MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany: Manchester City booked a spot in the Champions League last 16 after securing a 1-1 draw at Borussia Moenchengladbach in their Group C match on Wednesday as both teams had a player sent off.
The hosts, who secured third place in the group and will go into the Europa League, took a surprise lead through Brazilian Raffael before David Silva equalised on the stroke of halftime.
Gladbach were reduced to 10 men early in the second half when captain Lars Stindl was sent off following a second booking but City’s Fernandinho also saw red 12 minutes later.
“We controlled the second half, especially after Fernandinho’s red card when we just held the ball,” City’s Ilkay Guendogan said.
“It was necessary to do that and we are through the group stage which is the most important thing.”
The result lifted second-placed City to eight points, four behind leaders Barcelona, who won 2-0 at Celtic. Gladbach are third on five, three ahead of the Scottish champions.
“Obviously we are satisfied with the result,” said Gladbach coach Andre Schubert. “It was a difficult game, a complicated one against a great team.
“We are super happy to have grabbed this point, happy that in this group we managed to finish third with a game left. At the end we did not want to risk anything.”
Fielding a formidable attack with Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Jesus Navas, City coach Pep Guardiola, back in Germany for the first time since leaving Bayern Munich in the close season, made his intentions clear from the start.
His players pressed high in the Gladbach half and controlled possession but the Germans, without a win in their last six league matches, remained disciplined.
City failed to carve out a clear scoring chance and the hosts struck on the break with Stindl charging through and laying the ball off for Raffael to fire in.
Guendogan almost equalised soon afterwards but his low shot saved by Yann Sommer.
The keeper also parried Aguero’s effort but could do nothing when unmarked David Silva slipped into the box to tap in Kevin de Bruyne’s cutback in first-half stoppage time.
Gladbach’s night took a further turn for the worse when Stindl was dismissed following a bodycheck off the ball on Nicolas Otamendi.
Fernandinho’s sending-off levelled the numbers up again and neither team were prepared to risk much for a win in the closing stages as the result suited both.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)