Champions League

Aguero triple gives City belated lift-off

2016-09-14 23:00
Sergio Aguero (TEAMtalk)

Manchester - Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick as Manchester City outclassed Borussia Moenchengladbach 4-0 in their rearranged Champions League opener at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

The game had been carried over from Tuesday due to a thunderstorm and Aguero made up for lost time with his second treble of the campaign after his hat-trick against Steaua Bucharest in the play-off round.

Aguero, currently serving a domestic ban, struck twice in the first half and once in the second before giving way to Kelechi Iheanacho, who netted City's fourth.

It gave Pep Guardiola a handsome victory in his first group-phase game as City manager.

With his former club Barcelona, as well as Celtic, lying in wait in Group C, Guardiola had warned his players that a strong start in the competition was imperative.

City reached the semi-finals for the first time last season, while Guardiola, who has won all seven of his games at the helm to date, is bidding to win the tournament for a third time.

It was a third successive defeat against City for Andre Schubert's Gladbach, who lost twice to the English side in last season's group stage.

After Tuesday's postponement, Gladbach left tongue-in-cheek letters of apology to the bosses of the fans who stayed on in Manchester for an extra day on the seats in the away section.

The only change to the two teams announced for Tuesday's game was City's inclusion of Ilkay Gundogan in place of David Silva, who was rested "as a precautionary measure".

Having been sidelined by a knee injury since signing from Borussia Dortmund for 20 million pounds ($26.5 million, 23.5 million euros), it was Gundogan's first outing in a City shirt.

City attacked the game in a manner akin to their slick first-half display in Saturday's 2-1 win at Manchester United and it took them less than nine minutes to go in front.

Aleksandar Kolarov fizzed a cross into the box from the left and Aguero darted in front of Andreas Christensen to stab home and end a five-game Champions League scoring drought.

Visiting goalkeeper Yann Sommer saved sharply from Gundogan after an incisive move involving Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne and Aguero, while Fernandinho shot narrowly wide.

Gundogan won the penalty that brought City's second goal when he was caught on the back of the leg by Christoph Kramer, although contact may have occurred just outside the box.

Aguero sent Sommer the wrong way, taking his tally for the campaign to eight goals in all competitions.

Sommer also had to beat away a shot from Gundogan, but Gladbach improved after Schubert sacrificed Kramer for Julian Korb and switched from a back three to a back four.

A spectator up to that point, City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo got down smartly just before half-time to parry a crisp Lars Stindl effort.

City initially had to work a bit harder for their chances in the second half.

But the hosts raised their level with 15 minutes remaining and after Sommer had pulled off sharp saves to thwart Raheem Sterling and Aguero, the pair combined for City's third in the 77th minute.

Sterling's pass down the inside-left channel took Korb out of the game and Aguero rounded Sommer before rolling in his hat-trick goal.

Leroy Sane came on for his home debut and made a quick impression by teeing up Iheanacho to smash home in stoppage time.

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Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Celtic v Bayern Munchen, Celtic Park 21:45
Sporting CP v Juventus, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Atletico Madrid v Qarabag, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:45
Manchester United v Benfica, Old Trafford 21:45
PSG v Anderlecht, Parc des Princes 21:45
Basel v CSKA Moskva, St. Jakob-Park 21:45
Olympiakos Piraeus v Barcelona, Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki 21:45
Roma v Chelsea, Stadio Olimpico 21:45
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Besiktas v Monaco, Vodafone Stadyumu 19:00
Liverpool v Maribor, Anfield 21:45
Porto v RB Leipzig, Estadio Do Dragao 21:45
Sevilla v Spartak Moskva, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v Feyenoord, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v APOEL, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:45
Napoli v Manchester City, Stadio San Paolo 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid, Wembley Stadium 21:45
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Sevilla v Liverpool, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Manchester City v Feyenoord, Etihad Stadium 21:45
APOEL v Real Madrid, Neo GSP 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham Hotspur, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:45
Monaco v RB Leipzig, Stade Louis II. 21:45
Napoli v Shakhtar Donetsk, Stadio San Paolo 21:45
Wednesday, 22 November 2017
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CSKA Moskva v Benfica, VEB Arena 19:00
Juventus v Barcelona, Allianz Stadium 21:45
Sporting CP v Olympiakos Piraeus, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Atletico Madrid v Roma, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:45
PSG v Celtic, Parc des Princes 21:45
Basel v Manchester United, St. Jakob-Park 21:45
Anderlecht v Bayern Munchen, Stade Constant Vanden Stock 21:45
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Bayern Munchen v PSG, Allianz-Arena 21:45
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Manchester United v CSKA Moskva, Old Trafford 21:45
Olympiakos Piraeus v Juventus, Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki 21:45
Roma v Qarabag, Stadio Olimpico 21:45
Chelsea v Atletico Madrid, Stamford Bridge 21:45
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Liverpool v Spartak Moskva, Anfield 21:45
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Maribor v Sevilla, Ljudski vrt 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:45
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Tottenham Hotspur v APOEL, Wembley Stadium 21:45
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