With Manchester City’s progress to the Champions League quarterfinals never in doubt, even backup goalkeeper Scott Carson could be brought off the bench for his first appearance in the competition in 17 years.
The 36-year-old third-choice goalkeeper replaced Ederson in the 73rd minute and maintained a clean sheet as City drew 0-0 with Sporting on Wednesday, having won 5-0 in the first leg in Lisbon last month.
On a rare Sporting attack, the former England goalkeeper denied Paulinho on his first Champions League appearance since featuring for Liverpool in a 2-1 victory over Juventus in April 2005.
“He is very important for us,” City manager Pep Guardiola said. “Behind the scenes the chemistry is fundamental in the locker room and the people listen to him a lot when he talks. And he made the biggest save to not lose the game.”
Carson hasn’t played for City since May 2021 at Newcastle in the closing weeks of the Premier League season when the title had already been won. That was his only appearance last season.
This season, the Premier League leader is hoping to make the Champions League final for a second straight time as it looks to win the European Cup for the first time.
In the night’s other last-16 second leg, Karim Benzema scored a hat trick as Real Madrid rallied to beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-1. Kylian Mbappé had scored in the first half in Madrid to increase PSG’s aggregate lead after he clinched a 1-0 first-leg win.
(Reported by AP)