Manchester City’s hopes for a Quadruple this season continued as they cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals, winning 2-0 in the second leg of their last-16 tie against Borussia Monchengladbach and 4-0 on aggregate.
Pep Guardiola’s side were dominant over both matches and it took just 12 minutes to add to their 2-0 aggregate lead from the first leg. Kevin De Bruyne powered home via the underside of the crossbar as City extended their advantage.
Soon after, Gundogan added a fine curled finish around Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer, scoring his 15th goal of the season.
Gladbach – who have now lost their last seven games in a row across all competitions, their worst losing run since losing eight in a row between September and November 1989 – had a few sights of goal, but nothing that ever truly troubled the Man City defence as they breezed into the last eight.
They will now be in the hat for the Champions League quarter-final and semi-final draw on Friday, as their march towards the Istanbul final continues.
How City dismissed Gladbach
Both sides had sights of goal in the opening 10 minutes. Joao Cancelo played a sublime ball over the top for Phil Foden, but his flick was saved well by Sommer. At the other end, Breel Embolo tested Ederson from range, with his effort pinging off the leg of John Stones and forcing a fingertip save from the Man City goalkeeper.
But Man City’s superior quality started to shine through and they took the lead in emphatic fashion in the 12th minute. Mahrez darted away from two defenders before rolling the ball through for De Bruyne at the top of the area. The Belgian, on his 45th Champions League appearance, then set himself up beautifully before hammering his shot onto the underside of the crossbar and into the back of the net.
Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (7), Dias (7), Stones (7), Cancelo (7), Rodri (7), Gundogan (7), De Bruyne (8), Mahrez (7), Foden (7), Silva (7).
Subs used: Fernandinho (6), Zinchenko (6), Laporte (6), Sterling (5), Aguero (5).
Monchengladbach: Sommer (6), Lainer (7), Ginter (6), Elvedi (6), Bensebaini (6), Hofmann (6), Neuhaus (6), Zakaria (6), Stindl (7), Embolo (7), Thuram (7).
Subs used: Wolf (6), Plea (6), Traore (5), Wendt (5), Jantschke (5).
Man of the match: Kevin De Bruyne.
It’s hard to look past De Bruyne when he’s playing so well. His goal was wonderful, and he could have had another with his first-half free-kick. De Bruyne had two shots on target and made three key passes, having now been involved in 12 goals in his last 11 Champions League appearances (3 goals, 9 assists). He will be vital if Man City are to reach the final.
Soon after, it was two. Foden drove through midfield before playing a superb diagonal pass for Gundogan waiting in the box. The German drove onto it before curling the ball sweetly around the oncoming Sommer, scoring his 11th goal in all competitions since the turn of the year.
Embolo again kept Ederson occupied as the clock ticked past the half an hour mark. He held the ball up well on the left before curling a shot around Kyle Walker, but it was straight at the goalkeeper. A few minutes later, De Bruyne delivered a stunning free-kick, but Sommer made an acrobatic save to tip it over the crossbar.
7 – Manchester City are only the third team in UEFA Champions League history to keep seven consecutive clean sheets, after AC Milan (seven ending in April 2005) and Arsenal (10 ending in April 2006). Blockade. pic.twitter.com/nKOki31pcv
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 16, 2021
Mahrez had numerous chances in the second half, but could not find the third for Man City. Inside three minutes, Gundogan slid the ball into his feet, but he dragged his shot wide, despite having options on either side.
The Algerian was then thwarted twice by Sommer in quick succession. The first was pushed away by the Swiss international, but Bernardo Silva kept the loose ball alive. He picked out Mahrez again, but his cross was cleared away by Lainer. Then, some sensational build-up play from Foden saw his cut-back land to Mahrez, but his effort went straight at Sommer this time.
Gladbach had a few late efforts, but none were particularly close. Hannes Wolf fired well wide before Alassane Plea picked out Ibrahima Traore superbly inside the area, but the latter dragged his shot well wide.
The game ended with two efforts sent wide by Mahrez as City cruised into the last eight.
- Manchester City have won 24 of their last 25 matches in all competitions (L1). Since a 1-1 draw with West Brom on December 15th, City’s 24 wins are at least seven more than any other side has managed in all competitions in the top-five European leagues.
- Half of Borussia Mönchengladbach’s defeats in the UEFA Champions League have been against Manchester City, with five of their 10 defeats coming against City.
- Manchester City have now scored 100+ goals in each of their last eight seasons in all competitions, with only Manchester United (nine in a row between 2004-05 and 2012-13) having a longer run of consecutive seasons scoring 100+ goals among top-flight English teams in history.
The Champions League quarter-final and semi-final draw will take place from 11am UK time on Friday, March 19. You will be able to follow both draws with Sky Sports.
Man City are in FA Cup action at the weekend when they travel to Everton on Saturday. Monchengladbach also play on the same day, travelling to Schalke in the Bundesliga. Both games kick-off at 5.30pm.