Perhaps too quick to go to ground when De Jong chipped the ball over him for the first Ajax goal, but his defenders were certainly more at fault for City's set-piece woes than he was. Made a good save from De Jong in the second half.
Not troubled too often in open play and not directly culpable for either of the goals from corner kicks. But the Belgian does not seem to be carrying the same presence and aura of leadership about him at the moment.
One of the bright lights of a damp squib of a performance on the part of the hosts in the first half. Combined with Nasri to make one excellent run that ended in a dangerous cross that Van Rhijn headed clear in the six-yard box. Then he burst into the area to get on the end of a Garcia delivery, but could not muster enough power on his header. Had few problems dealing with Babel and continued to attack positively as City improved in the second half.
Dealt with the threat posed by the Ajax wingers and showed some nice touches going forward, the best of which left Aguero facing only Vermeer, but the forward was offside.
Hacked a poor clearance behind for a corner from which De Jong gave Ajax the lead. Also part of the group of City defenders that failed to clear Eriksen's subsequent delivery.
His best moment came when he chipped in an excellent cross that Zabaleta met but otherwise he struggled to find the space in midfield to exert a great influence over proceedings. Withdrawn at half-time to be replaced by Balotelli.
Frustrated by the lack of space he was afforded and sometimes gave the ball away when he tried to force passes through the middle. But he kept battling and deserves credit for his doggedness and some more successful attempts to pick out the forwards ahead of him.
Acted as a useful pivot for the likes of Tevez, Aguero and Zabaleta to play off him and delivered one or two threatening crosses. Not often able to get into full flight himself, though.
Embodied the best and worst of City. As much to blame as anyone for the two goals the hosts conceded. At both corners, he completely failed to follow De Jong, leaving him unmarked to score two goals. But then pulled Mancini's team back into the contest with a brilliant volleyed finish and he was consistently a threat with his trademark runs from midfield.
Moved into wide areas to create space on a couple of occasions, opening up passes for the midfielders to hit as it became extremely congested in the centre of the pitch. Faded before he was subbed for Dzeko though.
Twice found space and looked like he would advance onto goal only to slip on the wet turf and see the chance wasted. Better in the second half when he moved into the wide areas than the first, when he stayed central and was crowded out by Alderweireld and Moisander. Finally got his rewards for an increasingly positive performance with a fine finish after racing on to Balotelli's flicked header.
Very active in coming off his line which helped Ajax to press up the pitch and deny City space through the middle. Could do little about either goal and made some timely saves in the second half.
Comfortable when Ajax could crowd out City in the centre of the pitch but forced into a couple of rash sliding tackles when the hosts widened their play and dragged him out to the flank. Looked more troubled by physicality than individual technique, with Balotelli and Toure causing aerial problems.
R. van Rhijn
Relatively peripheral, without a direct opponent, in the first half but became more involved as Aguero looked to move onto his flank. Committed a couple of fouls but did not give up anything too easily. A threat when he did get forward, fizzing in one superb low cross that Zabaleta did well not to turn into his own net. Lucky not to be punished in the last seconds when he pulled down Balotelli in the box.
Made one important tackle to deny Zabaleta but it was a sign that he was finding it more difficult to deal with a more varied City attack in the second half.
Showed great endeavour to get from box-to-box, fulfilling his defensive duties while supporting the attack. Not as potent as De Jong when Ajax went forward and sometimes coughed up possession when pressured but maintained his enthusiasm throughout.
S. de Jong
Delivered a captain's performance to send Ajax into a two-goal lead from two corners. Both were terrific finishes and he was consistently a threat when bursting forward from midfield.
Busy and enthusiastic, showing good stamina and energy to get up and down the left side of the pitch. Sometimes struggled when Zabaleta joined Tevez and Nasri in overloading the right wing. Booked for a late challenge on Nasri early in the second half.
Did an enormously important job for his team in the 'false nine' role. Ajax did not have enough of the ball in dangerous areas for him to consistently threaten but he did thread through a couple of dangerous passes. Just as importantly, he kept the ball when he received it to allow his team-mates to reorganise and take a breather by dribbling away from the attention of Kompany and Nastasic.
A great reader of the game and always positioned well to make a tackle or interception. Kept the ball by looking to play simple passes out to the full-backs.
Some good touches and flicks as he tried to test Zabaleta but could never produce a dangerous final product in the final third.
His ability to go inside or outside the full-back was useful but he struggled to ask too many questions of Clichy. Did not really have anyone to cross to and didn't look like getting on the end of many chances himself.
A threat as a late substitute in midfield. Provided two dangerous crosses, the latter of which he was unlucky to be called offside for after it was turned in by Aguero.
Made a significant difference as a half-time substitute. Ajax had looked troubled by Toure's aerial prowess before the break and he continued in that vein. Flicked on to Aguero for the equaliser and forced an excellent save from Vermeer with another header from a free-kick. Hugely unfortunate not to have been awarded a penalty at the death when he was pulled down by Van Rhijn.
Used his physicality to limited effect as City looked for a late winning goal.