Man City will return home with one foot in the quarter-finals after notching two away goals in a comfortable victory over Borussia Monchengladbach.
Man City made a bright start and quickly gave their German counterparts all sorts of problems in the early going.
Phil Foden stung the palms of Yann Sommer with the game’s first shot in anger in what was quickly appering to be a sign of things to come.
Rodri then picked out an accurate first-time pass after the visitor’s high press forced an error playing out from the back.
The goal seemed to be at Gabriel Jesus’ mercy, but too many touches were taken as the moment came and went.
After a last-ditch tackle denied Raheem Sterling a goalscoring opportunity, the German side’s resistance was broken after a sublime cross from Joao Cancelo.
The Portuguese full-back cut inside from the left and whipped an inch-perfect ball onto the head of countryman Bernardo Silva. The playmaker did not disappoint, nodding the ball beyond Sommer to hand City a deserved 1-0 advantage.
Joao Cancelo with the perfect assist 🎯
On a plate for Bernardo Silva who heads it home at the far post! 🙌
Man City open the scoring! pic.twitter.com/klBEZSOkx1
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 24, 2021
City were cruising and periods of play began to resemble a training session as Monchengladbach failed to establish a foothold in the contest.
The remainder of the first half played out with little in the way of goalmouth action, however, much to Pep Guardiola’s frustration on the sideline.
City should’ve doubled their lead soon after the break, but Ramy Bensebaini did well to prevent a shot from Jesus after the Brazilian dawdled in a great position.
Monchengladbach then saw a rare opportunity a counter emerge. A mix-up between City’s defenders presented a three-on-two opportunity.
Denis Zakaria was tasked with providing the killer pass, but overhit his onrushing forward to spurn a golden opportunity.
The foray upfield appeared to raise their spirits, and moments later Ederson was sent scrambling as an unlikely equaliser was almost notched.
Alassane Pléa showed excellent flexibility to flick a ball delivered behind him agonisingly beyond the far post.
That miss would prove costly mere seconds later when Jesus finally found the finishing touch.
Cancelo picked out Silva at the far post in a move similar to the first goal. With the angle more acute, Silva picked out Jesus with a deft header allowing the striker to tap home from point-blank range.
🔵 Bernardo Silva 🆚 Gladbach tonight
⏱️ 29' ⚽️ First goal in the Champions League this season
⏱️ 65' 🅰️ First assist in the Champions League this season
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 24, 2021
Guardiola rung the changes as the match wore on, handing a rare appearance to Sergio Aguero along with fellow forwards Ferran Torres and Riyad Mahrez.
Monchengladbach were denied a late penalty appeal after a collision between Cancelo and Jonas Hoffman that injured the German. Replays showed the contact to be minimal and Man City survived a brief VAR check on the incident.
Man City survived a last-second scare after giving the ball away cheaply, but ultimately secured a comfortable 2-0 victory in the Round of 16 first leg.