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Manchester City 2-2 Ajax


City: Done and dusted

City: Done and dusted

Manchester City could only draw 2-2 with Ajax Amsterdam in what was effectively a must-win European game at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.


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City were all too aware prior to kick-off that they needed to defeat Ajax in order to stand any real chance of advancing in this season's UEFA Champions League.

The match started in the worst way possible, though, as Ajax took the lead after just 10 minutes, captain Siem de Jong popping up at the post to turn the ball into the net from a corner.

For so much of this season's European campaign, City have looked anxious and not their usual selves, and that didn't change as they conceded a second goal just minutes later.

It was De Jong again who popped up from a corner to score, thanks to some more poor defending from City, this time skipper scoring from a free header.

Just as the home fans were starting to give up hope, Yaya Toure, so often City's saviour, whipped his right foot around a cross from Samir Nasri, slamming the ball past Kenneth Vermeer from close range at the far post.

City failed to pull level before the break as their attempts to play through the middle of midfield ended in frustration time and again, and it wasn't until just after the half time break that they worked another clear-cut chance.

Sergio Aguero this time found the back of the net but was rightly flagged offside.

Seventeen minutes from time, though, Aguero kept his position and finished with composure after a lovely flick-on from substitute Mario Balotelli.

City pushed on from their equaliser, spurred on by the roaring home fans, and the match ended in real controversy.

Firstly, Aguero again found the back of the net, but the linesman arguably wrongly flagged for offside in the build-up and, right at the death, Balotelli was denied what looked a clear spot kick after being hauled down in the box.

The match ended in City players crowding around the referee, but ultimately they have only themselves to blame for not forcing the issue much earlier in this season's European campaign.

Posted: 06/11/12 22:19

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