apiece, PSV substitute Luciano Narsingh rattled the crossbar and veteran Atletico defender Juanfran stepped up to send the Vicente Calderon wild in celebration.
The quarter-final draw will be made in Nyon, France on Friday.