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Borussia Dortmund

Pep Guardiola may need to rethink Manchester City ban after ruthless Gladbach display – David McDonnell


Pep Guardiola may have banned talk of the quadruple.

But with Manchester City in such irresistible form, it is easy to see why his Manchester City players are happy to talk up the prospect.

Guardiola took a dim view of Oleksandr Zinchencko claiming City can scoop an unprecedented haul of all four trophies available this season.

But this ruthless demolition of Monchengladbach showed why City are favourites to win the Champions League for the first time, with the Premier League title theirs and the FA Cup and EFL Cup within their grasp.

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City have scored 17 goals in eight Champions League games this season and have not conceded since the 14th minute of their opening group game, a 3-1 win over Porto, back in October.

If this tie was not over after the first ‘away’ leg, with City leading 2-0, it certainly was after 18 minutes here, Guardiola’s side scoring twice to end any hope of the most unlikely of comebacks from their German opponents.

Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City (C) celebrates with teammates
Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City (C) celebrates with teammates

Guardiola again chose to start without a recognised striker, despite having Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero available, with Kevin De Bruyne operating as a false nine.

City conjured the first chance after six minutes, Joao Cancelo – who set up both goals in the first leg – playing an exquisite lofted ball over the top of the Monchengladbach defence for Phil Foden.

Foden took the ball first time but the contact was not clean, allowing Yann Sommer enough time to get down low to his right and scoop the goalbound effort clear.

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola
Guardiola has banned talk of the quadruple, but his side look awesome right now

Monchengladbach were afforded a chance of their own two minutes later, when Breel Embolo’s defected shot almost caught out Ederson, who was alert enough to palmed the ball away.

But it was City who took the lead in the 12 minute, De Bruyne allowing the ball to run across onto his left foot before unleashing a thunderous shot which gave Sommer no chance, crashing in off the underside of the bar.

The goal was City’s 100 in all competitions this season, the quality and ferocity of the strike some way to bring up their century.

It was 2-0 six minutes later, Foden executing a clever turn before embarking on a surging run and finding Ilkay Gundogan, who took one touch before applying an assured finish for his 15th goal of the season.

Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City celebrates
Another goal for Ilkay Gundogan

Despite having killed the tie before the midway point of the first-half, Guardiola’s players were in no mood to go easy on their beleaguered opponents, who had no answer to City’s brilliance.

Gundogn should have made it 3-0 in the 26 minute, Riyad Mahrez clipping the ball over the top, in what was almost a carbon copy of the second goal.

On this occasion, however, Gundogan’s first touch was loose, allowing Sommer to nullify the goalscoring threat.

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Monchengladbach had fleeting chances, notably five minutes before the break, when Embolo steered the ball just wide.

City saw out the game, the lead affording Guardiola the luxury of making the full quota of five subs, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Everton in the FA Cup, the next step in the quest for the quadruple.

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