Sergio Agüero became Manchester City's all-time top goalscorer as Pep Guardiola's men beat Napoli in Italy to qualify for the Champions League last 16 in style on Wednesday evening.
No Premier League team had ever previously beaten the Partenopei on home turf, but strikes by Nicolás Otamendi, John Stones, Agüero and Raheem Sterling saw City break that hoodoo in a game that promised goals - and delivered.
Insigne fires Napoli into deserved first-half lead
Defeat leaves Napoli facing elimination, but it was the Italians who began much the better at the Stadio San Paolo, deservedly taking a 21st-minute lead when Lorenzo Insigne finished neatly across Ederson Moraes.
City respond to turn scoreboard on its head
Having been second best for 25 minutes, City then found their stride, and equalised through an Otamendi header just after the half-hour mark, before finishing the first half well on top.
The visitors came out for the second 45 in equally dominant mood, and just three minutes into the period Stones nodded them in front off the crossbar.
Napoli level, but record-breaking Agüero and Sterling win it for City
However, Napoli came back at their guests, and were handed a lifeline on the hour when Leroy Sané felled Raúl Albiol in the box and referee Felix Brych pointed to the spot without hesitation.
Jorginho coolly beat Ederson to equalise - and, within minutes, City's keeper had to save excellently to prevent José Callejón from putting the hosts ahead.
But just moments later, Agüero moved on to a club-record 178 City goals and knocked the stuffing out of Napoli, the Argentine striker picking up the loose ball on a counter-attack and sweeping expertly past Pepe Reina.
Sterling's angled stoppage-time shot then completed the win.
City out to secure top spot, Napoli facing early exit
With Shakhtar Donetsk beating Feyenoord 3-1 in Group F's other clash, Napoli are now six points behind the Ukrainians - with just two games left.
Meanwhile, City sit three points ahead of Shakhtar and in pole position to secure first place in the group.
Napoli 2-4 Manchester City: as it happened
94' Peeeeeep! That's that! Manchester City become the first Premier League team to win in Naples, goals by Nicolás Otamendi, John Stones, the record-breaking Sergio Agüero, and Raheem Sterling sealing their last-16 berth in style.
93' Mertens follows Otamendi into the book after a foul that was the dictionary definition of 'born out of frustration'.
92' De Bruyne brings the ball forward and rolls it to Sterling on the right of the box. He collects, gets the ball out of his body and pings it underneath Reina and into the far corner. So simple.
92' Sterling scores City's fourth!
91' David Silva cuts it back to Bernardo Silva, who slaps it first-time over the bar. Otamendi then earns the first yellow card of the night after sliding in on Rog. Before...
90' City make a third change, Gabriel Jesus coming on for Sané.
88' Napoli look spent. They are a couple of minutes from their first ever home defeat to a Premier League side.
87' Bernardo Silva draws a save from Reina! Sané advances down the left, looks up and sees the Portuguese in acres on the edge of the box, but his first-time effort is right down the Spanish keeper's gullet, and he parries.
85' If both Group F games stay like this, Napoli will be six points behind second-placed Shakhtar Donetsk with two matches left. It's been said that Sarri's men are prioritising Serie A this season, and - call my presumptious if you like - but I suspect a berth in the Europa League would not entice them to shift that domestic focus.
80' De Bruyne almost nicks the ball of Koulibaly's toes inside the box, but the Senegalese manages to shepherd it back to Reina. At the other end, Napoli momentarily think they have got Callejón in behind the City backline, but the former Real Madrid winger is flagged off.
78' We haven't had a single card so far tonight, incidentally. Fernandinho strides forward and wins a free-kick off Koulibaly on the edge of the Napoli box. De Bruyne, Sané and David Silva are all standing over it... and the German plops it over the bar.
74' Napoli make a second change, bringing Marko Rog on for Allan, while City also make a second substitution, Bernardo Silva replacing the away side's freshly-annointed record goalscorer.
69' David Silva came on for Ilkay Gundogan in the aftermath of Manchester City's third goal, by the way.
69' More bad news for Napoli: Shakhtar are now 3-1 up on Feyenoord.
68' Gooooal! Just when Napoli were theatening to turn the scoreboard on its head, Agüero fires Manchester City back into the lead!
66' With Shakhtar still leading Feyenoord, victory really is the only option for the hosts. At one end, Agüero thinks he's in on Reina only to be flagged offside, before Callejón must score - but doesn't! Mertens swivels on the edge of the box and slips the Spaniard in with a superb angled pass, but Ederson saves!
64' Back in Italy, City are calling for a Hysaj handball in the box from Sterling's cross, before Mertens is in a right old strop at the other end after the linesman's flag goes up - apparently errantly so - to prevent him from being released into acres of space on the left flank.
61' Gooooal! Jorginho sends Ederson the wrong way from the spot! All square at the San Paolo!
60' Napoli win one corner, which then becomes a second... from which Sané brings Albiol down for a penalty! No hesitation from the referee!
59' Napoli have begun to look a little brighter once more.
56' Insigne boshes one against the bar! Receiving the ball on the left-hand corner of the 18-yard box, he sells Danilo hook, line and sinker with a superb dummy before crashing a shot towards Ederson's near post - but it thunders back off the woodwork!
53' Mertens puts his head down and looks to jink his way past the City defence, but is stopped by an imperious challenge by Stones, who takes the ball cleanly and strides out from the back.
48' Goooal! Now they do score! Stones header!
47' Sterling almost opens up the second half with a solo goal! He wriggles his way past four light blue shirts and into a shooting position in the box - but Albiol blocks!
46' No half-time changes.
Peeep! Back underway in Naples.
That was a real half of two halves: Napoli had much the better of it for the first 25 minutes or so and deservedly took the lead through a smart Insigne finish, but the closing 20 were all about Manchester City, who levelled through Otamendi just after the half-hour mark and, as things stand, are heading through to the knockout stages.
Peeeep! The sides trot off for a well-earned cup of tea and half-time orange.
45' The half is coming to an end with City pinning Napoli back. Two minutes of time added on.
41' Sterling timidly asks for a penalty after bustling towards the touchline and falling to the turf in a shoulder-to-shoulder with Hysaj. Nothing doing, says referee Felix Brych.
39' City win a free-kick on the lefto, which Otamendi heads a just wide at the near post! City are feeling much better about themselves now.
38' Sterling scuttles at the Napoli defence and drives a low shot at goal that's deflected behind. From the corner, Gündogan turns it across the face of goal and Otamendi is almost on the end of it for a second of the night, before Stones then heads the loose ball against the bar!
34' After being second best for 25 minutes or so, City had begun to assert themselves to a much greater extent - and the equaliser is their reward.
33' Gündogan's shot is deflected behind by Koulibaly and from the resulting corner the ball is clipped in towards the back post, where Otamendi's firm downward header beats Reina! All square in Naples, and if it stays this way Man City are through to the last 16.
33' Gooooal to Manchester City! Otamendi!
32' There's City's best chance so far! De Bruyne drives towards the box and feeds Sterling in space on the right, where the former Liverpool man cuts it back for Agüero on the penalty spot. His first touch isn't all that it might be, but he still hooks his right foot around a shot towards the bottom corner...but it's just wide!
30' Christian Maggio comes on for the injured Ghoulam.
27' Sané clips the ball across the face of the area towards Agüero, whose shot is blocked, and City's attack is snuffed out without excessive fuss. Moments later, Ghoulam signals to the bench that he definitely can't continue!
26' Seven attempts this far for Napoli, just the two for City.
24' Hold on, maybe he can.
23' Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam looks to be in some comfort. At first glance it looks rather like the Algerian won't be able to carry on.
20' Gooooal to Napoli! Insigne! City can't have too many complaints.
15' City come forward, but De Bruyne's pass is cut out by Insigne. The guests haven't really got going.
11' Whistles from the home fans as City enjoy an extended spell of possession... before giving it away for Hamsik to slip Mertens in in the left-hand channel - but the Belgian's shot is weak. Mertens then scampers into a similar position a moment later, but again can't get hold of his effort, dragging it straight down Ederson's gullet from an acute angle.
8' Hamsik has another crack at goal, but it's off target. Napoli are having the better of these early stages at the San Paolo.
7' Napoli win a free-kick in shooting range on the left-hand corner of the City box, drawing gestures of exasperation from Pep Guardiola on the touchline. Mertens' weak effort is straight into the wall, however.
5' There's the first shot on goal, Marek Hamsik stinging Ederson's palms from range. The Brazilian was always comfortable.
4' Deafening whistles as City come again, Kevin De Bruyne feeding Raheem Sterling on the edge of the box. His touch is heavy, though, and he's hustled out of it as he tries to advance into the area. At the other end, Lorenzo Insigne looks to swing a diagonal iinto José Callejón, but it's long and drifts out for a goal-kick.
2' Manchester City create the first moment of danger as Leroy Sané receives just inside the box and looks to wriggle himself into a shooting position, but is crowded out and ends up committing a foul.
1' These are two sides who promise anything but a 0-0 draw. Let's hope they live up to that.
Peeeeeep! We're underway in Naples!
The teams are out at the Stadio San Paolo: Champions League anthem done, coin-toss done... let's go!
15 minutes until kick-off. Don't forget that we also have live online coverage of Tottenham Hotspur vs Real Madrid in Group H - join Robbie for minute-by-minute commentary from Wembley!
Should you be in the market for some sounds and moving images to accompany our live feed, you may wish to peruse our guide on how and where to watch tonight's Group F clash.
Sergio Agüero's inclusion in the City line-up means the Argentinian has the chance to become the club's all-time highest scorer. He is currently level with Eric Brook on 177...
Napoli head coach Maurizio Sarri makes two changes to the side that beat Sassuolo in Serie A on Sunday, with defenders Kalidou Koulibaly and Elseid Hysaj coming in for Vlad Chiriches and Christian Maggio.
Overall, Napoli and Manchester City have met on three occasions, registering one win, one draw and one defeat each.
The City line-up that night six years ago? Hart, Zabaleta, Lescott, Kompany, Kolarov, De Jong, Milner, Silva, Touré, Dzeko, Balotelli.
However, the Citizens aren't alone in boarding the plane back to England following disappointment at the San Paolo - Napoli are as yet unbeaten in five games against Premier League opposition on home turf.
Manchester City's only previous visit to Naples came in the group stages of the 2011/12 Champions League, their maiden campaign in Europe's elite club competition, when two Edinson Cavani goals condemned Roberto Mancini's side to a 2-1 defeat. Mario Balotelli hit City's only goal.
Here is the Group F table - while Manchester City can clinch their place in the knockout stages by avoiding defeat in Naples, the hosts are in a spot of bother after two defeats from their opening three games.
Guardiola's City top Group F with three wins from three. A draw tonight would be enough to see them through to the knockout round.
Still got it. Pep Guardiola shows some close control during City's training session at the City Football Academy yesterday.
Leroy Sané is the man in form for Manchester City. Well, one of the men in form. The German winger has registered a startling six goals and five assists in his last seven Premier League matches. It is becoming increasingly likely that Sané will start for Joachim's Löw's Mannschaft at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Manchester City are already beating Napoli 0-1 in the Youth League. You can follow that match here.
This is a must-win match for Napoli, who sit in third place in Group F with three points. Defeats to Shakhtar and Manchester City leave Sarri's side in a precarious position.
Manchester City and Napoli fans have been banned from wearing belts inside San Paolo this evening. Belts were used as weapons when trouble broke out between the sets of fans in Manchester before their meeting at the Etihad Stadium.
Maurizio Sarri has won plaudits with the pass-and-move style of play he has imposed at Napoli, and reports have emerged that he could be the man to replace Diego Simeone at Atlético Madrid when the time comes. It would be an interesting move for Los Rojiblancos, and would certainly precipitate a change in playing style at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Good morning! We'll be building up to this tantalising clash in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, and it is a pleasure to have you with us.
Napoli vs Manchester City live online: match preview
The fourth round of fixtures in Champions League Group F pits the leaders of the Premier League and Serie A against each other in the San Paolo with Napoli in desperate need of a positive result against Pep Guardiola’s swashbuckling free-scorers: Maurizio Sarri’s side are currently in the Europa League berth and three points adrift of Shakhtar Donetsk.
Napoli have rattled in 32 Serie A goals and have yet to be beaten domestically while City have managed 35 goals in 10 Premier League games this season and haven’t failed to win a game since August 21 when they were held to a 1-1 draw at the Etihad against Everton.
Guardiola’s side have now won 13 games in a row in all competitions and are unbeaten in their past 21 fixtures, both of which represent new club records.
Napoli, for their part, have set the early pace in Serie A and are holding off Inter Milan and Juventus as they seek a first Scudetto since 1989-90. That may well be a more realistic target than European glory as Napoli have never been beyond the last 16 of the Champions League but Sarri will not be eager to see his side condemned to the grueling slog of Uefa’s ugly sister tournament and will send out his side to beat Guardiola’s at their own game: 0-0 it probably won’t be.
Napoli are playing catch-up after being beaten in two of their three Champions League fixtures so far. A 2-1 defeat at the Etihad - where Sarri’s side fought their way back into the game after conceding twice in the opening 15 minutes – was perhaps expected but the same score line against Shakhtar in Kharkiv certainly bust a few midweek coupons.
Sarri identified City’s ability to hit early and hard during his pre-match press conference: “We have to try to push them out into deep water, otherwise they are likely to be one or two goals ahead after 30 minutes,” the well-travelled tactician said. “They have a devastating force of impact on matches and they have scored so many of their goals in the first 20 minutes. Their matches that I have seen have all been over by the 70th minute.”
Both sides favour a 4-3-3 formation and Napoli’s attack of Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and José Callejón are equally as fleet of foot as City’s. However, the Partenopei have not carried their domestic scoring prowess into Europe and have conceded as many (5) as they have managed at the other end, an issue that Sarri must resolve to see his side victorious in the San Paolo.
“Nobody is unbeatable. But they’re the best team in Europe, led by the best coach in Europe,” the Napoli boss noted simply.
City require just a single point in the San Paolo to secure their place in the last 16 with two games to spare but Guardiola said his side would remain true to their attacking ethos in Italy. “Why play for a draw when we can play for a win?” he said. "We have a big, big challenge. There are moments we will have to defend like never before and I will see how the team react.”
Napoli will also be on the back foot from the outset in what promises to be an open, flowing encounter between two of Europe’s most exciting attacking sides. Sarri identified City keeper Ederson as “their most dangerous player” because of the Brazilian’s ability to launch attacks from the back in line with chapter one, paragraph one of Guardiola’s coaching guide book.
Midfielder David Silva also lauded Ederson and noted that City are in a rich vein of form across every position. “We are playing really good football, beautiful football. We are playing well in all the lines. From the goalkeeper on, you can see it in every game,” said the Spain international, whose medal collection lacks only the Champions League.
In Kevin de Bruyne, Guardiola possesses perhaps the finest attacking midfielder in Europe at the moment and the Belgian’s battle for supremacy with Marek Hamsik will provide one of the most interesting sub-plots to the game. De Bruyne has provided eight assists already this season and it instrumental in City’s swift transitions from defence to attack, gliding through the lines and using his innate ability to pick a ball nobody else – with the possible exception of Silva – can envision.
Although a yellow away from a suspension against Feyenoord, De Bruyne will be tasked with proving the supply line to Sergio Agüero, who was rested at the weekend against West Brom, with Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané lending their speed and craft to the wings in support of the Argentinean, who needs just one goal to overtake Eric Brook as City’s highest goal scorer of all time.
Napoli vs Manchester City live online: possible line-ups
Napoli XI: Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik; Callejón, Mertens, Insigne.
Coach: Maurizio Sarri
Manchester City XI: Ederson; Delph, Otamendi, Stones, Walker; Silva, Fernandinho, De Bruyne; Sterling, Agüero, Sané.
Coach: Pep Guardiola
Napoli vs Manchester City live online: selected betting odds
The 0-0 draw is unsurprisingly marked up at 16/1 while the same result as the first leg, a 2-1 City win, pays out at 17/2. Sergio Agüero and Dries Mertens are both priced at 7/2 to open the scoring.