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UEFA Champions League

  • 6 November 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: P. Rasmussen
  • • Attendance: 40222

Live Commentary

  • A point each is probably a fair outcome from this match. Ajax were the better side in the first half but offered little in attack after halftime. Despite a commendable comeback by City, they were not good enough yet again, with their performance in the first half rather dreadful at times. They currently look miles from a side capable of winning the Champions League.
  • City absolutely furious as they are convinced that should have been a penalty. Balotelli being held back by teammates, while Mancini walks over to the referee and remonstrates.
  • 90' + 5'
    Hart's free kick is headed into the danger area by Dzeko and Balotelli is hauled to the floor, but the referee blows for fulltime.
  • 90' + 4'
    Last chance for City. Hart stands over free kick on halfway line.
  • 90' + 3'
    SubstitutionDerk Boerrigter Tobias Sana
  • 90' + 3'
    From the corner Fischer has another shot, but this time it goes far wider than his previous effort.
  • 90' + 2'
    Another good effort by Ajax as Eriksen tests Hart from long range, but the England goalkeeper tips it over. Corner to the visitors.
  • 90'
    Meanwhile, Ajax show they still pose a threat in attack as Viktor Fischer takes on Kompany and shoots at the near post, but it only finds the side netting.
  • 89'
    Desperate times for Ajax. They are doing everything they possibly can to keep City out, while the hosts are busting a gut to find the winning goal.
  • 88'
    ANOTHER DISALLOWED GOAL! City have the ball in the back of the net again, and it looks to be harshly chalked out. Dzeko knocked the ball to Kolarov who drilled a cross in to Aguero. The Argentine found the net, but Kolarov is adjudged to have been offside.
  • 87'
    SubstitutionC. Poulsen Viktor Fischer
  • 87'
    Greate chance for City! Aleksandar Kolarov plays in a brilliant low cross from the left, but Dzeko misses the target from six yards out.
  • 86'
    Everything is going through Aguero now. This time the Argentine receives the ball just inside the area, jinks past van Rhijn, but Alderweireld is there to sweep up and clear.
  • 85'
    SubstitutionGareth Barry Aleksandar Kolarov
  • 85'
    Yellow Card C. Poulsen
  • 84'
    Corner for Ajax as Kompany is forced to put Boerrigter's cross behind. it is easily dealt with by City, however.
  • 84'
    Nasri's cross is poor as Blind heads away with relative ease. The visitors are now in possession and on the attack.
  • 83'
    Aguero leading my example as he marches down the right and wins a free kick from Poulsen.
  • 81'
    It looks like this might be a rather long final ten minutes for Ajax. City are pressing high up the pitch in search of the winner. However, they carry a very real threat on the counter.
  • 79'
    Great save by Vermeer! Nasri's delivery finds Balotelli at the far post and he heads it down towards the bottom corner, but the goalkeeper palms it away.
  • 78'
    SubstitutionLasse Schöne Eyong Enoh
  • 78'
    Zabaleta attacks with intent down the right again and draws a foul from Babel. Very good position on the wing.
  • 77'
    Aguero flagged offside incorrectly after trying to get on the end of a Clichy header. Either way the forward was just beaten to the ball by Vermeer.
  • 76'
    City evidently going for this now. Zabaleta has been a constant threat down the right and he almost finds himself in on goal again, but across comes Moisander to make an important tackle.
  • 74'
    Assist Mario Balotelli
  • 74'
    Goal Sergio Agüero
    GOAL!!! Man City equalise at the Etihad! Classic route one football as Hart's smash down the field is flicked on to Aguero by Balotelli, and the Argentine calmly strokes the ball into the bottom far corner. Just over 15 minutes to win this.
  • 72'
    I should have a prepared sentence regarding these corners, as yet another comes to nothing. City given the chance to grasp possession again after a few Ajax-dominated minutes.
  • 71'
    Indeed De Jong hits it and it was a very good effort, forcing Hart to launch himself across the goal and make the save. Corner to the visitors.
  • 70'
    The clever Schone turns brilliantly and draws a foul from Toure in a good position. De Jong stands over it and appears to be lining up a shot.
  • 68'
    Ajax are unable to grab a third goal from corners on the night as their latest effort produces nothing. City attempt to catch them on the break, but they squander possession rather easily.
  • 67'
    The visitors certainly haven't had a great deal of possession in this second half so far, but they are having their first phase of attack currently. Eriksen eventually picks van Rhijn out to his right and his cross almost ends up in the net, but Zabaleta's clearance goes just wide. Corner for Ajax.
  • 66'
    SubstitutionCarlos Tévez Edin Dzeko
  • 65'
    Barry is involved once again, but instead of creating a chance he tries to finish it. However, his shot flies well wide from the edge of the area.
  • 63'
    Babel fouls Tevez down City's left and after a quick take, Aguero gets possession. He doesn't slip over this time, but he is tackled.
  • 61'
    Barry tries to slip a defence-splitting ball through to Zabaleta who gets beyond Blind, but the ball had too much on it and Vermeer collects easily. Their final pass has been seriously lacking.
  • 59'
    Aguero slips again. That must be the fourth time now. The Argentine just beat Vermeer to a long ball from Kompany, but after being forced wide, the forward slipped over just when he was set to square the ball to Balotelli.
  • 58'
    Balotelli has already made a bit of a difference for City in attack. The Italian's hold-up play and strength are causing problems in the Ajax defence.
  • 56'
    Another corner goes begging as noting comes of it, but City are putting together more dangerous moves than they were before halftime. They have the sense of urgency that was missing in the first half.
  • 55'
    This time is it Toure on the surge. He powers his way past defenders and into the left channel of the area, but his cut-back pass is put behind. Corner.
  • 54'
    The home side celebrate a goal, but Aguero is offside. Clichy dropped a bouncing ball into the area and over the defence, but the Argentine is flagged offside before finding the net.
  • 52'
    City with a free kick in a more central position now, and a very good area. Aguero was caught again, and several City players are lining up to take it.
  • 50'
    Barry delivers another free-kick, this time cutting it back towards the edge of the area for Nastasic, but the defender's volley is struck clean over.
  • 49'
    City have strated with intent in this second half, but they are feeling hard done by after Alderweireld clattered Aguero, with no free-kick given. A few seconds later Tevez does get a decision in a similar area on the left.
  • 48'
    Aguero almost creates a good chance after Poulsen missed the ball, but after turning Moisander, the forward slipped over just when a ball through to Tevez looked certain.
  • 47'
    Barry's free-kick from deep goes straight to Vermeer.
  • 46'
    Yellow Card Daley Blind
  • 46'
    SubstitutionJavi García Mario Balotelli
  • 46'
    City get themselves a free-kick straight away as Blind catches Nasri late, with the left-back earning himself a yellow card.
  • 46'
    Ajax start the second half in Manchester. Mario Balotelli has come on for Javi Garcia.
  • Ajax deserved lead at the break, but City will be optimistic about getting something out of this if they can improve on their first half display. The visitors have looked far more composed and convincing in possession, while City's attacks have lacked cutting edge.
  • 45' + 1'
    The deep corner is palmed away by Vermeer, and the referee blows the whistle for halftime.
  • 45'
    Corner for City after Alderweireld was forced to put the ball behind with Aguero in the area.
  • 44'
    With their short passing not really working, City are now resorting to the longer ball. Zabaleta plays a searching ball to the left wing, but Clichy can't control.
  • 41'
    City are having losts of possession... In their own half. They are not putting together enough meaningful patterns of play in the final third. Their creativity has been minimal.
  • 39'
    That is the third or fourth time now that Ajax's insistence on playing out from the back has landed them in trouble. Luckily for them, yet again City can't capitalise as the final ball is poor from Toure.
  • 37'
    Another promising attack for Ajax down the right, but after receiving a clever pass from van Rhijn, Eriksen's cross is dreadful. Blindt tries to keep it in, but he just is not quick enough.
  • 36'
    The home side just cannot get a hold of the game in the way they would have liked. Ajax have generally controlled possession, and have certainly looked more composed.
  • 34'
    Play has often looked very congested in the midfield, with Barry and Toure tackling each other on the most recent example.
  • 32'
    Kompany gives the ball away carelessly and gives Ajax a great chance to attack, but Babel's pass to Schone is very poor and City have possession again.
  • 31'
    Another good bit of play by Zabaleta, but Vermeer equals him. The right-back gets on the end of Tevez's ball at the back-post and heads it across goal, but the goalkeeper gets down to his right and makes the save.
  • 29'
    City work the ball out to the left well and Clichy threatens to deliver, but his cross is very poor and Alderweireld boots it away.
  • 28'
    Once again the corner comes to nothing for City. They look wary of Ajax catching them on the break in those situations.
  • 27'
    Good play against by City. Zabaleta picks Nasri out just to his right. The Frenchman's low cross deflects back to Zabaleta who jinks to his right and then drops the ball to the far post, but van Rhijn beats Toure to it and concedes a corner.
  • 25'
    Van Rhijn is a good position again down the right and plays in a fearsome cross, but it is just too high for De Jong and Babel.
  • 24'
    We definitely have a game on our hands here. Ajax just looking to settle things down again with some possession. They are playing a risky games at times in defence, however.
  • 22'
    Goal Yaya Touré
    GOAL!!! Manchester City are back in this, and in some style. Nasri's cross is flicked on by an Ajax defender to Toure, who chests the ball down and volleys the ball into the roof of the net. Great finish.
  • 21'
    Ajax very nearly produce a good counter-attack, but after easily out-pacing Clichy, Boerrigter is stopped just in time by Nastasic.
  • 20'
    The corner comes to nothing. This really has not been a good opening for City. No one playing particularly well.
  • 19'
    City win themselves a corner immediately after Tevez's cross was put behind by Poulsen just before Toure could lash it in the net.
  • 18'
    The defending for that goal was quite dreadful, with Barry and Toure appearing to mark no one. Awful.
  • 17'
    Assist Christian Eriksen
  • 17'
    Goal Siem de Jong
    GOAL!!! Ajax double their lead at the Etihad, and from a corner again. Eriksen delivered his set-piece to the front post and De Jong headed in with ease.
  • 16'
    Babel is a more familiar area of the pitch this time as he beats Zabaleta to a through ball, before winning a corner from the Argentine.
  • 15'
    City enjoying some possession, but they don't appear to be going anywhere with it. As soon as they get into the Ajax half, the visitors swarm around Mancini's stars like gnats.
  • 13'
    Ryan Babel is effectively playing as a second left-back currently, helping nullify the threats of Tevez and Nasri, both of whom appear to be operating down that side.
  • 13'
    Ryan Babel is effectively playing as a second left-back currently, helping nullify the threats of Tevez and Nasri, both of whom appear to be operating down that side.
  • 12'
    Decent effort by Nastasic from the resulting corner. Barry's delivery drops near the far post and the Serbian defender turns and shoots, but Vermeer gobbles it up.
  • 11'
    City straight back on the attack and Tevez wins a corner from Babel just after losing possession to the former Liverpool man.
  • 10'
    Assist Niklas Moisander
  • 10'
    Goal Siem de Jong
    GOAL!!! Ajax take the lead in Manchester! Eriksen's corner was played back to the near post by Moisander, and Siem De Jong slides in and finds the net.
  • 8'
    Corner out of nothing for Ajax. Van Rhijn played in a fairly tame cross from the right and Nastasic makes a meal of the clearance, putting it behind for a corner.
  • 7'
    The home side are still on the front foot and this time Zabaleta finds himself in the area, but he fires well over. Should have done better there.
  • 7'
    Barry's corner is far from great as it goes straight into the arms of Vermeer. The Dutch side try to play their way out of trouble, and they just manage to clear.
  • 6'
    City break down the right and Aguero finds Tevez on the edge of the area, but his shot is deflected over for a corner.
  • 5'
    Aguero is pressured off the ball by Alderweireld and then van Rhijn plays the ball back to Vermeer, and although it was a little short, the goalkeeper clears.
  • 3'
    Good play by Poulsen in the centre as he spins away from Toure before finding Babel on the right, but the move eventually comes to nothing as De Jong fires wide.
  • 2'
    Early pressure from City as Nasri wriggles his way into the area, but he is forced back out wide by the Ajax defence.
  • 1'
    We are underway at the Etihad Stadium
  • Ajax come into the match on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Vitesse Arnhem at the weekend, with Wilfried Bony grabbing two. City could only draw 0-0 against West Ham.
  • Finland defender Niklas Moisander is Ajax's top scorer in the competition with two goals so far. His goals came against City and Real Madrid.
  • Manchester City trail Borussia Dortmund by six points going into this match having picked up just the one point in their opening three matches.
  • And the Ajax team is: Vermeer; van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind; De Jong, Poulsen, Schöne; Boerrigter, Eriksen, Babel Subs: Cillessen, Veltman, Denswil, Dijks, Enoh, Sana, Fischer
  • First of all, here is the City team: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy; Garcia, Barry; Nasri, Yaya Toure, Tevez; Aguero Subs: Pantilimon, Maicon, Kolarov, Meppen Walters, Džeko, Sinclair, Balotelli.
  • Good evening and welcome to's LIVE! play-by-play of the Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and Ajax. My name is Ryan Benson and I will be describing the action for you tonight.