BUDAPEST – Bernardo Silva scored once and set up another as Manchester City eased to a 2-0 victory over Borussia Moenchengladbach in their Champions League last-16 first leg on Wednesday (Feb 24), extending their winning run to 19 games in all competitions.
City, who are unbeaten in their last 26 matches, have a huge advantage for the March 16 return leg in Manchester after Silva headed in a pinpoint Joao Cancelo cross in the 29th minute to put them in front.
The Portuguese midfielder then headed on another cross from man of the match Cancelo in the 65th minute for Gabriel Jesus to stab in.
“It was a good game for us, a good win, very important,” scorer Silva said.
“We know how tough this competition can be. You make a mistake and you’re out. So we tried to play simple, make no mistakes, control possession as we always do and create chances and score goals.”
“It was a very good game for us, but it’s not over yet,” he said.
Striker Sergio Aguero came on as a substitute after a lengthy absence from Pep Guardiola’s team, who have won their last 12 away games in all competitions, setting a new record for an English top-flight side.
The first leg was played in the Hungarian capital due to Covid-19 travel restrictions in Germany and City quickly took control of the game, circulating the ball well and looking for openings in the Gladbach defence.
Phil Foden tested keeper Yann Sommer with a crisp shot in the sixth minute but City did not have a clear scoring chance despite controlling possession until Silva’s header.
Jesus should have done much better when he benefited from a Gladbach pass back early in the first half but with only Sommer to beat he hesitated and lost possession.
The Brazilian made amends minutes later, tapping in a Silva header from yet another superb Cancelo cross.
Gladbach, who only had one attempt on target in the entire game, had their best chance through Alassane Plea’s spectacular backflick-volley just past the hour but were otherwise boxed in their own half.
“We had to face a top team and we felt it,” said Gladbach coach Marco Rose.
“But we made some mistakes even though we defended well in general terms.
“We were not clean enough against such a team. Every pass every run has to work against them.”
The Germans have now lost three of their last four games in all competitions and while City are on the cusp of a fourth straight quarter-final spot, the Germans have a mountain to climb in the return leg.