In addition to serving as a source of income, the fans who filled stadiums before the pandemic forced their players with the ancestral urgency of mass threats. Threat of contempt, of boo, of sentimental reckoning, if not physical, emotional pressure also guaranteed tense matches. Without people in the stands rarefied spectacles emerged. Heartless like this meeting that UEFA organized in Budapest and to which the Borussia Mönchengladbach footballers came as forced to exhibit what seemed like a more or less undisguised indifference so that their Manchester City colleagues painted their faces with little resistance. The match — resolved without a single card, with two crossed legs from Cancelo and as many interventions from Bernardo Silva at the far post — was unidirectional. It does not seem that this crossing reserves any emotion.
It has been more than 40 years that Mönchengladbach had not played a European Cup qualifier. He had never crossed paths with City. UEFA announced a historic event. But the game will not be remembered for anything other than the uncontested superiority of the English team, owner of the ball for more than 60% of the time and invariable occupant of the rival field. It was enough for the City to weave its fabric of interiors and extremes to dissuade its counterpart that all resistance would be in vain. At the forefront of the battle was Bernardo Silva, the undisputed director of the team that already has 19 consecutive victories. Turning to the left, organizer in the middle, dribbler forward or finisher in the small area, the Portuguese left his stamp of consistency. It is excellent everywhere and at all times. In the Cup, in the Premier, or in the Champions.
B. MGladbach Sommer, Ginter, Stefan Lainer (Lazaro, min. 62), Elvedi, Rami Bensebaini, Christoph Kramer, Denis Zakaria, Florian Neuhaus, Stindl (Embolo, min. 73), Alassane Plea (Marcus Thuram, min. 62) and Jonas Hofmann (Hannes Wolf, min. 86) M. CityEderson Moraes, Walker, Cancelo, Laporte, Rúben Dias, Gündogan, Sterling (Mahrez, min. 68), Bernardo Silva, Foden (Ferrán Torres, min. 79), Rodrigo and Gabriel Jesus (Aguero, min. 79) Goals0-1 min. 28: Bernardo Silva. 0-2 min. 64: Gabriel Jesus. Referee Artur Manuel Soares Dias
A training match between City and City B would have been more exciting. You only had to see the visiting bench to see it: De Bruyne, Agüero, Stones, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Ferran Torres, Mendy, Mahrez … If Mönchengladbach had any chance to face their opponent, it was based on energy, enthusiasm, physical strength and discipline. Everything that discouraged teams bypass. Gladbach were coming off a murky week
The announcement that coach Marco Rose had signed for Dortmund, his direct rival in the fight for Champions League spots in the Bundesliga, sparked the kind of mild controversy that the football industry it digests quickly but that in other areas are condemned for being conflicts of interest. The news that their leader was leaving with the enemy should not have stimulated the Gladbach squad. Demonstrations by fans calling for Rose's dismissal spread. Defeated on Saturday (1-2) by the penultimate classified Mainz, the team showed a moral collapse on the eve of hosting City. The 0-1 was proof of this.
In the 29th minute Kramer, the midfielder, gave the ball to Cancelo. The full-back armed his right hand without anyone bothering him much and his center to the left of goalkeeper Sommer was exploited by Bernardo Silva. The little ten headed for goal without the burly Elvedi seeing him coming. The 0-1 was amazing. The 0-2 was identical, only Silva assisted with his head and Gabriel Jesus finished off.