Raheem Sterling celebrated his 21st birthday with a quickfire double to send Manchester City through to the Champions League last 16 as group winners.
The England international struck twice in the space of two minutes as City came from behind to beat Borussia Monchengladbach 4-2 at the Etihad Stadium.
City had trailed after the Germans replied to David Silva’s early strike through Julian Korb and Raffael, but Sterling turned the game around late in the second half and Wilfried Bony added the final gloss.
With Juventus losing at Sevilla, the result was enough for City to leapfrog the Italians to the top of Group D while Monchengladbach slipped to the bottom and missed out on a Europa League spot.
City started without an out-and-out centre forward, and the arrangement paid off in the 16th minute as Sterling played Silva in on goal with a backheel and the Spaniard rifled a shot into the roof of the net.
But City’s weaknesses at the back continued as Monchengladbach claimed an immediate equaliser. Gael Clichy was caught out as Fabian Johnson charged forward. Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi were slow to respond and Johnson’s low ball across the box was rifled home by Korb.
City were cracked open again before the break as Oscar Wendt drilled in a low cross and Johnson’s shot was diverted past Joe Hart by Raffael.
The Germans then began to frustrate City but the hosts upped the tempo after the break with Sterling coming to the fore.
The £49million man almost nipped in as Nico Elvedi chested the ball back to Yann Sommer but the goalkeeper just cleared.
The pressure finally paid off 11 minutes from time as Clichy pulled the ball back from the byline and unmarked Sterling turned in from close range. A quick counter-attack a minute later led to another two minutes later as Sterling brilliantly swept home a pass from substitute Bony.
Monchengladbach were beaten and Bony finished the job five minutes from time with a close-range finish.