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 By Simon Curtis

Man City can join European aristocracy with deep Champions League run

Man City defender John Stones isn't worrying about the recent criticisms of his defensive mishaps.

Adding Manchester City's enthralling 5-3 victory over Monaco to the emphatic demolition of Barcelona last November makes it tempting to ask whether City are beginning, at long last, to hit their stride in the Champions League. The gradual, year-on-year improvement sought by the club's owners in Abu Dhabi is clearly occurring. Not initially apparent, owing to three campaigns of false starts, the line ever since has been on the gradual climb.

From the initial stuttering start to life with the big...

Raheem Sterling is fast becoming one of Europe's best under Pep Guardiola

ESPN FC's Craig Burley, Alejandro Moreno and Steve Nicol have a go at Pep Guardiola, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.

"Raheem Sterling will play good -- I have confidence." That was Pep Guardiola's no-nonsense reply last July when asked about the forward shortly after seeing him in a match for the first time.

Manchester City had just beaten Borussia Dortmund on penalties in a friendly in the sweltering Chinese city of Shenzhen with second-half substitute Sterling looking like a man desperately short of confidence. Almost inevitably, he had missed his spot kick after looking fragile and unsure throughout following...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Highest-scoring Champions League first leg ties ever - ESPN Stats & Info

BT Sport highlight: Sergio Aguero scored twice as Man City overcame a 3-2 deficit to earn a thrilling first-leg win over Monaco.
Sergio Aguero scored twice as Man City overcame a 3-2 deficit to earn a thrilling first-leg win over Monaco.
Sergio Aguero netted two goals and added an assist to help lift Manchester City to a thrilling 5-3 victory over Monaco.

Manchester City and AS Monaco combined for eight goals during the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie -- and they weren't the only clubs with a potent attack.

The 34 goals scored in the first leg ties were the most in Champions League history, surpassing the 26 scored in 2013-14, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

City won 5-3 at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, highlighted by a frantic second half in which the two teams alternated claiming the lead.

Bayern Munich scored five goals against...

John Terry, Vincent Kompany declines put Wayne Rooney woes in perspective

Shaka Hislop breaks down the latest transfer rumours, including Wayne Rooney's potential move to the Chinese Super League.
Mark Ogden discusses whether now would be the right time for Wayne Rooney to leave Manchester United.
Shaka Hislop says everything is lining up for Chelsea to win both the FA Cup and the Premier League.
Alejandro Moreno breaks down the defensive errors from Manchester City that lead to all three of Monaco's goals.

It is not only Wayne Rooney who appears to be heading for the Premier League exit door at the end of the season. An era is coming to an end at some of English football's major clubs, with a changing of the guard also about to take place at Manchester City and Chelsea.

While the spotlight remains fixed on Manchester United captain Rooney due to his diminishing importance at Manchester United and efforts by wealthy clubs in the Chinese Super League to tempt him away, his counterparts Vincent Kompany...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Wayne Rooney plans to stay for now, Adam Lallana's new contract

BT Sport highlight: Sergio Aguero scored twice as Man City overcame a 3-2 deficit to earn a thrilling first-leg win over Monaco.
Man City and Atletico Madrid walk away impressive winners against their respective UCL round of 16 opposition in leg one.
Pep Guardiola gives all the credit to Monaco's attacking play style, and why Man City are by no means in the clear.
Alejandro Moreno breaks down the defensive errors from Manchester City that lead to all three of Monaco's goals.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley, Alejandro Moreno and Steve Nicol have a go at Pep Guardiola, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.

Here are the latest stories for Wednesday.

MAN UNITEDWayne Rooney is keen to remain at Manchester United until the end of the season and help the club pursue silverware on three fronts before considering a move to China, sources have told ESPN FC.

- Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian have revealed they held transfer talks with Rooney but are more interested in signing Fiorentina's Nikola Kalinic. 

Jose Mourinho says he has no intention of forcing Wayne...

Man City vs. Monaco was flawed but perfect entertainment for the neutral

Alejandro Moreno breaks down the defensive errors from Manchester City that lead to all three of Monaco's goals.

The legendary Italian journalist Gianni Brera famously said, "The perfect game ends 0-0." That's because when teams do everything right and don't make mistakes, they cancel each other out.

Brera was obviously a product of his time and culture (1950s and '60s Italian football), but I couldn't help but think about him after Tuesday night's 5-3 clash between Manchester City and Monaco, particularly listening to my colleagues in the ESPN FC studio dissect the game. They all agreed it was exciting,...