Man City into last 16 with another lacklustre away display
David Silva scores and Fernandinho sees red as City make the Champions League knockout stages without an away win
Borussia Monchengladbach 1 Manchester City 1
City secured their progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League for the fourth year in a row with an uninspiring draw in Germany, in which saw both sides scored and had a player sent off.
As for City's chances of getting beyond the last 16, on the evidence of last night's display they'll struggle with their defence once more looking fragile as they conceded an eighth away goal in three European matches, against the team that lies 14th in the Bundesliga.
Pep Guardiola's men have failed to win any of their away group matches, drawing with Celtic and losing to Barcelona, and it's a flaw that will have to be addressed if they want to be taken seriously as Champions League contenders.
"I know how hard it is to win away from home, we have to be so, so happy because some big teams will not be in the second round," Guardiola said,. "Hopefully we can do well and qualify for the quarter-finals."
Monchengladbach took the lead midway through the first half when Raffael lashed a rising drive past Claudio Bravo, but David Silva levelled just before the break as he profited from Kevin de Bruyne's low cross.
The second half was notable for the dismissal of Monchengladbach skipper Lars Stindl on 51 minutes and the expulsion of Fernandinho just after the hour mark when he earned a second yellow for pulling back Raffael. Neither side seemed interested in exploiting the greater space in the final half hour, however, and the match petered out as City made sure of their point.
With Celtic losing 2-0 at home to Barcelona, the draw at Borussia Park was enough to secure City second place in Group C behind the Spanish club. Barca will finish top of the group whatever the results from the final round of matches next month, and although Monchengladbach are only three points behind City, they cannot finish above them.
Guardiola came into the post-match press conference beaming, having heard that his former club Bayern Munich had suffered a shock 3-2 defeat against Rostov, a result that means the German champions will finish second in their group. "In the last 16, all the teams will be tough," explained Guardiola. "Bayern Munich, for example, are also second. The team who gets them is going to suffer and I’m glad we won’t play them."
Asked to analyse his side's performance, Guadiola described himself as "satisfied", adding: "These players and this club are so new in Europe and every time we play a game like this we improve. We have to go to Europe and play in the same way. In some minutes we believed it, in others we didn't, but we are there and that is why we are so happy."