Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Football European

Manchester City 4-2 Borussia Monchengladbach: Blues through to Champions League last 16

Published 08/12/2015

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PA
Manchester City's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PA
Manchester City's David Silva scores his sides opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 8, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Man City. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Raheem Sterling of Manchester City (r) celebrates with Fernandinho of Manchester City (L) and Aleksandar Kolarov of Manchester City after scoring his side's third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach at Etihad Stadium on December 8, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Wilfred Bony of Manchester City celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach at Etihad Stadium on December 8, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Aleksandar Kolarov of Manchester City is tackled by Nico Elvedi of Borussia Moenchengladbach during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach at Etihad Stadium on December 8, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Raffael of Borussia Moenchengladbach scores his side's second goal past Joe Hart of Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach at Etihad Stadium on December 8, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: The Borussia Monchengladbach fans show their support during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach at Etihad Stadium on December 8, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Yaya Toure of Manchester City holds off Mahmoud Dahoud of Borussia Moenchengladbach during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach at Etihad Stadium on December 8, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: A Manchester City fans holds up a sign in protest to UEFA during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach at Etihad Stadium on December 8, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Raheem Sterling celebrated his 21st birthday with a quickfire double to send Manchester City through to the Champions League last 16 as group winners.

The England international struck twice in the space of two minutes as City came from behind to beat Borussia Monchengladbach 4-2 at the Etihad Stadium.

City had trailed after the Germans replied to David Silva's early strike through Julian Korb and Raffael but Sterling turned the game around late in the second half and Wilfried Bony added the final gloss.

With Juventus losing at Sevilla, the result was enough for City to leapfrog the Italians to the top of Group D while Monchengladbach slipped to the bottom and missed out on a Europa League spot.

The attacking verve with which City finished the game - Sterling's equaliser only came in the 79th minute - was reward for a determined second-half display but for most of the game the frustration in the crowd was evident.

It was the 3,000 Monchengladbach fans who made most of the noise and their side gave City an early scare as Korb broke clear.

Sterling had a harsh introduction as he was caught in the chest by the boot of Havard Nordtveit but was soon back on his feet and linking nicely with Kevin De Bruyne and Silva in a fluid attacking trio.

City started without an out-and-out centre forward having left Bony on the bench and with Sergio Aguero still injured, but it initially looked like it would not matter.

The arrangement paid off in the 16th minute as Sterling played Silva in on goal with a nifty backheel and the Spaniard took full advantage as he rifled a shot into the roof of the net.

But City's weaknesses at the back in the continued absence of captain Vincent Kompany were again evident as Monchengladbach claimed an immediate equaliser.

Gael Clichy, making on his third appearance of the season, looked uncomfortable in the right-back slot and was caught out as Fabian Johnson charged forward. Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi were slow to respond and Johnson's low ball across the box was rifled home by Korb.

The contest was an open one with both sides showing attacking intent but both Sterling and Yaya Toure were wayward with attempts on goal.

City were cracked open again before the break as Oscar Wendt drilled in a low cross and Johnson's shot was diverted past Joe Hart by Raffael.

The Germans then began to frustrate City but the hosts upped the tempo after the break with Sterling coming to the fore.

The £49million man almost nipped in as Nico Elvedi chested the ball back to Yann Sommer but the goalkeeper just cleared.

Sterling ran across the area to tee up Silva and then shot himself but Sommer saved on both occasions. Sommer then produced a fine reflex save to deny Sterling on the volley after a Toure effort was blocked.

The pressure finally paid off 11 minutes from time as Clichy pulled the ball back from the byline and unmarked Sterling turned in from close range.

A quick counter-attack a minute later led to another two minutes later as Sterling brilliantly swept home a pass from substitute Bony.

Monchengladbach were beaten and Bony finished the job five minutes from time with a close-range finish after his initial effort was blocked.

Online Editors

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph