Manchester City Game postponed due to waterlogged pitch

Manchester City’s Champions League opponents Borussia Monchengladbach reacted with dismay on Tuesday night after their Group C tie was called off 20 minutes before kick-off due to adverse weather conditions at the Etihad and rescheduled for Wednesday evening.

Although the pitch was playable after fierce thunderstorms in Manchester, the game was postponed due to concerns for the safety and security of fans in the areas surrounding the stadium.

The two clubs were then locked in talks with UEFA before a new kick-off time of 7.45pm on Wednesday evening was announced.
Monchengladbach wanted to play at 6pm because it would have allowed them to fly home after the game, but City were unable to staff the event so early in the evening.

The Premier League club have offered their opponents use of the 32 en suite bedrooms at their training complex, but Monchengladbach officials are likely to decline.

Their supporters were also left unhappy with only a quarter of the 1,600 fans at the Etihad on Tuesday night expected to be able to attend the rescheduled game.

The Bundesliga club’s spokesman Markus Aretz: ‘For sporting reasons we wanted to play the match earlier and fly back to Germany tomorrow evening. That was important to us, but City couldn’t make that possible. Now we have to take it like it is.

‘I don’t know the reasons why, but they said we had to play at 7.45pm like today. I think there were security reasons or something. You would have to ask them.

‘Then we had to make the decision to play at 7.45pm. We’re not happy with that, but that’s it.

‘City offered us the chance to spend the next night in their academy, but that would have made no difference to us because the hotel wasn’t a problem. We wanted to fly back tomorrow.

‘I think it’s always a disadvantage when you have to stay one day longer than is planned.’

Monchengladbach’s director of sport Max Eberl added: ‘It’s a pity. The conditions tomorrow will be more difficult with very few fans here to support us.’

After a sunny day in Manchester, late afternoon downpours had escalated into the thunderstorms. Metrolink services were shut down and flash floods were causing a problem in parts of the city.

By 6.45pm, areas of the Etihad playing surface were under pools of rain water. An initial pitch inspection was conducted by Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers and a delegation of officials shortly afterwards, but they were not satisfied that the ball would roll sufficiently.

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