Goals from Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus helped Manchester City to a comfortable 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach in Budapest, in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie on Wednesday night.
Pep Guardiola’s men completely dominated the first period at the Puskas Arena, controlling 61% of possession. And they made Gladbach pay in the 29th minute when Silva neatly headed in after connecting with an exquisite Joao Cancelo cross to make it 1-0 before the interval.
Monchengladbach improved after the break, not allowing City as much time and space on the ball, but the ‘away’ side doubled their advantage on 65 minutes. Cancelo floated another delicious cross into the area, once again met by Silva, who cushioned the ball into the path of Jesus to tap in for 2-0, wrapping up the scoring.
Die Fohlen had one decent chance with the last kick of the game, but Hannes Wolf couldn’t find a way past Ederson and City held on for the 2-0 win.
Let’s get to the Citizens’ player ratings…
Ederson (GK) – 6/10 – Was made to panic briefly by an audacious Alassane Plea effort in the second half but, overall, had very little to do, making just one save right at the death.
Kyle Walker (RB) – 8/10 – Bombed down the right-hand side on a couple of occasions, causing problems in the final third, and was rock solid throughout, making six ball recoveries.
Ruben Dias (CB) – 7/10 – Another commanding performance from the Portuguese. Made a couple of good interceptions and won a few aerial duels, but truly stands out in the way he organises his back line.
Aymeric Laporte (CB) – 7/10 – Was a big part in nullifying the breakaway threat that Die Fohlen posed, making three interceptions. A good 100th City appearance for the Frenchman.
Joao Cancelo (LB) – 9/10 – A full-back should not have these play-making abilities. Played most of the game as a central midfielder and was influential in nearly every forward-thinking move. Picked out Silva with a phenomenal cross to set up the opener and replicated it in the buildup to the second.
Rodri (DM) – 8/10 – Imperious and unflappable in the holding role. Made three ball recoveries while also moving the ball on brilliantly, keeping things positive and simple with a 92% pass accuracy.
Ilkay Gundogan (CM) – 7/10 – Never gave his opposition a moment’s rest, constantly pressing from the front. Also found space with ease as usual and linked play up brilliantly when advancing up the field.
Bernardo Silva (CM) – 9/10 – Always popped up in pockets of space and made late runs into the area, making it near impossible to keep tabs on him. Got on the scoresheet with a neat header just before the half-hour mark, and got the assist for the second.
Raheem Sterling (RW) – 5/10 – A sub-par evening for the winger. Found it tough to get the better of his markers, failing to register a key pass and losing the ball seven times before coming off.
Gabriel Jesus (ST) – 7/10 – Linked play well at times when dropping deep, and did well to react in the six-yard box to get his goal after missing a one-on-one chance beforehand.
Phil Foden (LW) – 6/10 – Showed some lovely touches and had spells where he was really influential in driving his side forward. But, generally, was kept fairly quiet.
Riyad Mahrez (RW) – 6/10
Ferran Torres (LW) – 6/10
Sergio Aguero (ST) – 6/10