Manchester City's EDS started their Premier League International Cup campaign off with a hard-fought draw at home to tough opposition in the form of Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Their opponents started proceedings off with pace and purpose, and got their just reward for that - eight minutes into the evening's action. A well-worked move was clinically finished off by Michel Leider on the edge of the box, with Angus Gunn scrambling to his far corner in a failed attempt to deny the midfielder. They were unlucky not to have doubled their lead shortly afterwards; Gianluca Rizzo weaved his way past Ellis Plummer at the back but his effort goalwards curled inches wide of the post.
City were down, but certainly not out
City were down but by no means out of the encounter, and at one-nil needed to settle before they conceded again. David Faupala, 18, was encouraging especially in the early going as he looked intent on causing all sorts of problems for the Mönchengladbach backline. Then just a few minutes later, Patrick Vieira and his talented youngsters had something to celebrate.
Faupala won a free-kick on the edge of the area, which always spells trouble. Bersant Celina whipped an inviting delivery into the area, and some quick link-up play resulted in a well-worked equaliser. Thierry Ambrose evaded his marker, before heading the ball back into the path of midfielder Kean Bryan, who in turn flicked the ball into the path of Ellis Plummer - who seemingly had no trouble slotting home from close range.
Citizens took advantage of momentum
From then on, the young Citizens established a real foothold in the game. At the half-time interval, the scores were level but more importantly, City took advantage of the equaliser to settle themselves on the ball with neat passing spells and they effectively utilised possession too. The goal itself was against the run of play, which Mönchengladbach would have undoubtedly felt hard done by - but no City fans were complaining.
Faupala came close with an effort, a few minutes into the second-half. After some encouraging work on the flank by Jorge Intima, the teenage Frenchman was just lacking the finishing touch as he saw his effort narrowly flash away from goal.
At the other end, Gunn was forced into making an important reaction save to deny substitute Mario Rodriguez from adding Gladbach's second - and rather notably, the introduction of Brandon Barker just after the hour mark helped to add another dimension for City going forward. The talented English teenager almost created a cracking goal for himself, weaving past four players on a mazy dribble before the final touch was cleared to safety in the end.
With the clock ticking down, Gladbach applied yet more pressure but the young sky Blues held firm for a hard-fought draw; although they could have easily snatched all three points too. City host Sunderland in their second group game of the competition, Wednesday of next week. After that, they'll only have La Liga side Athletic Bilbao left.