- End of 2nd Half
- 2nd Half
- 1st Half
Borussia M’gladbach - Manchester City
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The full-time whistle goes and Man City take a 2-0 lead back to Manchester for the second leg. Gladbach’s best chance came right at the end there, but it was a dominant performance from the visitors overall and they will leave Budapest slightly disappointed that they didn’t score more.
Rodri plays a ridiculous ball across his own defence and Wolf has a chance right at the death, but his shot, just as Laporte and Dias close in on him, is well saved by Ederson. That’ll be the last action of the night.
A City break is slightly stunted as Walker plays a crossfield pass, but Torres looks to make something of it anyway with a rocket of a shot that cracks straight into Ginter and leaves him winded on the deck.
The board shows that there will be three more minutes of action in Budapest.
Mahrez floats a free-kick into the box, but it’s well cleared by Gladbach. The intensity has gone out of the game a little as we approach the whistle.
A late goal would change the balance of this tie going into the second leg. City probably deserve it to be 3-0 in truth, but Gladbach have at least offered a semblance of counterattacking threat in the second half so you can't completely rule out the idea of them pulling one back.
Hofmann has been forced off by that challenge and Gladbach continue to protest about the penalty decision.
Hofmann goes down in the box as Cancelo puts his arms across the Gladbach forward, but the referee doesn't see enough in it for a penalty and VAR agrees. Getting the score back to 2-1 after being so comprehensively outplayed would be a massive touch for the German side.
Mahrez has space on the right side of the box, but the angle is tight and his toe-poked shot I straight into the midriff of Sommer.
Guardiola makes a double change to add some fresh legs for the final ten minutes. On come Torres and Aguero for Foden and Jesus.
Could City win the whole thing? They’ve not exactly been put to the test by Gladbach tonight, but City are in such sensational form that you wouldn’t bet against them winning the Champions League for the first time come May. Their quality is so high and squad is so deep that it’s going to take something special to stop them. But better opponents and tougher tests will come in later rounds (assuming Gladbach don’t make a stunning comeback in this tie).
It’s been excellent from City tonight, but they should be further than two ahead. Guardiola will want another to make it feel a bit safer ahead of the second leg.
City make their first change of the night with Mahrez coming on for Sterling.
That’s made things a lot more comfortable for City. Two away goals and they are in complete control of this tie now.
GOOOAAALLL!!! City extend their lead and it’s Gabriel Jesus! Joao Cancelo again creates the chance with a lovely inswinging cross towards Bernardo Silva, and this time the Silva nods it back across the face of goal for Jesus to turn home. 2-0.
The 'home' side make a double change as they look to introduce some extra attacking threats for the final half an hour. They've been much better over the last few minutes too. Marcus Thuram and Valentino Lazaro are on.
Oh my, that would have been extraordinary! Plea produces a ridiculous back-heel volley as Gladbach break again and Zakaria crosses slightly behind the forward. His effort glides wide, but it’s very close, far too close for comfort for Ederson.
That’s the best chance of the game for Gladbach. They rob possession in midfield and it’s a three-on-two down their right, but the final ball is slightly overhit and it runs through to Ederson. It’s something to build on though.
“If you look at City’s attack as a ladder, Cancelo adds an extra ladder to that midfield.” Those pearls of wisdom come straight from the mind of Martin Keown over on BT Sport’s coverage of this game. But although in some ways he makes absolutely no sense, you can see what he’s trying to get at.
For all of City’s dominance, Gladbach will be able to take some heart from the fact it’s just 1-0. The Germans have shown slightly more attacking intent since the break too – not much more, but it’s hard for them to do less than they mustered in the opening 45.
Gladbach give the ball away straight to City’s centre-forward and he’s all on his own in the box as he moves more centrally to try and get a shot away or pick out a team-mate with a lay-off. It’s an absolutely golden chance for a second goal, but he dallies on the ball for so long that the defence have time to get back and nick possession away from him. Guardiola can’t conceal his frustration on the sideline.
How did Gabriel Jesus not score?!
Ederson is alert to the danger as Gladbach launch a rare counterattack, with the City keeper rushing out of his area to sweep up behind the defence.
Foden goes on his own down the right, but the second covering defender denies him and the ball comes back off the City man and out for a goal-kick.
The pressure without the ball from City at the start of this second half is quite striking. Gladbach are really struggling to pick a pass under such pressure.
City have picked up where they left off and Jesus almost jinks his way through the Gladbach defence before slightly overrunning it.
The players are back out and neither team has made a change at the break.
The whistle goes to end a half that City have completely dominated. Bernardo Silva’s goal has them 1-0 up, but Guardiola will want the tie to be a lot safer come full-time such has been his side’s control of the game.
Foden cuts in from the right and has a pop, but his shot flies harmlessly over the bar.
(It's probably more to do with the midfield adding a bit of zip to their tempo.)
City if anything are playing better since the goal. It may or may not be related to Guardiola ditching his weirdly designed coat.
Cancelo drifts infield from his nominal full-back position and shoots over from the edge of the box. He’s a really remarkable player – you’d have thought there must be acres of space for opponents to exploit where he is supposed to be on paper, but nobody seems to be able to do that. He adds so much to City’s attack in this fluid role.
City are relentless at the moment, and they’re not even at their best tonight yet Gladbach are still chasing shadows.
Sterling gets away down the right, but again he’s marshalled well by the impressive Bensebaini.
That goal makes things a lot more comfortable for City. They’ve bossed the game, but Gladbach didn’t look all that perturbed about being asked to sit deep when the score was goalless. That will surely change now.
I’m not totally convinced that his header went even slightly in the direction that Silva intended for that goal, but the right-footed inswinging cross from Cancelo was such a peach that it didn’t really matter.
- GoalBernardo SilvaManchester City
GOOOAAALLL!!! Manchester City have the lead and it’s Bernardo Silva who’s got it. The ball in from Joao Cancelo as he cuts inside from the left is begging for a finish, and Silva delivers. 1-0.
Sterling goes down in the box and can’t believe a penalty isn’t given. VAR takes a look too, but notices the tiniest hint of a touch on the ball and stands by the original decision.
This game feels like a luxury-brand version of Brighton vs Crystal Palace on Monday evening, with one team completely dominating and the other posing little to no threat. Palace won that match with goals from their only two touches in the box. Could lightning strike twice and Gladbach rob City blind in similar fashion?
Foden and Bernardo Silva combine down the left, but Silva’s low cross doesn’t quite pick out a team-mate. That’s more like it though, those two snapped up the tempo and opened Gladbach up like a poorly-sealed envelope.
City are playing all the football, but Pep is looking slightly stressed on the sidelines (and not just because he’s noticed that there’s a massive stencil on the back of his otherwise stylish coat). The visitors need to up their tempo a bit, that’s in my expert opinion anyway.
It’s quite stark how defensive Gladbach’s set-up is here. They are right back deep in their own half and looking to play on the break. Presumably it’s a clear strategy for the two legs, try and keep this game tight and deny City away goals, before opening up slightly more at the Etihad.
Rodri plays a great pass into Jesus in the box, but again Gladbach’s defenders do well to shut down the shot, as Jesus, Sterling and then Gundogan are all prevented the time to get an attempt away.
Sterling is almost in on goal, but a brilliant last-ditch sliding tackle by Bensebaini in the box denies him.
City are well on top so far and this time it’s Foden who gets into space down the left, narrowly failing to pick out a team-mate with his cross. The young Englishman and his compatriot Sterling are finding some dangerous pockets of space drifting in from those wide attacking positions.
Gladbach clear the corner, but only as far as Foden who tests Sommer with a low drive through a crowd of bodies. The keeper gratefully clings on to the save.
Gundogan slides Sterling into space in the box, but his first touch is a tad heavy and the opportunity to square it goes begging. His deflected shot does earn City a corner at least, but that was a decent opening.
Sterling and Walker combine down the right, but the former can’t weave his way past two covering defenders and runs the ball out of play.
Gladbach were down as having a back-three on the official UEFA team sheet, which was a bit of a surprise given they've tended to play with four at the back this season, and indeed they do start in their usual shape despite the change in personnel.
It's quite stark seeing visible empty rows of seats in the stadium. Those additional advertising hoardings that most club grounds have used for the past year have done a pretty reasonable job of making the televised images a bit less jarring. Obviously this isn't either side's home ground so it's not really an option tonight.
- 1st Half
Man City, in their usual blue and white, get the game underway. Gladbach are wearing all-black (which may as well be inspired by the contents of my wardrobe).
Here we go…
The players are out in Budapest with City sporting their frankly disgustingly-nice ‘anthem jackets’ for the usual rendition of ‘The Chaaaammmpppiiiioooonnns!’
City are one of the favourites to win this competition outright, and Pete Hall has explained why in a fascinating opinion piece for Eurosport this week...
This is Mönchengladbach’s first appearance in the European Cup knockout stages since 1978, when they lost 4-2 in the semi-finals to Liverpool. And the German side only snuck out of Group B courtesy of goal difference after winning just two of their six games.
City are unbeaten against Gladbach in the Champions League over four meetings in their history, winning three and drawing one. This is also the eighth consecutive season that City have featured in the UCL knockout stages – more than any of the other English clubs in the competition.
Tonight's game is being held at the Puskas Arena in Budapest due to Covid-19 restrictions that prevented City from travelling into Germany from a variant hot-spot (or the UK as it’s otherwise known).
Gladbach make the one change from their game against Mainz in the Bundesliga at the weekend, with Denis Zakaria coming into the back-three. City meanwhile have run the changes from the win over Arsenal, with John Stones, Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Riyad Mahrez out and Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, Rodri, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus in. When you see those names written down it’s little wonder City are flying with a squad that deep.
Good evening and welcome to live coverage of Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Manchester City. I’ll bring you reaction to the team news and build-up to this Champions League round-of-16 first leg.