Our 3️⃣ points after Manchester City dominate Gladbach in Budapest

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OneFootball

Dan Burke

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Manchester City took a sizeable step towards the Champions League quarter-final courtesy of a comfortable victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Wednesday.

B. M‘Gladbach 0
Manchester City 2
Full time

Here are three points of interest from the Puskás Aréna …


The Portugeezers

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João Cancelo has been one of the finest performers in all of Europe this season, and he had an excellent game again here.

The versatile full-back has often been deployed as a kind of roaming right-back/defensive midfielder/attacking midfielder and his disruptive influence has caused havoc in the Premier League.

But with Kyle Walker picked at right-back tonight, Cancelo played left-back instead, and it was him checking inside onto his right foot and delivering a sublime pass over the top that created the first goal.

Cancelo’s compatriot Bernardo Silva was the man who applied the finishing touch to score a rare headed goal, continuing his own personal renaissance this season.

Pep Guardiola has been lucky to have numerous players regularly giving him 8s and 9s out of 10 performances this season, and his Portuguese stars (including Rúben Dias) have been a credit to their nation.


Is Gladbach’s Rose wilting?

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This result means Gladbach have now gone four matches without a win in all competitions. It’s difficult to see them turning this tie around in the second leg and the way things are going, they might struggle to qualify for European football again next season.

It’s not the ideal way for Marco Rose’s tenure at the club to end, and it doesn’t bode brilliantly for his move to Borussia Dortmund next season.

In an interview with the Guardian before this game, Rose described his style of football as: “Moving the ball fast, moving the opponents; winning it back in the shortest possible time if we lose it. Playing clever, playing hard, not just for the gallery. Always convinced about every teammate, and always with the belief that we have a chance to win against anyone.”

There wasn’t a great deal of that in this game and though they improved slightly in the second half, they appeared to lack belief for much of the game and rarely troubled Ederson in the City goal.

To be fair, they were up against one of the best teams in the world on current form, and they were also dealt the unfortunate hand of having to play their home leg of the tie in a neutral stadium.

But City were expecting a tough test from the Bundesliga side, and it was a bit too comfortable.


Could this finally be City’s year?

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Make that 19 wins on the bounce in all competitions and 26 unbeaten for Guardiola’s men.

The Premier League title is already pretty much in the bag and both domestic cups are well up for grabs.

But could City finally go one better and get their hands on the Champions League this year?

This could be their best chance to date.

They are operating on a higher level than every other team in Europe at this moment in time, and matches taking place behind closed doors feel like they are essentially being played under laboratory conditions, allowing City to shut out the noise and focus only on their football.

There’s still work to be done in this tie but if they do a professional job in the second leg, they have no reason to fear anybody in the quarter-final draw.

We’re not saying the quadruple is on, but it could be a long time before the stars align for an English club quite like this again.