Manchester City had goalkeeper Joe Hart to thank for a string of superb stops in the first half, including a penalty save from Raffael as Sergio Aguero’s late penalty kick-started City’s Champions League campaign as they came from behind to beat Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 in a thrilling encounter in Germany.
In a game that was bearing towards a shared point among both team, after Nicolas Otamendi’s volley looked to have rescued a point for City following Lars Stindl’s opener eight minutes into the second half, but Aguero converted from 12 yards with two minutes remaining after he was fouled by Alvaro Dominguez as Manuel Pellegrini’s team finished strongly and sealed their first win in Group D courtesy of their talisman Aguero.
The Borussians had their first sight at goal five minutes later when Raffael launched a swift counter-attack and fed Patrick Herrmann but he shot wide.
Andre Schubert’s side were given a glorious chance to opportunity to take the lead after Otamendi tripped Raffael in the box. The Brazilian took it upon himself to take the spot-kick but was brilliantly denied by Hart.
They had to rely on more heroics from Hart in the 34th minute after their defenders failed to pick up the menacing Raffael, but the England stopper stuck out a left hand to push away his effort.
The waves of home attacks continued at the start of the second half and finally Hart’s rearguard was broken on 53 minutes as the home side once again breezed through City’s defence with ease. Julian Korb made a dash down the right and picked out Stindl with a low cut-back and the midfielder’s first-time drive found the bottom corner.
Going behind was perhaps the perfect tonic for City, though. Pellegrini’s men hauled themselves level when Otamendi smashed a volley into the corner via a big deflection off on-loan Chelsea defender Marcus Christensen after Demichelis’s header had been cleared off the line despite replays showing it was clearly over.
But, as the game entered its closing minutes, Aguero’s first touch was too sharp for Dominguez and the Argentine sent Sommer the wrong way to claim a vital victory for City.
In the other game in Group D, Juventus maintained beat Sevilla 2-0 thanks to goals from Alvaro Morata and Simone Zaza.