Manchester City came from behind to hammer Atalanta 5-1 at the Etihad Stadium to open up a big lead in Group C of this season’s Champions League.
Pep Guardiola’s defence has come into question in recent weeks following injuries to Aymeric Laporte, Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones, but a makeshift defence that consisted of midfielders Rodri and Fernandinho at centre-back got the job done on Tuesday night.
It wasn’t without chances for Atalanta though, who took the lead with a 28th-minute penalty.
Manchester City’s defence had looked vulnerable at times, but not as porous as the Italian side’s. Sergio Aguero equalised on 34 minutes before converting a penalty less than five minutes later.
Heads dropped and the Atalanta defence fell apart after Raheem Sterling made it 3-1 just before the hour. The England forward scored twice more in the next 12 minutes to become the eighth Englishman to score a treble in the Champions League era.
There was time for teenager Phil Foden to pick up a second yellow card in the final 10 minutes to rule him out of the return fixture at the San Siro in a fortnight’s time.