De Bruyne: We killed the game after red card
MAN CITY 1
(David Silva 45+1)
Kevin de Bruyne admitted that Manchester City "killed the game" after Fernandinho's dismissal on 63 minutes to seal their progression to the knockout stages of the Champions League yesterday morning (Singapore time).
The English side enjoyed a one-man advantage after Borussia Moenchengladbach's Lars Stindl was also sent off after 50 minutes with the score tied at 1-1, after David Silva cancelled out Raffael's 23rd-minute opener.
"After we got the red card, we just killed the game and that was the most important thing," said de Bruyne (below), whose team qualified as runners-up from Group C behind Barcelona, who beat Celtic 2-0.
"It's not nice to see but, in the end, we are through. They are very compact and, even before they scored, I think they just wanted to defend.
"It was a good goal (by Silva), but a tough first half. We were better in the second half."
Teammate Ilkay Guendogan, however, told BT Sport: "This is the football we want to play.
"We always try to react and, if we recognise something is not going well, we try to change and do our best.
"It was sometimes necessary today to control the game. The result was the most important thing."
His manager Pep Guardiola said he is delighted to have steered City into the last 16, even more so to have avoided Bayern Munich, whom he took to the semi-finals in each of the last three seasons.
"In the last 16, all the teams will be tough," he said.
"Bayern Munich, for example, are also second.
"The team that get them are going to suffer and I'm glad we won't play them."
John Stones, too, suffered against Moenchengladbach as Stindl rolled him in the City half in the build-up to the German side's opener.
The England international then hit the ground appealing that his arm was pulled.
But referee Cuneyt Cakir ignored the protestations as Stindl set up Raffael for the game's first goal.
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane was scathing in his assessment of Stones, saying on ITV's coverage of the match: "He's got to be stronger, he's got to be tougher.
"It's just too easy, he's like a child getting knocked off the ball.
"He's hoping one of his teammates can help him out here but they were punished and rightly so. Really poor defending, he's got to be stronger.
"He's a good player but he's just got to be tougher and stronger."
- Wire Services.