Monchengladbach (Germany) (AFP) – Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City booked their place in the Champions League’s last 16 on Wednesday with a 1-1 draw at Borussia Moenchengladbach as both teams finished with ten men.
The point confirms City will finish second in their group with one game left.
Gladbach are confirmed in third — which means the last 32 of the Europa League — after bottom side Celtic lost 2-0 at home to Barcelona, who win Group C.
Despite having won just once in their previous six home games, Gladbach’s spirited performance at Borussia Park caused City plenty of problems.
Raffael’s goal midway through the first half was cancelled out by City’s David Silva on the stroke of half-time.
Gladbach then had captain Lars Stindl sent off on 50 minutes for a second yellow card and subsequent red.
But both sides were left with ten men for the final half an hour when City had Fernandinho dismissed for his second yellow after pulling back Raffael.
This was not a convincing display from City.
Guardiola had named a star-studded attack with Jesus Navas and Raheem Sterling playing either side of Sergio Aguero.
The Argentinian international scored a hat-trick when City beat Gladbach 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium in September.
Both Ilkay Gundogan and David Silva started in the midfield having been left out of the starting side for City’s 2-1 win at Crystal Palace last Saturday.
Gladbach were without Belgium striker Thorgan Hazard, who was left out of the squad in the squad ‘for personal reasons’.
Raffael started as the lone striker with Stindl in the attacking midfield role.
The hosts took a deserved lead on 23 minutes.
City’s John Stones, who had earlier been nutmegged by Nico Elvedi, lost possession in the air to Stindl, who charged to the edge of the box.
The ball found its way to Raffael, whose shot around the back of Sterling gave City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo no chance.
It should have been 2-0 on 32 minutes when Sweden’s Oscar Wendt found his way through the City defence, but Bravo saved from close range.
City’s best chance fell to Gundogan on 35 minutes when Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer blocked his shot from the edge of the area.
Gladbach lost Guinea winger Ibrahima Traore to injury on 40 minutes which unsettled their attack.
City drew level when Kevin de Bruyne slipped his pass to Silva, who stroked home for 1-1 just before the half-time whistle.