Manchester City qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League with a hard-fought and barely deserved draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach. The result means City now qualifies as group runners-up with one game to spare.
After dropping points against Celtic and the heavy defeat at the Camp Nou, the main objective for Pep Guardiola was to advance through the group stages as rapidly as possible.
“I’m so happy to be there [in the knock-out phase],” Guardiola said. “The first part of the season is so important, to qualify for the next round. We did it – and now we can focus on the Premier League.”
Guardiola recently commented City will have played eight more games than Chelsea and Liverpool by the end of the Champions League group stage and so to have qualification in the bag is a huge boost. The manager will have the luxury of making wholesale changes for the Celtic game and thus keep the big guns fresh for the significant impending league games against Chelsea (Dec 3rd) and Arsenal (Dec 18th).
Our manager also commented that he did not expect to see “his perfect City in November in his first season” so he will be relieved to be only one point off the top of the Premier League and safely through to the next stage of the Champions League.
The focus now switches to the Premier League and Burnley, and after getting only two points from a possible nine from our last three post-Champions League games, a win is imperative in preparation for the top of the table clash with Chelsea in a couple of weeks.