Gabriel Jesus hit a two-shot hat as Manchester City moved closer to the Champions League knockout stage after Shakhtar Donetsk, Ukraine's 6-0 defeat at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.
The result left City in a whisker of the last 16 as team leaders F with nine points, three in front of second placed Olympique Lyonnais who dropped 2-2 with Hoffenheim. The Germans are third in three points, while Shakhtar is under two and City will close their position in the next round with a win or draw in Lyon on November 27th.
"Unfortunately, we are not skilled, but we are so close and we will try to keep this level, perhaps it will help us keep you focused," said Pep Guardiola, director of the city. The Spanish team just destroys opponents for the time being and has scored 19 goals in its last four home games in all games. Even with Argentine striker Sergio Aguero staying on the bench and middleweight player Kevin de Bruyne injured, he was just too strong for Shakhtar.
Riyad Mahrez created the opener of the 13th minute, shifting Shakhtar's defensive defense before his low ball, against the goal by David Silva. Guardiola's side, which lost 6-1 victory to Southampton in the Premier League, doubled their advantage in the 24th minute after a comic penalty award that allowed visitors to shake their heads with distrust. Rachel Sterlin hit the penalty area and went down without any contact or challenge, having led his foot to the ground as he tried a chip. Hungarian referee Viktor Kassay could not see the incident clearly, as the spot-kick and the Brazilian Jesus were awarded at home.
Both directors said after the game that the referee had made a mistake, with Shakhtar's boss Paulo Fonseca laughing as he described the decision as "ridiculous." Sterling said she apologized to the employee, but while she may be ashamed to watch this repeat TV, she will enjoy a lot of what she came next.
The ugly third missed the white third after leaving the Shakhtar defender who fell from the middle and then defeated Andriy Pyatov with a magnificent shot at the corner. Issus added the fourth in the 72th minute, again from the penalty spot, after Taras Stepanenko threw David Silva in the box before Mahrez finished a well-working counterattack six minutes from the end. Mahre then put Jesus on his hat-trick, a perfect ball that allowed the Brazilian to deliver an impossible chip over Pyatov and the goal.