Gladbach ‘not happy’ as Man City refuse early kick-off for rearranged Champions League match

Manchester City and Borussia Moenchengladbach will play their opening Uefa Champions League group game on Wednesday after Tuesday's match was postponed due to heavy rain.
Uefa officials and Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta, centre, check on the state of the pitch. Carl Recine / Reuters
Uefa officials and Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta, centre, check on the state of the pitch. Carl Recine / Reuters

Manchester City and Borussia Moenchengladbach will play their opening Uefa Champions League group game on Wednesday after Tuesday’s match was postponed due to heavy rain at the Etihad Stadium.

The two clubs announced that the game would take place at 7.45pm local time (10.45pm UAE).

Gladbach wanted the rescheduled game to take place at 6pm local time on Wednesday, but City did not have enough staff members available at that time.

“We asked Uefa and Manchester City to play at six o’clock tomorrow because for sporting reasons we wanted to fly back to Germany (after the game),” Gladbach spokesman Markus Aretz said.

“But City could not make that possible. I don’t know the reasons why.

“We’re not happy with that. I think it’s always a disadvantage when you have to stay one day longer than everything is planned.”

More from the Uefa Champions League:

• Lionel Messi: “The best player of all time” after Celtic mauling

• Round-up: Barca, Bayern ruthless; Arsenal rescue point as PSG

• Gallery: The best pictures from Tuesday night’s matches

All tickets for the match are still valid, but Gladbach expect that only between 400 and 500 of the estimated 1,600 away fans who travelled to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday will be able to attend.

“With an away team it’s a disadvantage, without fans,” Aretz said.

The game had been due to take place on Tuesday, but was called off 20 minutes earlier as a summer thunderstorm battered Manchester.

It rained heavily in the city for several hours prior to the scheduled kick-off time and there was thunder and lightning overhead as fans made their way to the stadium.

A group of Uefa officials carrying blue umbrellas performed a pitch inspection around 45 minutes prior to the scheduled kick-off time.

City’s goalkeepers Claudio Bravo and Willy Caballero had come out to warm up, but were ushered inside.

The rain eased off as kick-off approached and the pitch appeared playable, but City announced 20 minutes prior to kick-off that the match had been called off “on safety and security grounds”. Conditions outside the ground were treacherous.

Several hundred visiting Gladbach fans remained in their seating section singing after the postponement was announced.

Gladbach’s players, wearing green and black club tracksuits, came out to salute them before returning to their changing room.

Manchester’s Metrolink tram system had to be temporarily suspended due to the rain and photographs circulating on social media showed huge puddles in city centre streets.

In the day’s other Group C game, Barcelona crushed Celtic 7-0.

Both teams are in league action on Saturday, City hosting Bournemouth in the Premier League and Gladbach entertaining Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga.

Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE

Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNationalSport

Published: September 14, 2016 04:00 AM

SHARE

Editor's Picks
NEWSLETTERS
Sign up to:

* Please select one