Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola before the Champions League game against Borussia in Monchengladbach November 23, 2016.
Not for the first time this season, City boss Pep Guardiola reverted to a 3-2-4-1 formation created to take control of central areas, but it did not have the desired effect initially as Gladbach - without a win in the Bundesliga since September - took a deserved 23rd-minute lead through Raffael. "It will definitely be a strong opponent but of course if you want to go for the next round you need to compete with the best".
"It is hard to say how much self-confidence this game will give us for the Bundesliga", coach Andre Schubert told reporters.
City, who reached the semi-finals of the competition last season, are now through to the knockout phase for the fourth successive year.
Yet while qualification is now secure, questions will be asked of City's durability after a patchy performance in Germany.
City established early control against Monchengladbach but failed to make the most of considerable possession and looked vulnerable to the counter-attack.
Raffael gave City cause for concern with a superb strike midway through the first half at a lively Borussia-Park but Silva changed the complexion of the game just before the interval.
City were some way short of the standard that saw them topple Barcelona earlier this month and the match was a stop-start affair with both sides having a man sent off.
Both teams finished the game with 10 men after Lars Stindl and Fernandinho were second off for the hosts and visitors respectively.
"We're in the Europa League now". The tempo was not really there.
Speaking about Silva's goal in first-half stoppage time, the Belgium worldwide added: "It was a good goal but it was a tough first half and we played even better in the second half". "The first part of the season is so important to qualify for the next round and we did it".
"The result was good for both teams".
"It was not nice to see at the end of the match but now we are through".
Manchester City, who are just a point and two places adrift of top spot in the Premier League, are next up against Burnley on Saturday.
De Bruyne said: 'It is tough to fly back and be prepared but mentally we have got to be prepared.