Riyad Mahrez Opens Manchester City Goal Account With Brace at Cardiff
Algerian playmaker Riyad Mahrez opened his goal scoring account for Manchester City with a second-half brace as the Citizens convincingly beat Cardiff City 5-0 on Saturday.
The defending champions had a perfect response for their mid-week Champions League loss to Lyon and allowing a mere two shots on their goal showed a lot of work was put in to correct their defensive weaknesses.
Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, and Ilkay Gundogan all found the net in the first half before substitute Riyad Mahrez bagged a second-half brace to seal an emphatic 5-0 win over Neil Warnock’s men.
It was clear from the beginning that Cardiff was going to struggle to contain Manchester City’s fast wingers Sane and Sterling. However, to their credit, they managed to threaten the defending champions on the counter-attack, with Victor Camarasa looking deadly in the opening minutes.
However, it was City’s day to celebrate. Sergio Aguero marked his 300th appearance by scoring an opener in the 32nd minute before Bernardo Silva made it 2-0 just three minutes later.
IIkay Gundogan put the game to bed with the third strike less than a minute before halftime. For City, the three points were already secured and bagged but for Cardiff, the second half for damage limitation.
Guardiola then summoned Mahrez from the bench in the 61st minute to come on for Sergio Aguero to give the forward a much-needed break. Mahrez needed just six minutes to score his first thanks to a lovely passing move with Gundogan that ended with the Algerian tapping from close range.
He then completed the rout in stoppage time after reacting the quickest to blast in a rebound from inside the box.
Manchester City moves to second place, with 16 points while Cardiff who is yet to taste victory this season sit in 18th place level with bottom-placed Huddersfield.
Sergio Aguero 32nd
B Silva 35th
Iker Gundogan 44th
Riyad Mahrez 67th and 89th