Man City v Monaco talking points

Manchester City's English midfielder Raheem Sterling (centre) trying to thread the ball between Monaco's French defender Benjamin Mendy (left) and Monaco's Italian defender Andrea Raggi during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg football
Manchester City's English midfielder Raheem Sterling (centre) trying to thread the ball between Monaco's French defender Benjamin Mendy (left) and Monaco's Italian defender Andrea Raggi during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg football match at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, on Feb 21, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

THE NEW HENRY

Inside nine minutes, Kylian Mbappe was displaying his high-speed dribbling skills as he drove at John Stones, while bamboozling Nicolas Otamendi twice in quick succession. The French teenager scored his first Ligue One hat-trick 11 days ago and is only 18. Still unconvinced? Thierry Henry himself believes he is the new Henry.

STERLING MISSING

Among Raheem Sterling's main qualities are his relentless approach and his willingness to take possession. His goal took his tally to nine for the season and Pep Guardiola believes that the 22-year-old Englishman is capable of plundering closer to 20 over a full campaign. He was booked on Tuesday and will miss the second leg. His absence will be costly.

GOALKEEPING CRISIS

Having jettisoned his best goalkeeper in Joe Hart and after losing faith in Claudio Bravo, the replacement he recruited, it will be interesting to see Guardiola's next move in the sorry sub-plot undermining Manchester City's season. Willy Caballero's aberration for Monaco's opening goal left his manager crimson with rage on the touchline. The goalkeeper's penalty save from Radamel Falcao offered partial redemption but what appears certain is that City need two new goalkeepers in the summer if they are to avoid constantly tripping themselves up.

RICH PICKINGS

Whether it was Tiemoue Bakayoko striding through midfield, Bernardo Silva's distribution providing brush strokes of genius or Mbappe's attacking thrust, there is plenty to be admired about this Monaco side, who have now scored 111 goals in all competitions this season. Seven members of Leonardo Jardim's side at the Etihad Stadium were aged 24 years old or less and it will not be long before the billionaires' playground is raided by those clubs who consider themselves to be Europe's established elite. Warning: none of Monaco's players will come cheap.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2017, with the headline 'Man City v Monaco talking points'. Print Edition | Subscribe