• Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021
  • Last Update : 08:23 pm

Man City cruise to brink of Champions League last eight

  • Published at 12:13 pm February 25th, 2021
city
Manchester City's English midfielder Raheem Sterling and Moenchengladbach's Algerian defender Ramy Bensebaini (L) vie for the ball during their UEFA Champions League, last 16, 1st-leg match at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on Wednesday AFP

While Guardiola said afterwards he was "pleased" with the result, he added City "have to improve" to challenge for Champions League honours

Manchester City moved to the verge of the Champions League quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday but coach Pep Guardiola insisted his team still need to "be more clinical up front".

A first half header from Bernardo Silva and a Gabriel Jesus strike in the second period of the last 16 first leg tie extended a winning streak by Guardiola's high-flying side to 19 games in all competitions.

Premier League leaders City camped inside the Gladbach half for most of the game, which was moved to Hungary due to Germany's Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Although dominant, City took time to break down a stubborn German defence, often foiled by the interceptions of Algeria left-back Ramy Bensebaini.   

While Guardiola said afterwards he was "pleased" with the result, he added City "have to improve" to challenge for Champions League honours.

"We controlled the game. Unfortunately we were not clinical up front, it is something we have to improve in this competition, we were not good enough in the box, we didn't dribble and shoot enough," said Guardiola. 

"In this competition you have to be perfect to be sure you can go through," he said.

Debutants in the Champions League knockout stages, Gladbach had been urged by coach Marco Rose to be brave against Guardiola's side.

France's Alassane Plea was almost through on goal on 20 minutes after a rare counterattack, but a nervy and deep-lying Gladbach eventually succumbed to mounting pressure in the 29th minute.

A sublime inch-perfect cross by Portuguese defender Joao Cancelo curled over the defence from the left to reach his compatriot Silva who flicked his close-range header past Yann Sommer.

"We tried to play simple and not make mistakes. It's a good win for us, but it's not over yet," Silva told BT Sport.

"Every time when he plays (Silva) is an exceptional player, he's really good in the air, the goal was fantastic how he finished it," said Guardiola.

The 26-year-old Cancelo, impressive throughout, nearly doubled the lead five minutes from the break but his shot from just outside the box pinged over the bar.

Then early in the second half Jesus should have converted after latching on to a poorly judged backpass by Bensebaini but saw his shot blocked by Swiss defender Nico Elvedi.

Apart from a lunging backheel from Plea that flashed just wide of Ederson's far post on the hour mark, City comfortably contained the Germans, and went two up in the 65th minute.

Another majestic cross-field pass by Cancelo again found Silva at Sommer's far post who this time headed back across the goalmouth for Jesus to fire home and seal City's 19th successive victory and sixth Champions League clean sheet in a row.

Gladbach, who managed just one shot on target throughout the game, an effort by substitute Hannes Wolf saved by Ederson in the last moments, now face a formidable task to turn around the tie in the return leg scheduled for March 16 in Manchester. 

"We deservedly lost today against a very strong team, you don't get many chances against such an opponent, we simply couldn't attack more," said Rose

"It would have been good to score at the end to be in a better position."


52
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail