Champions League

Man City routed in Amsterdam

2012-10-24 22:54
Niklas Moisander (AP)

Amsterdam - The prospect of a second successive group-stage exit in the Champions League is staring Manchester City in the face after a 3-1 defeat at Ajax on Wednesday left them rock bottom of Group D.

The English champions were looking for their first win of the campaign, but despite taking the lead against the run of play through Samir Nasri, they fell to goals from Siem de Jong, Niklas Moisander and Christian Eriksen in Amsterdam.

The visitors finished the game with Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli all on the pitch, but by the full-time whistle they found themselves looking down the barrel of another autumn elimination.

Ajax move into third place after claiming a first home win over English opposition since 1980, leaving City bottom of the pool with a solitary point to their name after three games.

Matters were compounded by Borussia Dortmund's 2-1 win at home to Real Madrid in the other group game.

City now trail Dortmund by six points, Madrid by five points, and Ajax by two, and may need to win all three remaining games -- starting with the return fixture against Ajax on November 7 -- to stand any chance of going through.

"I think that they played better than us. They played better football," crestfallen City coach Roberto Mancini told Sky Sports.

"It's probably my fault because I didn't prepare the players well for this game. I accept fault for this defeat.

"When you prepare a game, you prepare it one way, you think it will be like this and sometimes, instead, it's different.

"I think it's very difficult now (for City to qualify)."

Dzeko had been rewarded for his brace at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday with a starting place in the City attack, but neither he nor strike partner Aguero were given much to work with in the first half.

Eriksen, Ajax's highly coveted Danish playmaker, helped the hosts pin City back, cracking a half-volley just off target in the ninth minute and then drilling wide from 20 yards after leaving Gareth Barry for dead.

It was one-way traffic, but City exploited their first real sight of goal in the 22nd minute to take the lead.

A gloriously incisive pass from Micah Richards found James Milner and he rolled the ball into the path of Nasri, who bent a first-time shot inside Kenneth Vermeer's left-hand post from 15 yards.

Vermeer then had to beat away a shot from Richards but Ajax were quickly back on the attack, with Ricardo van Rhijn to the fore.

The highly rated right-back gave a warning with a shot over the bar, but City did not heed it and on the cusp of half-time he created the equaliser with a low cross that skipper de Jong swept home imperiously.

The goal was recompense for Ajax's enterprise and in the 57th minute they procured another, Finnish centre-back Moisander rising above a static defence to meet Eriksen's right-wing corner with a glancing header.

Mancini responded by introducing Aleksandar Kolarov from the bench and switching to a three-man defence.

The Serbian teed up Milner for a header that went over the bar, but the defensive re-shuffle seemed to confuse City's defenders and moments later, the Dutch champions made it 3-1.

After Barry slipped in midfield, Eriksen took up possession and beat Vincent Kompany before dispatching a shot that took a cruel deflection off Gael Clichy to leave Joe Hart with no chance.

The England goalkeeper came out superbly to thwart Tobias Sana moments later, before the visitors roused themselves.

Vermeer saved twice, brilliantly, from Dzeko, but despite the introductions of Tevez and Balotelli, City were unable to conjure up the kind of improbable escape that had seemed to be becoming their trademark.

Champions League results on Wednesday:

Group A

At Oporto, Portugal

Porto (POR) 3 (S. Varela 15, J. Martinez 36, 78) Dynamo Kiev (UKR) 2 (Gusev 21, Ideye 72)

At Zagreb

Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 0 Paris Saint Germain (FRA) 2 (Ibrahimovic 32, Menez 43)

Group B

At London

Arsenal (ENG) 0 Schalke 04 (GER) 2 (Huntelaar 76, Afellay 86)

At Montpellier, France

Montpellier (FRA) 1 (Charbonnier 49) Olympiakos (GRE) 2 (Torosidis 73, Mitroglou 90+1)

Group C

At Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Ajax (NED) 3 (S. de Jong 45, Moisander 57, Eriksen 68) Manchester City (ENG) 1 (Nasri 22)

At Dortmund, Germany

Borussia Dortmund (GER) 2 (Lewandowski 36, Schmelzer 64) Real Madrid (ESP) 1 (Ronaldo 38)

Group D

At Malaga, Spain

Malaga (ESP) 1 (Joaquin 64) AC Milan (ITA) 0

At St Petersburg, Russia

Zenit St Petersburg (RUS) 1 (Kerzhakov 72-pen) Anderlecht (BEL) 0

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Stars shoot down Pirates

2016-05-02 19:27

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

South African woman learns to surf at aged 70

Anthea Petzer just wants to learn how to stand on her yellow Australian surfboard and carve up the waves.

 
 

Outdoor

Extreme Kiteboarding in Pumping Conditions!
The Arctic becomes an unlikely surfing hotspot
A romantic holiday to beat the winter blues
Why should you do a 5k?
Fixtures
03 May 2016
FC Bayern Munchen v Atletico de Madrid, Allianz Arena 20:45
04 May 2016
Real Madrid v Manchester City, Santiago Bernabeu 20:45
28 May 2016
Winner Semifinal 1 v Winner Semifinal 2, Giuseppe Meazza 20:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

 
 
/News
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

SuperBru Super Rugby challenge

Enter and challenge Sport24's staff!

Featured

As the Absa Premiership nears the Christmas break, a little over half the season remains. Who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Which teams will be relegated? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.