Manchester City 2-0 (Agg 4-0) Borussia Mönchengladbach: City ease through to Champions League quarter-finals
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - MARCH 16: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Manchester City and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Puskas Arena on March 16, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. Manchester City face Borussia Moenchengladbach at a neutral venue in Budapest behind closed doors to prevent the spread of Covid-19 variants. (Photo by Manchester City FC/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Both sides were desperate for a win on Tuesday night, with Manchester City looking to finally stamp their mark on the Champions League.

Borussia Mönchengladbach were looking for their first win in eight matches in all competitions, losing to the likes of FC Köln, FC Augsburg, and Man City in the reverse fixture of this game.

City, however, were back in-form following their loss in the Manchester derby with eight goals scored and only two conceded in two games and were yet to concede in 10 hours of European football.

Could Mönchengladbach spot a weakness in City after the one game that broke up their record-winning streak?

Story of the match

Within minutes of the first whistle, it was evident that both sides would be closing down and defending from the front for the whole night. But who could keep it up the longest?

It was City who had the first real chance. Phil Foden had his hands on his head as the youngster could have put his childhood team a goal up just after five minutes. The midfielder flicked Joao Cancelo's lofted pass towards the bottom corner but saw his effort smartly batted away by Yann Sommer.

It was the away team's turn to attack next, causing Ederson to pull out a cat-like save, denying Breel Embolo - and Mönchengladbach - an easy way back into this tie.

Despite the best efforts of the German side, Kevin De Bruyne sent City's 100th goal in all competitions this season flying into the back of the net, kissing the underside of the crossbar before nestling in the top corner. Marco Rose's side had a long match ahead of them now.

İlkay Gündoğan got in on the scoring act moments later, as a Foden through-ball opened up the Mönchengladbach defence, leaving the German midfielder to sweep the ball past Sommer - game, set, match?

Beautiful build-up play in the City midfield almost led to a Gündoğan second before the half-hour mark, but the Swiss goalkeeper stopped him in his tracks before being able to apply the finishing touch.

Although the aggregate scoreline was not a pretty sight for the Mönchengladbach fans, their side was not lying down for City. The German side were still fighting and sticking to their tactic of passing their way up the pitch. City were yet to open up though, with Ederson making only his second save of the night.

Embolo had another chance to get his team into this game, as the Swiss striker flashed his shot across the goalmouth. It just did not seem like his night. The half-time team talks will have been at opposite ends of the spectrum after the first 45 minutes.

February Player of the Month, Riyad Mahrez, was inches from closing the door on the German side three minutes into the second half but saw his scuffed shot dribble narrowly wide.

The tables were beginning to turn, however, and it was the turn of the men in blue to defend. Confusion at the corner required quick thinking from Ruben Dias before a Mönchengladbach player could poke home. 

After a dip in play, Mahrez was denied twice in quick succession by Sommer and was also berated by substitute Oleksandr Zinchenko, who felt he had a better position to get his name on the scoresheet on the Algerian's first attempt.

With 15 minutes remaining, the important substitutes to note were that of Raheem Sterling and Sergio Agüero, who were both almost involved straight away, if not for a poorly timed slip from Sterling.

The minutes on the pitch were important for both, with Agüero still working his way back up to full fitness following his goal against Fulham at the weekend, and with Sterling not being able to find his form in recent games (and being left out of the squad altogether for the trip to Craven Cottage).

Since the substitutions were made, both sides took time to adapt, making for a rather lack-luster last 10 minutes. City were able to grind out the game to see them go through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. 

Man of the Match - Kevin De Bruyne

The moment of the match was the rocket from De Bruyne, a powerful shot into the top left corner from outside the box. The shot left Sommer with absolutely no chance, setting the tone for the rest of the night.

Not only did the Belgian's goal put City further ahead of Mönchengladbach in the tie, but his non-stop work ethic kept the rest of Pep Guardiola's men pushing until the final minute. 

The game was realistically won inside the first 20 minutes and was put out of reach of the German side. However, City were relentless all night and De Bruyne's energy was contagious, an extremely visible change from his first few games after coming back from injury.

Form is temporary, but class is permanent.

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