SCOTT CARSON made his first Champions League appearance in 17 years and ensured Manchester City avoided defeat.
The 36-year-old veteran was brought on as a substitute in the 72nd minute to give Ederson a breather and with that made only his second appearance for the club in this dead game.
Gabriel Jesus had a goal disallowed as Man City were held to a goalless draw by Sporting Lisbon in this dead rubberCredit: Reuters
Scott Carson even got a run-out off the bench to make his Champions League debut for Man CityCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
But he brought the fans to life with a superb save just three minutes after entering the field of play.
Paulinho was put clean through but Carson bore down on him and blocked his shot with the two players colliding as he did.
The fans around the stadium acclaimed him in what was his first Champions League run out since he helped Liverpool to a 2-1 quarter-final home win over Juventus back in April 2005.
A crucial win it was too as Rafa Benitez’s side advanced to the final which they won on penalties against AC Milan in the miracle of Istanbul.
It was something Carson watched from the bench with Jerzy Dudek the hero between the sticks that night.
It was the highlight of an otherwise uninspiring night at The Etihad.
Only their second goalless draw here in four years after the one against Southampton earlier this season.
Manchester City breezed with ease into another quarter-final.
They are getting used to this here. It’s their sixth time in seven seasons they have reached this stage progressing to two semi-finals and that one final last season.
It was still not long ago that this was the stuff of dreams here. Now it is to be expected.
What is increasingly expected at a club that has invested so heavily on and off the pitch is that they finally lift club football’s biggest prize.
City are favourites for a reason but have self-destructed before when odds on.
Not least when Pep Guardiola out-thought himself in the last final and Chelsea won 1-0 to lift the trophy for the second time.
Last night’s passage into the last eight was certainly not going to be a problem – that was all signed and sealed by half-time in Lisbon.
Four goals in that opening period with one each from Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez and a double from Bernardo Silva sorted that out.
Raheem Sterling added another in the second-half to complete that 5-0 thumping.
It was one of the most destructive and one sided displays the competition has seen in the knockout stages and this against the Portuguese champions.
Carson was called into action at the death but kept City’s clean sheet in tactCredit: EPA
So this was just a stroll with the only still on edge Pep Guardiola, He always is.
Phil Foden would have the best strike of the opening period stretching to release a powerful drive that Antonio Adan did well to beat away.
There was also a great chance for recalled Raheem Sterling after a superb flick from Foden put him in.
He was one-on-one with the goalkeeper on an angle and went for the chip, but he did not lift it high enough to get over Adan.
At the other end Islam Silmani was fortunate to stay on the pitch when he jumped for a high ball with John Stones but flung an elbow into City defender John Stones face.
It looked bad, but the referee just showed yellow.
In the second-half Gabriel Jesus had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside.
So Carson would get what headlines there were up for grabs.
The four time England international was once given a secret Santa present by his City squad mates of a tour of The Etihad as he never saw it even as sub goalkeeper.
At least last night he had his moment in the stadium.
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