Pep Guardiola tastes victory for the first time against Andre Schubert. After rain postponed Tuesday’s fixture, Man City were ruthless, scoring four goals on the night against Gladbach.
Borussia Mönchenladbach were soundly beaten by Sergio Aguero and Manchester City in their Champions League group C opener on Wednesday night, as the Argentine struck a hat-trick in a 4-0 win.
Lining up with a three-man defense, Andre Schubert’s men afforded their hosts far too much time and space in the first-half and never looked like recovering after falling behind within ten minutes.
Aguero doubled City‘s lead from the spot before half-time before completing his hat-trick in the final quarter of an hour. By the time substitute Kelechi Iheanacho made it four in stoppage time, the Foals had long since conceded defeat.
David Silva picked up a knock in the 24 hours since Tuesday’s original fixture was postponed due to inclement weather and was replaced by German international Ilkay Gündogan who made his debut for the Blues.
Gladbach however remained unchanged and started with attacking intent in a 3-4-3 formation but they switched off defensively as early as the ninth minute. Nico Elvedi allowed Raheem Sterling time to cushion the ball back to Aleksandar Kolarov from a throw-in and his low cross was pounced upon by Aguero at the front post.
It was a classic striker’s finish from the Manchester City predator, who could have doubled his tally three minutes later. Fernandinho spotted a hole in the German midfield and found Kevin de Bruyne on the right. The Belgian crossed to Aguero in yards of space but, rather than shoot, the Argentine opted to play in Gündogan whose shot was saved.
Christoph Kramer and Mahmoud Dahoud were allowing Fernandinho far too much space in midfield and the Brazilian looked left, drawing in Elvedi before finding Sterling but the Englishman shot straight at Sommer.
In typical Guardiola style, City were pressing high but Gladbach did break dangerously in the 25th minute. Dahoud drove in from the right and found Oscar Wendt in space on the left who cut the ball back, but Raffael’s shot was deflected behind for a corner.
A second goal was inevitable however and it came just before the half hour mark. Kramer brought down Gündogan just inside the 18-yard box and Dutch referee Björn Kuipers pointed to the spot. Agüero made no mistake.
Schubert finally acted, replacing the hopelessly overwhelmed Kramer with right-back Julian Korb and switching to four at the back, as Stindl dropped deeper into midfield.
The change seemed to stem the flow somewhat. City continued to press and dominate in central areas as the second half got underway but Gladbach looked more solid, although sloppy handling from Yann Sommer almost presented Agüero with his hat-trick just before the hour mark. The Swiss stopper redeemed himself with a good save.
City seemed content to control possession in classic Guardiola fashion but chances were harder to come until the 73rd minute. The brilliant De Bruyne suddenly shifted up a gear in midfield to bypass Dahoud and thread a perfectly weighted pass into Sterling, but Sommer saved again.
The England man turned provider in the 77th minute. Receiving the ball in space in the centre, he turned and played in Agüero. Although marginally offside, the Argentinian made no mistake and rounded Sommer to complete his hat-trick.
Substitute Iheanacho completed the scoring in injury time by which time it was clear that Tuesday night’s Manchester weather had merely postponed the Foals‘ fate.