MANCHESTER CITY suffered no hangover in their belated showdown with Borussia Monchengladbach last night as they brushed aside the German side thanks a hat-trick from Sergio Aguero.
The German visitors, whose 1,500 fans were left disappointed when the game was postponed last night due a waterlogged pitch, showed no threat and Aguero double the lead from the spot before the break after Ilkay Gundogan, a late addition to the starting lineup, was tripped.
The second half was a quieter affair until the 77th minute when Raheem Sterling‘s deft through ball left Aguero one on one with Yann Sommer and he made no mistake.
The walk in the park was completed by Aguero’s late replacement Kelechi Iheanacho, who tappled in simply during stoppage time.
FACTS, STATS, GOALS & LOLS
- MANCHESTER CITY fans continue to refuse to back down. Despite dark threats from UEFA over their booing of the Champions League anthem they were at it again – as loud as ever.
- THE RAIN postponement that delayed the clash meant only half the original Borussia contingent of fans – around – 750 – hung around the extra 24 hours.
- ILKAY GUNDOGAN made a superb debut for City having finally recovered from the knee injury that delayed it following his £21M summer arrival from Borussia – Dortmund that is.
- DAVID SILVA missed Pep Guardiola’s first Champions League group clash in charge of City after picking up a slight leg injury earlier in the day.
- SERGIO AGUERO reacted like Tuesday night’s lightening to connect with Aleksander Kolarov’s cross to sent City into a 9th minute lead before going onto to complete his second Champions League treble in just three games.
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- PUPPET – MASTER Pep Guardiola loves a tactical ploy and he introduced another – using England attacker Raheem Sterling as a covering defender at City corners to guard against breakaways.
- JOHN STONES is the latest to discover how manic his new boss Pep Gaurdiola is – City could have been three up by the 20th minute but the £47M still got a touchline lecture on his positioning.
- NICOLAS OTAMENDI hardly had a glory start to his City career but the Argentinian is fast finding his feet and looked very assured against Gladbach.
- RAHEEM STERLING has found his mojo again under Pep Gaurdiola but he can still drive you mad – witness his 73rd minute miss with goalkeeper Yann Sommer at his mercy ten yards out.
- CLAUDIO BRAVO probably needed some down time to settle himself after debut problems in the Manchester derby – just can’t have expected it against Gladbach, hardly touching the ball in the second half.
DREAM TEAM RATINGS
MANCHESTER CITY: Bravo 7, Zabaleta 7, Otamendi 7, Stones 7, Kolarov 9, Fernandinho 7, Jesus Navas 7, Kevin de Bruyne 8, Gundogan 8 (Clichy 89 6), Sterling 7 (Sane 82, 6), Aguero 9 (Iheanacho 6)
Subs not used: Sagna, Nolito, Caballero, Esmoris Tasende
Goals: Aguero (8, 28 pen, 77), Iheanacho (91)
WHAT THEY SAID
Pep Guardiola: “It shows how good Gundogan is. He is so intelligent – he knew exactly when to control the efforts. I think he could play 90 minutes.
“The fans have to know we play for them. It’s our job. We need them in the Champions League to beat the best teams in the world.”