Seemed to withdraw his hand slightly for Nasri's goal but redeemed himself in fine style, denying Dzeko twice when the Bosnian got through one-on-one in the second half.
Largely mopped up Aguero's runs from deep superbly well and coped admirably as City overloaded in attack late in the game with some strong and classy defending.
R. van Rhijn
The flying wing-back has burst onto the scene for club and country in recent months and made sure Clichy was pushed back throughout, supporting Sana brilliantly down the right flank. Not as sharp in defence and was caught out of position for Nasri's goal.
Handled Dzeko comfortably and may be developing a niche for Champions League goals, after also netting against Real Madrid. A simple run saw him steal ahead of Lescott but the Finn's flicked header was placed to perfection in the corner of Hart's goal.
Showed some magnificent touches early in the game and flashed two efforts wide of Joe Hart's goal before City took the lead. Was forced deeper into midfield as time went on and found it increasingly difficult to escape the clutches of Yaya Toure and Gareth Barry, but showed one last flash of brilliance to ghost past two defenders before scoring the decisive goal.
S. de Jong
Worried the City defence throughout with his surging runs from deep in midfield and was rewarded for some great work as he thundered in the hosts' equalising goal.
Booked early for a cynical body check on Dzeko and had a tough evening, being overloaded by Milner and Richards with no support from Babel, but stuck doggedly to his task and looked to get forward whenever he could.
The former Liverpool man has bags of top-level experience and showed it to the full with a calm and composed midfield display, tackling strongly when required and finding a team-mate with virtually every pass.
Was stationed on the left flank, constantly looking to drift infield and fire off trademark long-range efforts. Tested Hart from distance in the first period but had little influence over the game and his failure to track back was a huge disadvantage to Blind at left-back.
Knocked the ball around midfield well and was often the starting point for Ajax attacks. Could have been physically intimidated by City's towering midfield but showed great tenacity, snapping into challenges on Toure and Barry.
The Swedish winger has made a great start to life in Amsterdam this season, and is the Dutch champions' top scorer, but was largely quelled by the equally-pacey Clichy. Replaced by Enoh as the hosts looked to protect the points.
Did well to pouch Ryan Babel's long-range effort but was left completely helpless as De Jong and Moisander's efforts zoomed past him and Eriksen's shot was deflected out of his reach. Has kept just one clean sheet all season - a statistic he will be desperate to improve.
Had a superb first half, keeping Babel quiet and steaming forward time and time again and threaded a lovely ball through the Ajax defence that led to City's opener. Fell apart as part of a back three and Ajax capitalised to devastating effect.
City's best player in a defensive sense, coping with Sana's threat well throughout the opening hour. Switched to a more central role as City switched to a back three, was unlucky to see Eriksen's effort deflect off him and deceive Hart.
Caught completely flat-footed in City's zonal marking system as Moisander stormed ahead of him and flicked home Ajax's second. Was immediately sacrificed as Mancini switched to a back three, suggesting the Englishman perhaps lacks technique, in the Italian's eyes.
Has looked occasionally unsteady at times this season, and tonight was another poor show from the skipper. Couldn't keep up with the lightning feet of Eriksen & Co. and could only look on in despair as all fell apart around him in the second period.
Looked disinterested early on but came to life and grabbed his first Champions League goal for City with the side's first shot of the game. Gave Vermeer no chance, lashing the ball past Vermeer after being fed by Milner. Showed a rarely-seen physical side to his game, putting several tackles in on right-back Van Rhijn.
His work-rate is never in question, but the former Newcastle man also showed his technical ability in tandem with Richards down the City right. Cut inside, drawing defenders to him, before feeding Nasri for the opening goal.
His calmness is often a real boost for City but his tempo-killing style was a huge blow to City's attacks. Failed in defence too, losing out to De Jong in midfield and seeing Eriksen go on to score. Replaced by Tevez with City desperate for goals.
As is often the case in Europe, he ended up very deep in midfield, but his presence was a necessity with De Jong and Eriksen running riot. He couldn't shut down the diminutive attackers, however, and also failed to contribute in attack.
Looked laboured in attack after his last-gasp heroics at the weekend, finishing poorly with his two clear-cut openings. Couldn't shake off the nippy Alderweireld and Moisander throughout and might be better suited to the 'super-sub' role he seems to dislike so much.
Deployed in a supporting role behind Dzeko and his usual menace in front of goal dissipated for most of the game. Fizzed an effort over the bar late in the game and surged towards the defence a couple of times but was largely poor.
Introduced in Lescott's place as City switched to a 3-5-2 formation and instantly saw the hosts take the lead, before extending it soon after. Picked up a booking and had a generally negative impact on the match.
Replaced Barry as City searched for a way back into the game but had very little impact.
Replaced Milner as all tactics went out the window for City but barely touched the ball in 10 or so minutes on the field.