Manchester City kicked off their Champions League group stage campaign with a very good 4-0 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Wednesday night at Etihad Stadium. Sergio Agüero (3) and Kelechi Iheanacho scored City's goals in a match totally dominated by the hosts for 90 minutes.
From the very start the Citizens established dominance, with Pep Guardiola's side having plenty of possession and forcing Gladbach to defend close to their box. Sergio Agüero needed just ten minutes to score his first goal of the match, and fifteen minutes later buried a penalty to double the Citizens' lead.
The rest of the first half featured City totally controlling the game and stopping Gladbach from creating any meaningful chances, with Claudio Bravo needing to make just one routine save late in the first period. At halftime, a good lead, a very impressive performance, and the Citizens had the game in the bag.
City had trouble maintaining their dominance in virtually every game this season, struggling to keep control of the ball and playing on the back foot for the second half in almost every match. This was not the case this time around, however. City were in complete control in the final period, keeping possession in midfield and using the offense as defense, not allowing Gladbach to create chances and staying safe throughout the final 45 minutes.
Agüero then scored another goal to complete his hat-trick, and City found the third to end the match at the Etihad, that still had a goal from Kelechi Iheanacho in the last minute. A fantastic performance full of goals, possession and control that will please Pep Guardiola, and City look incredibly strong.
Man City: Bravo | Zabaleta, Stones, Otamendi, Kolarov | Fernandinho | Navas, De Bruyne, Gundogan (Clichy), Sterling (Sané) | Agüero (Iheanacho)
Goals: Agüero (9', 27', 76'), Iheanacho (90')
Gladbach: Sommer | Elvedi, Christensen, Strobl | Johnson, Kramer (Korb), Dahoud, Wednt | Hahn (Hazard), Stindl (Traoré), Raffel
1 - Ilkay Gundogan's debut was sensational
The German midfielder made his first appearance as a Citizen and had a masterful performance. Gundogan bossed midfield, displaying his best qualities as a passer and controlling the tempo of the match to avoid Gladbach from enjoying moments of dominance. His first half performance was especially great, and he had a solid final period to make a very good first impression in his debut.
2 - Pep Guardiola Era Sergio Agüero is scary
After missing the Manchester Derby through suspension, Agüero returned to the pitch against Gladbach and was once again fantastic, scoring a hat-trick and increasing his early season tally to nine goals in just six appearances. Agüero has always been a fantastic striker, the best in the Premier League since arriving in England, but he has been on fire since Guardiola arrived. Pep's system creates more chances since the team is always looking to attack, and Agüero has more opportunities to score than ever before. For a guy as insanely efficient as he is, that means lots and lots of goals.
3 - Fernandinho is an exceptional footballer
The Brazilian was once again perfect on Wednesday, combining speed, awareness and defensive prowess to make great decisions all the time. He was everywhere on the pitch, made last-second tackles, played great short and long passes, and controlled the game almost by himself at times. He's had no trouble adapting to Pep Guardiola's system and has been without a doubt the best player for City so far this season, and is playing the football of his life in the first two months of the Pep Era. Nobody thought he was this good, maybe not even Fernandinho himself.