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Cup wins for UCL rivals City and Gladbach

Cup wins for UCL rivals City and Gladbach
Cup wins for UCL rivals City and Gladbach
Cup wins for UCL rivals City and Gladbach

* Manchester City 5-1 Crystal Palace*

Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City scored five goals for the third time this month to brush aside visitors Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium and seal their place in the last 16 of the Capital One League Cup.

After an open and engaging first 20 minutes which saw chances come and go for both sides, the Citizens seized the advantage shortly before the half-hour mark as Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony headed home powerfully from Kevin De Bruyne’s corner for his third goal in as many starts.

City’s lead was doubled moments before half time with the Belgian De Bruyne coming to the fore once more to slam home Kelechi Iheanacho’s low cross at the back post.

Palace though looked to have settled into the game after the interval and would have deservedly clawed their way back into the game had Welsh midfielder Joe Ledley not blazed over the top from close range with the score at 2-0.

As the encounter became stretched, Ledley and co. were eventually made to pay for their profligacy in front of goal as City extended their lead to three thanks to more excellent play from the 19-year old Iheanacho who showed great composure to coolly finish past Wayne Hennessey.

From then, Juve’s Group D rivals went for the kill and added a further two to their tally through Yaya Toure and youngster Manuel Garcia Alonso, either side of Damien Delaney’s consolation goal at the other end, to round off a perfect night for the 2014 champions.

Schalke 0-2 Borussia M’Gladbach

Borussia Monchengladbach meanwhile secured their second triumph in four days over local rivals Schalke, emerging 2-0 winners at the Veltins Arena.

For all of the home side’s early pressure and territorial advantage, taking 27 shots on goal to Gladbach’s ten, the Gelsenkirchen outfit were left ruing their inability to take the game beyond Andre Schubert’s men who capitalised on two individual errors to maximum effect.

The first came moments before the interval as Cameroon defender Joel Matip, who had missed a golden headed chance minutes previously, lost his footing on the halfway line to allow in-form striker Lars Stindl to race through and slot past the unprotected Michael Gspurning.

With Schalke pressing more than ever for an equaliser after the interval, the Foals struck against the run of play once more following Gspurning’s foul on Stindl as the frontman overran his touch in the penalty area.

Gladbach midfielder Thorgan Hazard cared little for the home side’s protestations, firing the resulting spot kick into the corner to seal an impressive sixth consecutive domestic victory for the Borussians who now join fellow European representatives Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen in the hat for the next round.

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