Manchester City Suffer Another Embarrassing Champions League Result


“It was the best of times it was the worst of times.” Charles Dickens must have just watched Manchester City’s match against CSKA Moscow.

After taking a two goal lead in the first half and looking like they could have scored more, City went into the locker room, took a nap, and never woke up to play the second half.

Traveling to Russia for Champions League matches is never an easy task.  It is the furthest east a team can travel and when you factor in that City is coming off just three days of rest, this was never going to be an easy assignment for City.

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Playing in front of an empty stadium must have been a little bit strange for both teams, but one would assume not having the support of the home fans would benefit the visitors. (Side note, it was really strange watching a match without any fans, but also really neat to hear the players and managers talking to each other.)

City took a lead in the 29th minute off a spectacular run made by Eden Dzeko who overcame the CSKA offside trap to get in behind the defense and slide the ball off to Sergio Aguero for an easy tap into the net.

Nine minutes later the shass (was it a shot or was it a pass?) by Sergio Aguero found James Miler on the weak side of the defense to give City the 2-0 lead.  But as the replays would show, in the lead up to the goal, Pablo Zabaleta was slightly offside before he headed the ball back to Aguero.  The goal should have been disallowed.  But karma would later prove to be City’s enemy.

The second half was a completely different story.  City who could have scored a dozen goals in the first 45 minutes conceded possession to the home side and instead sat back on defense.  It would prove costly in the 64th minute when half-time substitute Seydou Doumbia was able to knock in a pass from teammate Ahmed Musa to cut the lead in half.  CSKA Moscow was the better team in the seoncd hald and deserved the goal .

With only five minutes of the 90 remaining on the clock, Yaya Toure played a poor ball and gave it right back to CSKA in an attacking position.  The ball was played into the box to Doumbia who was “fouled” by Aleksander Kolarov.  Penalty!

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  • Was it a foul or was it a great display of theatrics by Doumbia? As a City supporter, I clearly thought it was the latter, but like I mentioned above, City got a break on their second goal and it seems that karma awarded a penalty to the Russian side.

    The Israeli Bebars Natcho stepped up to the spot and sent the ball into the right side of the net above the outstretched hands of Joe Hart. With time running out, the match was tied 2-2.

    I simply assumed that even though they were short on time, City would have a response and find a game winner.  Stevan Jovetic was substituted on to give them an additional striker, but it made little difference.  As the match neared completion, it was actually CSKA Moscow who looked more likely to find a third goal and steal all three points.

    The match ended in a draw, but the bigger story here is City’s inability to compete on the European stage.  Three matches into the Champions League campaign and the Champions of England are still looking for their first win.  As a supporter of Manchester City, I myself feel disappointed that for the fourth straight year, it appears that City will fail to make a long run in the tournament.

    But I’m sure that my own feeling of disappointment cannot compare to what the team will be feeling as they take the long flight home back to Manchester.  Another year in the Champions League but the story remains the same.