Manchester City could only manage a draw against Borussia Monchengladbach in their penultimate match in the Champions League group stage.
The 1-1 result at Borussia Park almost guarantees that City will go through to the round of 16. Monchengladbach are still in with a mathematical chance, but they have to beat Barcelona by six goals and hope City lose to Celtic. Both those possibilities are nigh impossible, and it looks like Guardiola’s men are through as runners up from their group.
City were favourites to win against struggling Monchengladbach, but manager Pep Guardiola was happy with the result. The Spaniard was pleased that his side do not have to worry about the Champions League till the round of 16 begins and that they can now turn their focus on the Premier League.
“We have qualified with one game left and it’s a big compliment for the team, for the whole stage,” Guardiola said, according to Sky Sports.
“In general we made a good performance. We have qualification in the pocket until February, so now we can focus finally on one competition, the Premier League, and we can be so satisfied.”
Man City will face one of the winners of the other groups in the Round of 16, as they are in line to finish second in Group C. The list currently includes AS Monaco, Borussia Dortmund, PSG and Juventus, and one of Besiktas, Benfica and Napoli, who could each potentially win Group B.
Guardiola will now be more concerned with how his team fare in the Premier League though. After starting the season with six wins on the trot, they have fallen off the pace in recent weeks. Three draws in their past five games has halted their progress and allowed other teams to catch up.
December will be a big month for them in the Premier League, as Guardiola’s men face Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. A string of good results will boost their title credentials and the lack of pressure on them for their Champions League encounter against Celtic early in December will prove to be beneficial for the club.