Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling were on the scoresheet for Manchester City (Picture: Getty Images)
Pep Guardiola’s side were clear favourites for the match and they displayed an incredible level of complete superiority over their hosts.
Sporting tailed off a little in the second half, but did little wrong in the first despite already being four goals down, such was the superb performance of the visitors.
The home side would have planned to keep it tight early on against the Premier League champions, but that ploy was quickly out of the window when Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring after just seven minutes.
Bernardo Silva doubled City’s lead with a really special piece of technique 10 minutes later, left-footed on the half-volley from inside the penalty box which the goalkeeper will barely have seen.
It was Phil Foden’s turn to find the back of the net on 32 minutes, finishing from close range after former Liverpool man Sebastian Coates didn’t deal with a Mahrez cross. Bernardo Silva got his second shortly before half-time thanks to a Raheem Sterling assist and a heavy deflection on his effort.
Phil Foden scored City’s third in the rout (Picture: Getty Images)
Silva’s first goal may still have been the best goal of the night, but Sterling did his best to take that award for himself when he scored 55 minutes in.
The England winger curled one into the top corner from 20 yards to follow up the superb hat-trick he scored against Norwich City in the Premier League at the weekend.
It was an entirely one-sided contest, with Sporting barely making an effort on Ederson’s goal and certainly not troubling the Brazilian goalkeeper at any time.
The visiting side controlled possession from the off and created chances at will in the first half, before taking their foot off the gas a bit in the second period.
More: Champions League
The return leg is at the Etihad on 9 March but there is no hope of any sort of dramatic comeback for the Portuguese side and Guardiola may field the likes of 19-year-old Liam Delap, who came on as a late substitute on Tuesday night.
For more stories like this, check our sport page.