David Silva’s sole strike before the break was enough for Manchester City to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 1-1 draw at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday.
Both sides finished with 10 men as `Gladbach captain Lars Stindl and City defender Fernandinho were both shown their second yellow cards for tactical fouls in the second half.
The draw took City to eight points in Group C, four behind Barcelona, which qualified with a 2-0 win at Celtic. City is assured of second place due to its head-to-head record against Moenchengladbach, which is three points behind and assured of Europa League participation in third place.
The German side had been struggling of late, winless in its last four games including the disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Celtic, but Andre Schubert’s side started well in front of its vocal fans.
Fabian Johnson tried his luck before Stindl shrugged off John Stones and cut the ball back for Raffael to blast past the despairing Claudio Bravo midway through the half. It was the Brazilian’s first Champions League goal of the season and a deserved lead for the home side.
Back in Germany following his summer move from Borussia Dortmund, Ilkay Gundogan drew a fine save from Yann Sommer as City sought a response.
Oscar Wendt then surged past two defenders at the other end only for Bravo to come to the visitors’ rescue.
City finished the half strongly. Sergio Aguero should have equalized when he shot too close to Sommer, but there was still time before the break for Silva to poke home Kevin De Bruyne’s cross from close range after Raheem Sterling sent the Belgian through on the right.
Sterling had another goal ruled out after the break, just before Stindl was sent off for a shoulder-block on Nicolas Otamendi.
City’s numerical advantage was canceled when Fernandinho was shown his second yellow for a foul on Raffael in the 63rd.
Silva had another goal ruled out for offside but there were few complaints with a draw suiting both sides.