Lars Stindl was sent off as Borussia Mönchengladbach bowed out of the Champions League despite holding Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at Borussia Park. The Foals will drop into the Europa League.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-1 Manchester City
(Raffael 24' - Silva 45+1')
Borussia Mönchengladbach are out of the Champions League after drawing 1-1 with Manchester City but confirmed their place in this season's Europa League after Celtic lost at home to Barcelona.
Raffael gave the Foals a deserved first-half lead before David Silva levelled for the visitors just before half-time. Both teams were reduced to ten men in the second half as first Borussia captain Lars Stindl and then City midfielder Fernandinho were both shown second yellow cards.
Coach André Schubert, who enjoyed a good record against Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich last season, made two changes to the side which lost 1-2 to Cologne in the Rhine derby at the weekend. Tony Jantschke replaced Jannik Vestergaard at the back and Fabian Johnson came in for Thorgan Hazard who was excused "for personal reasons."
Despite City dominating the ball in the opening stages, Borussia seemed to have left their domestic travails in the dressing room and took a not undeserved lead in the 24th minute. The tireless Stindl, who had already received a yellow card for a late challenge on Kevin De Bruyne, won the ball on the half-way line and drove down the left wing before cutting back to Raffael. The Brazillian took a touch on the edge of the box before firing an unstoppable shot past Claudio Bravo.
Schubert's side was playing with energy and commitment - unrecognizable from the team which was hammered 4-0 in the first fixture in Manchester. When the visitors did muster a shot on goal - an impressive half-volley from Ilkay Gündogan just after the half hour mark - Yann Sommer dived down well to his right to save.
At the other end, Bravo was twice called upon to prevent Borussia doubling their lead, saving first from Nico Elvedi and then from Oscar Wendt, who danced through the City defense to set up the shot. Shortly after, Mahmoud Dahoud fired a vicious effort over the bar.
When Sommer saved from Sergio Aguero just before half-time, it looked like the Foals would go into the break with a well-deserved lead - but City had other ideas. Raheem Sterling cleverly picked out Kevin De Bruyne's run into the box and the Belgian played the ball across goal for Silva to tap home. A bitter blow for Borussia - right on half-time.
Seven minutes into the second, the Foals were down to ten men when Stindl received a second yellow for an unnecessary bodycheck on Nicolas Otamendi. The decision was harsh but not incorrect. Nor was it particularly surprising given the Borussia captain's committed performance.
Equilibrium however was restored just ten minutes later when Fernandinho also saw a second yellow for a hold on Raffael, leaving the final 25 minutes to be played out ten vs. ten. Immediately, there were chances for both teams as Raffael shot wide at one end before De Bruyne forced an impressive save from Sommer at the other.
But with City's progression to the knock-out stages confirmed and Gladbach satisfied with their aim of European football in the new year, both sides ultimately settled for a draw.