01.10.2015 12:30 - in: Champions League S

    Juve top Group D, City off the mark

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    Sergio Aguero’s late penalty gives City their first win in Champions League Group D to go level on points with Sevilla, three adrift of early leaders Juve. Back-to-back defeats for Gladbach

    While Juventus sealed a second consecutive Champions League victory over Sevilla, Manchester City had their goalkeeper Joe Hart to thank for last night’s dramatic 2-1 away win over Borussia Monchengladbach, their first of the European campaign.

    Having been victims of a late comeback themselves at the Etihad Stadium two weeks ago, Manuel Pellegrini’s men overturned Lars Stindl’s opener early in the second half through Nicolas Otamendi’s strike and Sergio Aguero’s penalty two minutes from time to join Sevilla on three points.  

    Though the visitors dominated possession against their German opponents, both sides’ natural attacking instincts made for an entertaining affair at Borussia Park and were it not for Hart’s heroics, pulling off fabulous saves from Raffael’s penalty and Patrick Hermann’s close-range effort, the Citizens would have been facing a two-goal deficit at the interval. 

    City dominated possession but could have easily lost the game (Source: Opta)

    After the break though, the floodgates opened as three goals in the last half an hour brought the tie to life. Having made the more presentable opportunities in the opening 45, it was the hosts who struck first as Lars Stindl rounded off a clinical Borussia passing move, sliding home from Julian Korb’s precise centre.

    The lead did not last long though as City were back on level terms within 10 minutes. Kevin De Bruyne’s accurate corner fell to Martin Demichelis whose instinctive flick towards goal was controversially cleared off the line by Korb.

    In the confusion that followed Nicolas Otamendi pounced to volley home from 15 yards via a hefty deflection off Chelsea loanee Andreas Christensen.

    With the encounter heading for a draw, Andre Schubert’s men conceded a ninth penalty in seven games to give City a golden chance to take a massive win back to Manchester.

    Having been fouled in the box, Sergio Aguero dusted himself down to convert from the spot to snatch all three points in a pulsating tie in which, on balance, a share of the spoils had seemed the most likely outcome.

    weekend action

    Despite that last gasp defeat, Andre Schubert’s Gladbach will turn their attentions towards picking up a third consecutive Bundesliga triumph as they host Wolfsburg on Saturday, also beaten by English opposition in Europe during the week losing 2-1 against Manchester United.

    Elsewhere, Unai Emery’s Sevilla face a second big game in four days as Wednesday’s visitors to Juventus Stadium take on Barcelona at the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan in a repeat of August’s UEFA Super Cup final, Barcelona prevailing 5-4 on that occasion.

    Finally, Manchester City will be looking to bounce back from two consecutive league defeats to West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur in recent weeks as the Citizens welcome Newcastle United to the Etihad Stadium.

    Wins for all four teams in Group D would be just the ticket ahead of the looming international break. 

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