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UEFA Champions League
17 September 2013
• Doosan Arena, Plzeň
Referee: P. Tagliavento
• Attendance: 11281
E. Džeko 48'
Y. Touré 53'
S. Agüero 58'
A perfect start to City's Champions League campaign in the Czech Republic then. Thanks for joining me, Harry Slavin, until next time, goodbye!
FULL-TIME PLZEN 0-3 MAN CITY. It looked tight at the break but City have come out in this second half and blown their opponents away. Dzeko, Toure and Aguero give Pellegrini's side a much needed boost ahead of the Manchester derby on Sunday.
90' + 1'
Just two minutes of added on time here then. Job done for Manchester City in a very impressive second half showing.
Now City break and Negredo picks out Aguero in the centre. The ex-Atletico Madrid man is at full tilt though and skies his shot into the stands.
HORAVA RATTLES THE BAR!! Great effort from the midfielder as he connects with Hovarth's corner and sends his volley crashing off Hart's bar.
Wonderful play from Aguero! The little Argentine runs onto his own flick on and drives into the area, forcing Kozacik into a good stop. City haven't looked this imperious since they disposed of Newcastle on the opening day of the season. A much needed shot in the arm for Kompany & Co.
It really did look like a tough task for City at the break having squandered those great chances. But the silky words of Manuel Pellegrini have done the trick and the Citizens are now coasting to victory.
And now the hosts make their final change too. Bakos comes off with Tecl coming on to see out the final five or so minutes.
Dzeko makes way having found the net once again this season. Alvaro Negredo is on in his place.
Viktoria Plzen gained a point against AC Milan in the group stages two seasons ago with a late comeback. It's going to take something even more spectacular than their two goal turnaround there to salvage anything from tonight.
With one eye on Sunday's huge Manchester derby, Pellegrini takes off Yaya Toure. Javi Garcia will help City see out the final ten minutes.
The City fans are in good voice now. It was shaping up to be another frustrating foreign adventure for them but that second half flurry looks like it will give the Blues their first win away from home in Europe since beating Villarreal back in 2011.
Dzeko, safe in the knowledge that his side have wrapped things up here, tries his luck with a speculative effort that he gets horribly wrong. At least he can now afford to.
Hovarth's corner for Plzen comes out to Rajtoral who strikes an ambitious volley. We're robbed of the chance to see how good our how bad the strike is though as it is blocked behind for another corner.
Man City break and Milner has option to his left and right. In the end his decision isn't the best, rushing his pass through for Dzeko and giving the Bosnian no chance of getting on the end of it.
Still Plzen come forward but Hart is determined to keep that cleansheet. He comes and claims Petrzela's cross into the six-yard-box with players in red and blue lurking at the back post.
You don't want to get in the way of a Kolarov shot. Or a Kolarov cross for that matter. The Serbian slams in a cross that is aimed for Dzeko at the far post, but poor Sergio Aguero gets his face in the way. That will leave a mark.
Jesús Navas González
Substitutions for both sides. Hejda, who had a difficult start to the half, is off for Hubnik. Milner takes the place of James Milner for City.
Not this time for Toure. He sends the free kick over the bar and Plzen are reprieved for now.
Nasri is fouled in a central position inside the Plzen half and Yaya Toure is straight over to the ball to seize control of the set piece. He's already struck the ball sweetly once tonight...
To be fair to Pavel Vrba and his side they're continuing to come forward. They win another corner but Hart is out well to claim it.
Substitution for the hosts as Daniel Kolar makes way for Michal Duris. A lively first have performance from Kolar, but like the rest of his team-mates he's been demoted to a spectator in this second half.
I don't know what was said, but that must have been some team talk from Pellegrini at the break. They have stunned the home side with three quick goals and have wrapped up the game with just a ten minute footballing masterclass.
GOOOAALLL!!! CITY ARE RAMPANT!!! three strikes in 10 minutes and this game is done. A neat exchange of passes between Toure and Nasri is rounded off by Aguero's tidy finish while running away from goal.
Pellegrini's men are well and truly in the driving seat now. Plzen's fans have gone a bit quiet now. City could be a completely different animal with the pressure now off them.
GOOAAALLL!!! WHAT A STRIKE!!! City looking much like the top side now and Yaya Toure doubles their lead with a sensational strike. The Ivorian takes the ball from Nasri and is invited to shoot by the Plzen defence, an invite he gladly accepts, whipping the ball beyond Kozacik into the top corner. Lovely strike.
Plzen are almost level! Rajtoral gets to the bye-line and cuts back for Prochazka, but his close range effort is blocked by Zabaleta's shoulder.
Edin Dzeko is in again, this time going for power over precision and blazing over the bar. That all came from a defensive mistake from Plzen who look a bit shaky now.
That,you feel, will lift a huge weight off of the City players' shoulders. Aguero blasts over now as City really look to stamp their authority on this match.
GOOOAAALLL!!! DZEKO SLOTS HOME!!! That is a serious start from the visitors. Aguero shows great strength to get away from Hejda and the Argentinian squares unselfishly for his team-mate to sweep home from just inside the area.
We're back up and running in Plzen. Pellegrini marked this as a must win game for his side if they are serious about getting through the group stages. City have forty-five minutes to get serious.
The side's are back out for the second half and City are ready to get us back underway. How do they break that deadlock in the second half?
Currently, Man City are set to match the efforts of the only other English side to take on Plzen. Grimsby Town held Spartak Plzen - as they were once known - 3-3 back i n1959. Pellegrini will really be hoping his side can go one better than the draw this evening.
PLZEN 0-0 MAN CITY. Aguero could have scored, Dzeko should have. As it stands though it's still 0-0 and it's probably a fair reflection. City have had the better chances but are by no means bossing it. Plzen still look threatening from set pieces. The second half could still go either way.
45' + 1'
Just the one added minute and we are already into that here. Pavel Vrba will be pleased with his side's endeavor. Pellegrini might have a different message for his players.
Just the one minute plus stoppages left before the break. Some nice build up play from City eventually sees Aguero curl an effort goalwards but it's too close to Kozacik to trouble him.
Dzeko has a shot on the edge of the are blocked. The visitors manage to work the ball back into the giant centre-forward's feet but he plays in Aguero who is in an offside position and the chance is gone.
Yellow CardDavid Limbersky
Dive from Limbersky and a good call from the referee. The defender kicks the leg of Kompany and goes down in an attempt to fool the official but he's not buying it.
Another free kick for the hosts. Hart is tempted out this time to punch the ball. He doesn't get the best contact on the ball but when it's played back in Bokas's acrobatic effort is comfortably wide.
Plzen are focussing their efforts down the right this evening and they're getting a bit of joy down there too. Petrzela whips in a cross that is only just out of Kolar's reach. There would have been big danger for City if that was any lower.
The English side are just beginning to impose themselves on the game now. They are looking a lot more confident on the ball.
He was ineffective at the weekend but that is a lot more like the Nasri we've come to know over the years. The French international weaves his way through a number of challenges before being brought down on the edge of the box. The referee fails to call a halt to the game though, much to the disgust of the ex-Arsenal man.
WHAT IS KOMPANY THINKING?! The City captain has a Jonjo Shelvey moment as he tries to pick out Hart with a backpass without looking. The England keeper has to be alert and clears the danger just as Daniel Kolar reaches the scene. Let off for the Belgian.
It's another booking and it's another Manchester City player as Fernandinho joins Kolarov in the referee's notebook, sliding in on Horova from behind.
This is much better from Pellegrini's side as they finally start creating chances. They've still to take any of them, but it's a start.
POST!!! Aguero glides through a couple of tackles as he so often does and his shot back across goal from just across the area comes back of the foot of the upright, Kolarov sending the rebound into the arms of Kozacik. City are cranking up the pressure.
DZEKO HAS TO SCORE!!! But he hasn't. Kolarov whips the ball into the mixer and Dzeko is in acres of space in the six-yard-box but the Bosnian striker plants his header straight at Kozacik. Bad miss
Bakos slams the free kick towards goal and Hart has to parry the ball back into a busy penalty area. Manchester City's momentary panic is halted by the sight of the linesman's flag going up on the far side.
Kolarov is a very lucky man! I probably won't be the only one to suggest that if he weren't already on a yellow he would have been booked again here as he raises his boot against Kolar. Dangerous free kick for Plzen though in any case.
Limbersky swings in a deep free kick that Rajtoral almost gets on the end of! The flag was up for offside but City's defence almost caught sleeping there!
Yellow CardAleksandar Kolarov
Kolarov receives the first booking of the evening for a handball as Plzen look to play the ball down the line.
City have yet to really find their rhythm this evening. It's arguable they've yet to find it at all under Pellegrini. Plzen though, don't look afraid to attack their English opponents.
Kolar is felled again, this time Nastasic. The midfielder is getting a bit of special attention from the City defenders this evening.
Kompany clatters in to Daniel Kolar and gives away a free kick. Meanwhile there are more defensive concerns for the hosts as Hejda receives treatment on the sidelines.
Another corner for Pellegrini's men. Dzeko meets it with his head but it sails comfortably over Kozacik's crossbar.
Jesus Navas lets fly with the first effort of the game and it's not a bad first attempt. Matus Kozacik has to tip the Spaniards effort over the bar for a corner. There was dip in that effort.
Viktoria Plzen break early on in numbers. Manager Pavel Vrba did mention that his side are fond of a little foray forward. "We always like to play offensive football," he admitted earlier this week. Can they pose City any problems this evening?
This may be Plzen's second Champions League group stage outing but this is the first game to be played at the Struncovy Sady Stadion in the Champions League.
After a false start from the hosts, we are off! The long road to Lisbon starts here for City.
The familiar chimes of the Champions League anthem blast out in Western Bohemia. We are moments away from kick off.
Viktoria Plzen on the other hand are without their star defender. Marian Cisovsky - who netted five times during the qualifiers - is out injured. Lukas Hejda comes in for him, while winger Frantisck Rajtoral reverts to right-back.
Big news for Manchester City then as Vincent Kompany returns from injury. Samir Nasri holds onto his place despite his questionable performance at the weekend.
MANCHESTER CITY: (4-2-3-1) Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nasatic, Kolarov; Yaya Toure, Fernandinho; Jesus Navas, Aguero, Nasri; Dzeko.
VIKTORIA PLZEN: (4-2-3-1) Kozacik; Rajtoral, Prochazka, Hejda, Limbersky; Horava, Hovarth; Petrzela, Kolar, Kovarik; Bakos.
We are only about 10 minutes away from kick off so let's get some team news from the Struncovy Sady Stadion.
Twice Manchester City have entered the Champions League group stages and twice they've been sent crashing out at the very same stage. Last season they were pitted against Real Madrid, Dortmund and Ajax in what was heralded 'the group of death'. Manuel Pellegrini's side have a slightly easier task this year, but Plzen are not to be taken lightly. Just ask Napoli or Athletico Madrid.
No? I thought as much. Well let me introduce to the Czech Republic champions, a side described recently as a "Czech Borussia Dortmund". Manchester City will certainly be hoping they're far from BVB's quality, especially when you consider how easily the German's dismantled City in last season's goup stages.
Good Evening and a warm welcome to all of you joing me, Harry Slavin, for tonight's Champions League Group D match between Viktoria Plzen and Manchester City. So first things first, anyone actually know who this Plzen lot are?
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