That game was a tough one to sit through. Despite a win needed by the German side, Gladbach never really looked interested in getting the ball back late in the game. There were some hectic moments, but overall the game seemed to lack any urgency from both sides. A 1-1 draw was enough for Guardiola’s side to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage in second place in their group.
Things looked bleak as not even halfway through the opening half John Stones was outmuscled and beaten allowing danger to occur in City’s box where the ball fell nicely to Raffael in the confusion. The Brazilian made no mistake and City were down 1-0. For the remainder of the half, the German side always looked the team more likely to score again, until a fantastic De Bruyne run and pass allowed David Silva to deflect home a tying goal in the dying minutes of the first half.
The second half saw two players sent off, one for each side, with Fernandinho sent for City. When the Brazilian was shown his red, Gladbach amped up their pressure, searching for a winning goal, but found none and by the end of the game were completely lifeless.
Below are our player ratings for the game. No City players were truly exemplarily, but some continued their impressive runs.
Claudio Bravo: 6.0
There wasn't much for the Chilean to do on the night. Surely there is no fault for the goal, but Bravo could still do a better job of commanding his box.
John Stones: 5.5
Perhaps the first poor game from Stones in awhile, the Englishman was bullied too easily at times and found himself at fault for Gladbach’s goal. Surely this is just part of the learning experience for the young defender.
Nicolas Otamendi: 6.0
The Argentine defender still shows signs of recklessness in his game, but no one can deny how strong he’s been in a City shirt. With a traditional back four, Nico tends to do better as there’s less ground for him to cover.
Aleksander Kolarov: 6.0
Kolarov is one of the first names on the team sheet at the moment, so it’s important the Serbian lives up to that expectation. He wasn’t poor in this one, but didn’t exactly light the world on fire either. He certainly prefers being part of a normal back four as well.
Not the best from City’s Brazilian ace in this one. The red card was soft, no one can deny that, but Fernandinho was riding a line the official all night. The game he misses will be of no consequence for City, thankfully the Brazilian will return for the knockout stage.
Ilkay Gundogan: 7.0
So many of Ilkay Gundogan’s best performances for City involve putting the ball in the back of the net. Despite not making the scoresheet the German midfielder was excellent in this one and with better service might have found his way on the scoresheet again.
Jesus Navas: 6.0
What Navas does well, he does really well. What Navas does poorly, is what drives City supporters to the bottle. If Navas can put it all together one day, despite being 31 years old, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with. For right now, City have themselves a pacy winger with almost no ability to provide good service.
David Silva: 7.0
The scorer of City’s only goal on the night, David Silva was very good for large portions of the game Wednesday night. There was a brief spell when the whole City teams struggled to maintain possession and win the ball, but outside of that it was a very nice game for the deputy captain.
Kevin De Bruyne 7.5 (City man of the match)
What more can be said about Kevin De Bruyne. He basically dragged City to this result by himself, and it’s not the first time that’s happened either. De Bruyne has now added making amazing parallel runs to the defense to his arsenal and looked more dangerous than ever. The Premier League should be on high alert.
Raheem Sterling: 6.0
Another very “meh” game for Raheem Sterling. He had one or two night dribbles but often lost possession whenever he brought his head up to look for a pass. Clearly more comfortable on the right, Sterling was used both on the right and the left but looked lost opposite his usual side.
Sergio Aguero: 5.5
Not a great night from Aguero. A goal might have changed the Argentine’s performance, but his final edge was lacking in this one. With Gabriel Jesus on the horizon, might Aguero be a little nervous for January to arrive?
Bacary Sagna: 6.5
Like last year, whenever Sagna plays I’m always impressed with his ability even at this stage of his career. With Zabaleta unavailable Sagna came in to sure up the back in the last half hour and did just that.