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Borussia 1 City 2: Talking points

Sergio Aguero

Sergio Aguero

Five takeaways from City's last-gasp UEFA Champions League victory at Borussia Park.

To the end...

The first half of the match played out like an air hockey game, with the ball pinging from end to end almost as fast as you could track it. It was thrilling to watch - although Manuel Pellegrini might choose a different word to describe it - and both teams worked furiously. In the end City, with all the experience of the frenetic Premier League, benefitted from that. After Nicolas Otamendi's leveller, City managed to squeeze the play in Borussia's half and the flying German counters that had been a feature of the first period faded away. The Bundesliga side's energy levels appeared to have been spent while City's remained, and in the end Sergio Aguero drew and scored the decisive penalty.

Joe Hart


England's number one often reserves his best performances for the Champions League stage and this was another example. The penalty save was remarkable because not only did he go the right way and stop the ball, he managed to parry it to safety all in a fraction of a second. If only Aguero could have scored from Hart’s stunning pass from the restart, it would have surely gone down as one of the best phases of Champions League goalkeeping ever. The rest of the performance was flawless, it's coming to the point where you back Hart over almost any striker in a one-on-one situation.

Sergio Aguero

Ice cool Kun

The Argentinian isn't at his brilliant best - if he was, he might have another Champions League matchball squeezed into his luggage on the flight back home. Still, he has the belief and tenacity to keep going back for more. Eventually a player of his class with force a way through. Finishing apart, he looked sharp at Borussia Park, with his touch and link up play under control and his explosive turn of pace on display. We all know he has a knack for late drama and so it proved again when he brilliantly won and then calmly dispatched the penalty. How valuable could that late contribution prove to be?

De Bruyne versatility

If he came with any sense of responsibility following his high profile summer move from Wolfsburg, it isn't weighing on Kevin De Bruyne. He brings a sense of calm authority to City's attack, using angles and space to maximum effect. He would have had an assist but for a brilliant save to deny Aguero and his rangy stride helped cover some of the gaps that Borussia were so keen to exploit. When David Silva went off De Bruyne switched inside seamlessly; a manager's dream.

More to come

City's defence has come into criticism for its performance. It should be remembered that Nicolas Otamendi's City career is embryonic and Martin Demichelis does not have much football under his belt so far this season. And although defensively there were hairy moments, between them they fashioned City's first goal at a key time; the best form of defence is attack so they say. On top of that City have inspirational skipper Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala and Gael Clichy out of the first team frame and Pablo Zabaleta returning from a lengthy lay off. That quartet could quite easily be first choice if all in form. There is more to come in midfield too with Fabian Delph out and Yaya Toure clearly struggling, while up front Wilfried Bony can come back in. Fair to say there is more in the tank for City!

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