City staring at group stage exit




Manchester City’s trysts with the UEFA Champions League do not seem to have happy endings! Yet another game, yet another disappointing result was the outcome of their group D game against Ajax. Two silly mistakes helped Ajax go two goals up within the first 17 minutes and there on, City were only playing catch up.

UEFA Champions League: Manchester City staring at group stage exit

UEFA Champions League: Manchester City staring at group stage exit

Mancini, with only 1 point from their opening three games, was desperately searching for a win and this was evident in the attacking line-up he fielded. Aguero, after coming on from the bench against West Ham, returned to the starting line-up alongside fellow Argentinean Tevez. But it was another Argentine who came closest first up when Zabaleta fired over the crossbar.

City were immediately made to pay for the miss as Ajax scored from their first corner with 10 minutes on the clock. Mosainder got a scruffy touch from Eriksen’s corner and it ran to the near post where De Jong slid in and squeezed it past Hart from a tight angle. It was poor defending on City’s part and Ajax deservedly took the lead. Things got worse for the English Champions as Ajax converted from another Eriksen corner. De Jong doubled his tally and City were having a nightmare with more than three quarters of the game left.

City pulled one back after Yaya Toure spectacularly put the ball in the Ajax net. Nasri’s cross took a deflection from one of the Ajax defenders before the Ivorian took the ball on his chest and lashed a volley beyond Kenneth Vermeer. But Ajax tightened up their defence and denied City possession as the teams went into the break with the visitors leading 2-1.

Mancini stepped up a gear as he replaced Javi Garcia with another striker as Mario Balotelli joined Aguero and Tevez up front. The change seemed to have made an immediate impact as Aguero headed the ball in the back of the net but was ruled off-side. Hart then made his impact on the game denying De Jong twice before City finally got their equalizer.

Balotelli flicked a ball and Aguero beat Alderweireld for pace and smashed the ball into the bottom low corner to bring City level with 16 minutes to go. Dzeko was introduced for Tevez but Ajax refused to lay low. A frantic finish at the end saw Aguero’s volley the ball into the net but was ruled out again for off-side and the match finished with Mario Balotelli’s appeal for a penalty waved away as City were left distraught with only one point.

Manchester City face a second successive exit in the group stage after having accumulated only two points from four games. A draw at the Bernabeu saw Dortmund retain top position with 8 points. Madrid have 7 points, three more than Ajax. City are all but of the competition and they would need a some sort of a miracle to scrape through from this group of Champions – something that is not beyond them.

Result:

Manchester City 2 – 2 Ajax
(Yaya Toure, Aguero; De Jong-2)

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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