Manchester City 4-0 Borussia Monchengladbach: Sergio Aguero hat-trick rounds off disappointing trip for the Germans
Sergio Aguero struck three times as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City beat Borussia Monchengladbach at the Etihad.
It was the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager’s first match in charge of the Citizens in Europe – but he had to wait 24 hours after Tuesday’s postponement.
The Argentinian striker – currently serving a ban in the Premier League – opened the scoring after nine minutes before doubling the home side’s lead after 28 minutes from the spot.
Raheem Sterling was the provider as Aguero completed his hat-trick in the second half, rounding goalkeeper Yann Sommer, before Kelechi Iheanacho made it four with minutes left on the clock.
A couple of hundred away fans waited in England to stay for the rescheduled match, but their parade was rained on…not for the first time this week.
It was another highly convincing performance by City, who did not even seem to get into top gear as they cruised to a seventh successive win under Guardiola.
City, much like last weekend’s derby against Manchester United, were superb in the first half, with their movement quick and passing crisp and this time maintained their domination for longer.
Ilkay Gundogan, making his debut after David Silva dropped out of the side named for the original game as a precaution, immediately looked the part. The German, playing his first game since suffering a knee injury in April, drove City forward and linked well with Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.
City wasted no time in taking the lead, with Aleksandar Kolarov driving a good low ball into the box and Aguero pouncing in typically clinical fashion from close range.
Further damage seemed likely as Fernandinho released De Bruyne with an incisive through ball and Aguero teed-up Gundogan but goalkeeper Yann Sommer beat away his shot.
Gundogan then turned provider for Sterling but Sommer took the sting out of the England winger’s drive and Tobias Strobl cleared.
Aguero gave City a scare when he seemed to suffer a knee injury after a collision with Nico Elvedi but he opted to continue after treatment.
His decision was soon vindicated with a second goal as he struck from the spot after Gundogan was tripped on the edge of the area by Christoph Kramer.
Borussia were being completely outplayed and coach Andre Schubert took Kramer off after 38 minutes.
The visitors then enjoyed their best spell with Lars Strindl bringing a good save out of Claudio Bravo just before the interval.
City went back on the offensive after the break and confusion in the Borussia box handed Aguero a chance but Sommer palmed over the crossbar. De Bruyne also tested the keeper with a low drive.
Sterling seemed certain to make it 3-0 after being sent clear by De Bruyne but delayed his shot and Sommer blocked.
But Aguero was not to be denied his hat-trick and showed great composure to guide the ball around Sommer and tap home.
He was replaced seven minutes from time to a huge ovation and his replacement Iheanacho rifled in a fourth in time added on.