Europea League: Man City 3 Aris Salonika 0

Edin Dzeko hit a quick-fire double as Manchester City cruised into the last 16 of the Europa League with a 3-0 victory over Aris Salonika.

The January transfer window signing from Wolfsburg, who lead a potent strikeforce alongside Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli, hit two smartly-taken goals inside the first 12 minutes.

Yaya Toure netted a deflected third from long range with a quarter of an hour to go as the Sky Blues eased through to set up a clash with Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev.

City were ahead after just seven minutes when Nikos Lazaridis failed to control Aleksander Kolarov’s long clearance and Dzeko kept his cool to roll a shot into the corner of the net.

The Bosnian made it 2-0 four minute later when he cut back onto his left foot on the edge of the box to fire a low drive beyond the despairing dive of Michalis Sifakis.

The Aris gloveman then juggled a 30-yard free-kick from Balotelli and Pablo Zabaleta fired inches wide with a fierce drive from the edge of the box as City threatened to cut loose.

Dzeko should have completed his hat-trick on the stroke of half-time when he beat the offside trap and tried to round Sifakis but the the goalkeeper saved smartly at his feet.

Attacking towards their noisy and colourful 4,000-strong away following, Aris started the second half better but could only test Joe Hart with a weak shot from Raul Bobadilla.

Midway through the half, Tevez created another golden opportunity with a neat pass to Balotelli but the Italian’s rifled effort pinged back off the inside of the post.

The third finally came in the 75th minute when Kolarov’s corner was cleared to Toure, whose 25-yard drive deflected off the luckless Lazaridis and into the corner of the net.

 


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