Stats: Manchester CITY v Sporting Lisbon 15/3/12
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Manchester CITY 3 - Sporting Lisbon 2

Europa League 4th Round - Agg 3-3

The Etihad Stadium


Attendance: 38, 201

Referee: Tom Harald Hagen, Norway

Manchester CITY
3 - 2
Sporting Lisbon
Aguero 60′ 82', Balotelli (pen) 75′
Fernandez 33′, van Wolfswinkel 40′
Venue: The Etihad Stadium
Attendance: 38, 201
The Teams
25 Hart
01 Patricio
02 Richards
03 Carrico
13 Kolarov
04 Anderson
15 Savic
48 Insua
28 K Toure
93 Xandao
08 Pizarro
08 Schaars
11 Johnson
10 Izmailov
21 Silva
11 Diego
42 Y Toure
14 Fernandez
16 Aguero
25 Pereirinha
45 Balotelli
09 van Wolfswinkel
30 Pantilimon
12 Marcelo
22 Clichy
06 Evaldo
07 Milner
26 Andre Santos
19 Nasri
31 Neto
34 De Jong
17 Jeffren
10 Dzeko
18 Carrillo
64 Roman
33 Rubio
Game Statistics
Goal Attempts
On Target
Yellow Cards
Johnny On The Spot: Many a hack's script will have been hastily re-written tonight. Three defeats in a row, crashing out of Europe and lost the dressing room, etc etc...Small wonder though that numerous laptops would have been typing in that direction. City's spineless first half performance was as insipid and turgid as they come. Bereft of ideas, The Blues threatened to cave in completely despite a bright start. There were some shocking performances. Pizarro was brutal, Savic all at sea, Kolarov hopeless. The central midfield all but gave up and Balotelli persisted in playing into defenders hands with his by now trademark shoves and ankle taps that always result in a free kick and a writhing, often screeching victim. He's shipped a raft of bookings this way. Sure, that led to the opening Sporting goal but the all round no show of the team meant the game was already heading for all but lost...City were staring down the barrel of mission impossible...Enter De Jong who immediately shored up the midfield and knocked the energetic Sporting right out of their stride. His hustle, bustle and cute touches lifted the side and Mancio too sensed this wasn't over by going 433 throwing Nasri and Dzeko on to really mix it up. And so they did. Aguero suddenly found his extra gears and Mario struck the coolest penalty. A roaring Etihad shuddered through a clearly rattled young Sporting side who sadly resorted to grass hugging injury feigning...An unbelievable ending was ultimately denied in the final seconds as a rampaging Hart's header was narrowly tipped wide and The Citizens business in Europe was done for a few months. Many lessons have been learned there this season...And so it came to pass. The rags have been battered out of Europe themselves and the fight for the title will reignite with new impetus over the coming 6 days. If City can generate the same Pride in Battle they showed tonight, they will push Stretford all the way, despite that tough run in.

The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday March 15 2012

Time: 10:14PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Disappointing to go out but at least we went down fighting after a disastrous first half. So unlucky Joe.
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15/03/2012 22:29:00

Absolute crap tonight.
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15/03/2012 22:44:00

Disappointing to concede two goals in that fashion, but when they finally sorted themselves out, we looked the side of last year.
Buzz Lightyear
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15/03/2012 23:15:00

Last 30 minutes was some of the best football we've played since October, can it drive us on or will we continue to show a lack of swagger and bow out of the title race meekly?
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15/03/2012 23:43:00

Oh well, on the bright side, at least we didn't lose home and away in this tie, unlike certain other teams I could mention. Just wish the team could play at the second half tempo for the entire 90 minutes - then there would be no "squeaky bum time" in the title race, as we'd be out of sight by now. Well done City for such a great comeback, now bring home the title.
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16/03/2012 08:06:00

Second time in 3 weeks that Mancini has said he underestimated opposition. There's protecting your players and there's making yourself look a *****. He's treading a fine line with that particular tactic.
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16/03/2012 13:48:00

Difference being this time it was his fault imo. Set us up all wrong to begin with, to his credit he put it right at ht though.
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16/03/2012 14:13:00

after our damp squib against Bilbao i thought City were nailed on to win it.Weird season .
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18/03/2012 19:49:00


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