ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Defender John Stones scored twice as Manchester City put on a display of swift-passing, attacking football to thrash Feyenoord 4-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
City did not manage an away win last season in the Champions League, but never looked like losing in De Kuip as it spoiled Feyenoord’s return to the competition for the first time since 2002.
“They play so easily, find one another so easily, have a lot of movement off the ball,” Feyenoord coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst told Dutch broadcaster Veronica. “They are one of the top teams in the world.”
Stones, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus scored in the first half as the visitors made a mockery of Van Bronckhorst’s decision to play a five-man defense. Stones doubled his tally in the 63rd.
“Last season we were not able to win one away game in the Champions League,” City coach Pep Guardiola told BT Sport. “And if you want to take a step forward then we need to be important both at home and away.”
Feyenoord could savor its Champions League return for less than two minutes before Stones headed David Silva’s cross innocuously toward goal and the ball somehow crept between the legs of Tonny Vilhena on the goal-line.
“If you go behind from a corner inside two minutes, that is certainly not what you want against an opponent like Manchester,” said Van Bronckhorst.
Aguero doubled the visitors’ lead in the 10th by darting in front of defender Eric Botteghin to smash home a cross by right back Kyle Walker.
Gabriel Jesus celebrated his Champions League debut by tapping in a rebound from close range in the 25th while Feyenoord goalkeeper Brad Jones appealed in vain for offside.
After a quiet start to the second half, Stones beat Botteghin in the air to powerfully head home Kevin De Bruyne’s cross.