This dramatic thunderstorm was why Man City’s Champions League game was called off

Manchester City's Champions League Group C opener against Borussia Monchengladbach has been postponed following a torrential thunderstorm.

Heavy rain saturated the pitch at the Etihad Stadium in the two hours before the scheduled 7.45pm kick-off.

Referee Bjorn Kuipers and officials inspected the surface at about 6.55pm and a decision to postpone was communicated around 30 minutes later.

City themselves announced the news via Twitter.

Although the stadium was largely empty at the time, with most City fans having decided against entering, a number of Monchengladbach supporters, who had taken their positions, booed a public announcement.

It is understood the decision to call the game off was taken because of safety conditions around the stadium, rather than concerns about the pitch, which drained well when rain finally eased.

Elsewhere in Manchester there were reports of flash flooding and Metrolink tram services were suspended.

Heavy rain at the Etihad Stadium. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA
Heavy rain at the Etihad Stadium. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA

According to UEFA regulations, officials would make a decision as to when the game would be rearranged within two hours.

A further statement from the club read: "Tonight's UEFA Champions League fixture at home to Borussia Monchengladbach has been postponed.

"Torrential rainfall across Manchester throughout the evening led to flooding in the areas around the ground, which forced the decision on safety and security grounds.

"The game will now be rescheduled and the club will announce a new date in due course."

It is the second time in recent months both clubs have had games called off following inclement weather.

In July City's pre-season derby against Manchester United in Beijing fell foul of heavy rain while Monchengladbach's friendly against Inter Milan last month was also cancelled.

Monchengladbach midfielder Oscar Wendt said: "We are disappointed for the fans because 90 per cent of them will probably not be able to watch the rearranged game. But if the decision had to be taken for safety reasons then we understand it and respect it."

Recent precedent would suggest the game would be played on Wednesday. That would be the preference of the German side, to avoid a return trip to England, but there could be issues concerning stewarding. If the game is played on Wednesday, Monchengladbach would prefer an afternoon kick-off.

Borussia spokesman Markus Aretz said: "The decision about the kick-off time (if) tomorrow will be given today but after nine o'clock. We want afternoon - we want to go home tomorrow!"


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