Manchester City with another Champions League flop

Published Wednesday, November 5, 2014 3:53 PM by Shane Barrow

Oh the Champions League curse that has befallen Manchester City.  Year after year it is the same old story.  Flop city.  On Wednesday it was CSKA Moscow visiting town and a prime opportunity to turn things around in front of the home fans.

Instead it was a shocking start that saw the visitors jumping ahead inside only a few minutes.    Yaya Toure stood flat footed as his mark Seydou Doumbia cut inside and headed home a free kick past Joe Hart.

Another Champions League nightmare brewing?

Happily YaYa Toure made amends for his poor marking by firing home a perfect free kick only minutes later.   It was a wonderfully struck ball that narrowly cleared the CSKA wall.  All even once again.

The poor defense would rear its ugly head though before halftime as Clichy was punished for some less than stellar play in the back.  And it was Doumbia to bring the pain as he slotted home for the 2-1 lead for Moscow at the break.

Samir Nasri and Fernandinho were introduced by Manchester City to begin the second half.  It was clearly panic time as they would find themselves bottom of the table if this result stood.  Forty five minutes to fix it.

There was clearly a more determined attitude from City, but through fifteen minutes of the second half Manchester still had no found the key to unlock the Russian defense.  Then James Milner let loose from ten yards out with a ball that as destined for the CSKA net.  Moscow keeper Akinfeev threw his leg out at the last second making the smart kick save.

Things got worse for City as Fernandinho was shown his scone yellow and sent to the dressing room leaving them on ten men.  The visitors almost put the match to bed in the 71st, but a well taken free kick whizzed just inches wide.  The ten men still had life.

Then in the 76th Aguero earned a free kick in the same range that Toure scored from in the first half.  Just as important was the fact that the referee showed the yellow card to the wrong CSKA player.  It should have been a second yellow for Wernbloom that would have evened the game at ten v ten.

Toure wasn't up to the same class on the free kick as Akinfeev handled it easily.  Ten minutes to go and City's Champions League stay on life support.  Make that life over as Toure was sent off in the 82nd after shoving a Moscow player to the ground.  Total lack of discipline and lack of professionalism.  All CSKA Moscow would need to do is play keepball now.

The 2-1 loss leaves Manchester City in a bad way with two matches left in the Champions League group phase.  They'll need two wins in their final two to have a chance to advance.  The problem is that they have not managed a single win in four and that one of their final matches is powerful Bayern Munich.