16 march, budapest: De Bruyne and Gundogan’s super scores place man city in champions league quarter-finals with a smooth win over glaDbach while running in hope for a quadruple
Both teams were geared up at the start. 10 minutes into the game and Joao Cancelo’s ball pass to Phil Foden succeeded; however, the latter’s shot was deterred by Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer.
On the other side, Breel Embolo took his chance from range but his shot bounced off the leg of John Stones and Man City goalkeeper Ederson made it just in time to block the ball.
After that, it was a smooth ride for the Citizens. Their play of quality started to show and they led the way.
Within the 12th minute, before navigating through two defenders, Mahrez ensured his pass got to Kevin De Bruyne who was positioned at the area’s top. It was the Belgian’s moment and his powerful left-footed shot went straight onto the underside of the crossbar into the net.
This was City’s 100th goal in all the competitions of the season. The 101th was scored by IIkay Gundogan.
Upon receiving a pass from Foden, who bulldozed his way through the Gladbach defense, the German carried on ferociously to score his 15th goal of the season.
Embolo made a second attempt for Gladback; however, it was fended off. Not to be deterred, De Bruyne tried once again by delivering a spectacular free-kick but Sommer tilted it over the crossbar.
Despite his injury few months back, Bruyne is making a comeback for his team and, not surprisingly, was awarded the “Man of the Match” that day.
If Man City is in the finals, he will be required undisputedly. Incidentally, he is one of the best-attacking players in world football.
Man City Shines but No Goals in Second-half
During the beginning of the second half, City maintained its stance. Opportunities arose for Mahrez but his attempts failed despite being keen on a third for Man City.
Although the ball slipped into his feet from Gundogan’s pass, his shot came wide even with both sides open.
Sommer also made it difficult for the Algerian.
The latter’s first effort was derailed by the Gladbach keeper. In spite of Bernardo Silva saving the occasion by selecting Mahrez again, the pass was deflected by Lainer.
The second time, after Foden’s cut-back, landed for Mahrez, the Algerian tried again but Sommer received it straight on.
From Gladbach’s side, efforts were made in the latter period but not effective enough. Hannes Wolf, Alassane Plea, Ibrahima Traore, worked together, however, the team effort failed.
Marco Rose told Sky Sports: “There was lots of confidence but we have to recognize an opponent that was too strong for us.
“The team tried to do what they could. We had shots but if you allow City to have shots then you won’t get very far. We have to take chances if we get them.
“We came here with a good feeling but then we faced this quality. The lads are disappointed and there won’t seem to be any positives at the moment, but there are positives we can take for the next weeks.
“The most important thing for me, even though Man City were far superior, was the way the lads put effort into the game and stood up. It is just difficult against that team.”
Is the Quadruple in Sight for Man City?
The victory at Budapest for Man City means that if they continue with their performance they are in the running to be the first English team to win the four trophies: Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, and League Cup.
However, boss Pep Guardiola is cautious regarding how the games will play out. No matter how formidable the team is, it’s yet another story.
Pep Guardiola told BT Sport: “Sometimes it looks very easy afterward. It was a good performance, under control for 90 minutes and we arrived here with a good result [from the first leg], but this competition is tricky.
“We are so serious and after the two magnificent goals, it was easier but the way we played was really good. Everyone in their positions, we moved the ball quick… and there are a lot of good players with good quality who don’t lose the ball. That is what we need… Everyone was so committed and [we are] delighted to be in the next stage.
“But hopefully the team can maintain this mood, we can compete and especially play a good game. I believe that when you go through, you deserve it and you have to play good games so we arrive there and try to play good enough. We’ll see what happens.”
19 March: draw for the Champions League quarter-final and semi-final will be carried out