ROTTERDAM – Manchester City thrashed Dutch champions Feyenoord 4-0 as defender John Stones scored twice to get Pep Guardiola’s side off to a flying Champions League start on Wednesday.
Stones headed home on two minutes after a sublime chip by skipper David Silva, and after Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus had made the win safe, the England centre-back capped off the evening with a second powerful header for a memorable brace.
To complicate matters for City, however, in the other Group F game, fancied Napoli were beaten 2-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk.
In Rotterdam, City tore Feyenoord to pieces as hard-working midfielders Bernardo Silva and Kevin de Bruyne punched holes in the home defence, which was in all sorts of trouble on a stormy evening at a packed De Kuip.
Aguero made it 2-0 after 10 minutes when he hammered in a half-volley from a sublime cross from Kyle Walker, which flew past goalkeeper Brad Jones.
The Argentinian striker has now scored 172 goals for Manchester City, and is only five short of former England international Eric Brook’s all-time record of 177.
City continued their merciless onslaught, giving the hosts very little space to create chances while continuing to threaten with lightning-fast attacks down the right flank.
The weather did little to improve the fanatical Feyenoord supporters’ mood, as the fans began jeering the players each time the ball was passed back to Jones, who had a busy evening.
The keeper blocked a blistering shot from Aguero which rebounded for Benjamin Mendy to take another shot, bouncing off the Australian again.
Jones could not hold on however, and an unmarked Jesus performed the simple task of booting the ball into the back on the net for a debut Champions League goal.
Feyenoord regained some composure in the second half, but it did not take the visitors long to find the back of the net again, this time in the form of a blistering header by Stones from a finely-floated De Bruyne corner.
Feyenoord sorely missed injured Danish international striker Nicolai Jorgensen as Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s home side never really got going, with most shots flying wide of goal and doing very little to bother City keeper Ederson.
Ederson bravely took to the field after being injured in the face over the weekend following a collision with Liverpool’s Sadio Mané.
The Brazilian sported eight stitches, a head guard and a special neck brace.
Some Feyenoord supporters started leaving the stadium before the final whistle, but most fans continued to chant slogans around the stadium as their team’s return to the Champions League for the first time in 15 years ended in miserable fashion.