City Given Another Lifeline!
Energi Nord Arena
Thursday 19 March 2009, 9.00pm
The game started brightly for City as they held the ball well and kept most of the possession without really pressing forward. City had their first half chance within ten minutes when Ireland propped the ball up and hit a volley which deflected wide.
Aalborg knew they had to push forward but they were failing to keep the ball for long enough to form an attack, but City were not fairing much better as apart from the occasional ball kept by Evans, the ball pinged back into the possession of Aalborg.
Ireland and Robinho were linking up well and from their exchanges, Bridge crossed the ball to Evans but Evans was crowded out. I`m sure Caicedo would have been able to keep the ball with his physical presence in many of situations were Evans has been careless.
Aalborg began to find some kind of attacking sense but weak crosses and loose balls meant the danger was left at a minimum. However the game was producing nothing short of boring, as neither side could keep the ball and it seriously was like watching league one football.
Credit to Onuoha who certainly looked up for the game, came up with a brilliant clearance from his own six-yard box as Shelton tried to pounce, before from the proceeding corner, Dunne managed to block a driven shot from Johansson.
Robinho was beginning to receive praise from the City crowd for tracking back and putting in some sort of effort but the Brazilian still looked ordinary. As time went by, the game got scrappier, with both teams falling victim of the Ref`s easy objectives to what a foul is.
Zabaleta had the last effort of the half when his shot flew wide. An awful yet comfortable display by city saw them cruising at halftime but surely City could grab the game by the horns in the second and kill it off… think again!
fter a longer than expected halftime, City had their best chance of the game but it fell to the most underperforming player of the game. Evans found the ball after Ireland had played the Welshmen through, but his shot flew over the stand in the stadium.
Bridge was brought off for Garrido shortly after and suddenly the brick formed defence had crumbled. The left-back took down an Aalborg player inside the box before managing to lose the ball shortly after the ref waved what looked like a certain penalty away.
Stephen Ireland was then left hobbling after falling awkwardly on his ankle. After a short spell on the sidelines the Irishmen was back on.
As time travelled on, City looked more and more nervous. Shelton forced a good save From Given who kept the ball out near his right-hand post, but Shelton did find his way past Given eventually.
A flick-on by another Aalborg player found the Jamaican forward who handled the ball to control it and fired it past Given. Surely you knew what was coming next?
Evans who should never had started handled the ball from an Aalborg corner and the Ref had no hesitation into pointing to the spot. Jakobsen stepped up and blasted the ball into the net.
Aalborg let the better in extra-time but neither team found the net and the game went down to spot-kicks.
Penalties: City Won after scoring all 4.