Manchester City’s opening game against Borussia Monchengladbach finally got underway after a 24hr delay due to treacherous weather conditions. The match was officially postponed 19 minutes from kick-off time after a breakdown of the metro link and the unplayable ground conditions aligned with the safety issues regarding spectators. But the teams had to adjust to the changed timings and City made a solitary change from the squad list yesterday with Silva being replaced by debutant Ilkay Gundogan with the official line for the replacement being touted as ‘a precaution’.
But it was business as usual on the pitch for Pep Guardiola’s boys as they completely dominated a one-sided encounter which ended 4-0 thanks largely to the heroics of their goalkeeper. Sergio Aguero scored his hattrick with Iheanacho adding one at the end.
We take a look at how the City players fared in their first match of the Champions League
CLAUDIO BRAVO: 7/10
Hardly had anything to do. Made a smart save down on his left during the end of the first half, but that was about it. Was comfortable with the ball at his feet, with no pressure on him whatsoever.
PABLO ZABALETA: 7/10
Comfortable at the back. Was solid with anything he had to deal with, which was very little.
NICOLAS OTAMENDI: 8/10
Strong and assertive once again. Was impeccable in his tackling and showed his developing range of passing.
JOHN STONES: 8/10
Equally impressive as his defensive partner. Moved a lot into the midfield in the 2nd half and showed great control and adventure going forward. Rock at the back.
ALEKSANDAR KOLAROV: 8/10
Seems unrecognisable from last season. Carried on his renaissance brilliantly. Moved into advanced midfield during the latter stages. Seemed comfortable there as well.
City’s all-weather man. Reliable in possession and extremely hardworking. Dropped into defence as the match wore on letting the likes of Stones express themselves.
ILKAY GUNDOGAN: 8/10
Excellent debut for the former Borussia Dortmund man. Showed glimpses of what is to come and almost got a goal on debut.
JESUS NAVAS: 7/10
Nothing extraordinary from the Spaniard. Did his job well in tracking back and delivered a few good crosses.
RAHEEM STERLING: 8/10
Ran the right-back ragged all game and should have scored a goal, if not more. Will have to work on his finishing but looks a much-improved player from last season.
KEVIN DE BRUYNE: 8.5/10
Played the whole match and looked the best creative player on the pitch. Showed excellent drive and desire to win the ball back. Excellent back to back games.
SERGIO AGUERO: 9.5/10
Another typical Sergio Aguero performance. Clinical in front of goal but on an even better day could have scored at least 5 goals. There was an injury scare but will be fine with the enforced rest.
GAEL CLICHY: 6/10
Came on late. Had little o do.
LEROY SANE: 7/10
Showed his quick feet and looks extremely promising. Did some good work in the box to provide Iheanacho with the assist for the 4th goal.
KELECHI IHEANACHO: 7/10
Came on late but still notched up a goal. Will look to carry good form into the coming weekend.