The Premier League holders came bursting out of the traps in expected fashion, dominating possession and controlling the proceedings. Apart from some energetic bursts forward, Brugge found it difficult to emerge from their own half, and the pressure would eventually tell 15 minutes before HT. City starlet Phil Foden played a fantastic ball over the top for João Cancelo, whose delicate control allowed him to stab home between the goalkeeper’s legs and put City 1-0 up.
After more one-way traffic, it would go from bad to worse for Brugge just a few minutes before HT, when Riyad Mahrez was chopped down in the penalty box by Stanley N’Soki, forcing the referee to give the visitors a penalty. The subsequent spot-kick was coolly slotted home by Mahrez, doubling City’s advantage just before the HT whistle.
Picking up where they left off in the first half, Pep Guardiola’s men piled the pressure on Brugge, who only lasted nine minutes before breaking. A superb attack down the right-hand side saw Kevin De Bruyne slide in Kyle Walker, who drove the ball under the arm of Mignolet and into the back of the net to effectively put the game to bed for the ‘Cityzens’.
City extended their lead when 19-year-old Cole Palmer scored his first ever Champions League goal, with a delicate curling effort into the bottom right corner of Mignolet’s net after being played in by fellow substitute Raheem Sterling. An 81st-minute strike from Hans Vanaken would ensure the hosts would not be shut out on the night, but Riyad Mahrez scored his second goal on the night on a breakaway only three minutes later, securing an emphatic 5-1 victory for the visitors.
The result extends Brugge’s sorry winless streak against English opposition to 13 matches, but more importantly sees City leapfrog the Belgian side in the Group A standings.