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Potential English Champions Manchester City on Tuesday cruised into the quarter-finals of the UEFA champions league with a 2-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach which sealed a 4-0 aggregate victory.
City coach Pep Guardiola is still searching for his first champions league trophy in the city after five years in after failing to ever get beyond the last eight under the Catalan in the last 3 attempts.
But the runaway Premier League leaders will get the chance to break that barrier next month as they showed why they are the bookies’ favorites for the competition with another classy performance in Budapest, which hosted both legs of the tie due to coronavirus restrictions on travel between England and Germany.
Early goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan killed off any hope of a fightback from the Germans as City recorded a 24th win in their last 25 games in all competitions.
‘What happened in the past is the past,” said Guardiola, who won the Champions League twice as coach of Barcelona but has been unable to replicate that success with Bayern Munich or City.
‘In the quarter-finals, one bad game, (a few) bad minutes can punish you.
‘Now it is the best teams in Europe. The quality every time is higher and hopefully, we can maintain this mood.’
De Bruyne and Gundogan were two of a host of first-team regulars left out by Guardiola for Saturday’s 3-0 win at Fulham and City looked refreshed in a fast start.
De Bruyne blasted in the opener from outside the box off the underside of the bar on 12 minutes.
Six minutes later a flowing move from back to front saw Phil Foden release Gundogan in behind the Gladbach defense to score his 15th goal of the season.
‘The start obviously helps a lot,’ said De Bruyne. ‘We were patient in the beginning and then scoring the two goals gives us a bit of a cover knowing they need to come out a little bit more. I think we controlled the game.’
Gladbach has now lost all seven games since manager Marco Rose announced he will be leaving the club at the end of the season to join Borussia Dortmund. Defensive frailties have been the cause of City’s previous Champions League exits under Guardiola.
They conceded six goals to Monaco over two legs in 2017, five to Liverpool a year later, four to Tottenham in 2019, and suffered a shock 3-1 defeat to Lyon last season in a one-off tie in Lisbon.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK