CL: Historic Totti holds City

by | Sep 30, 2014 21:37

Francesco Totti made history with his magnificent chip to earn Roma a very good 1-1 draw at Manchester City.

Elsewhere in this Group of Death, Bayern Munich won 1-0 away to CSKA Moscow thanks to a Thomas Muller penalty, so the Italians are in second place and already three points clear of City.

Francesco Totti made history with his magnificent chip to earn Roma a very good 1-1 draw at Manchester City.

Elsewhere in this Group of Death, Bayern Munich won 1-0 away to CSKA Moscow thanks to a Thomas Muller penalty, so the Italians are in second place and already three points clear of City.

The Giallorossi were eager to defend their 100 per cent record in six matches in all competition this season, but missed Daniele De Rossi, Leandro Castan, Davide Astori and Kevin Strootman, while goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis failed a last-minute fitness test and wasn’t even on the bench. Totti started just days after turning 38, but had never previously scored on English soil, while Ashley Cole, Gervinho, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Douglas Maicon returned to England.

Roma crushed CSKA Moscow 5-1 in their Champions League opener, while City lost to a late Bayern Munich strike. Samir Nasri and Matija Nastasic missed out with Stevan Jovetic only fit for the bench and Martin Demichelis coming in for Eliaquim Mangala.

Curiously, this was Totti’s 90th game in European competition and the 89th for Manchester City. It was the worst possible start for Roma, as within three minutes Maicon had pulled back Sergio Aguero for a penalty that Kun got back up to convert.

The Brazilian almost made up for that costly error moments later by smashing a shot against the crossbar from a tight angle on Totti’s assist. Joe Hart then rushed off his line to smother at Gervinho’s feet after a mazy run and blocked a Radja Nainggolan effort.

Totti made history when he equalised with a delightful lob over the on-rushing Hart, as it was his first goal on English soil and he became the oldest ever player to score in European cup competition. It was also Totti’s first Champions League goal since November 2010 against Bayern Munich.

There were penalty appeals waved away, as a Jesus Navas pull-back struck Kostas Manolas on the hand when he was already on the ground. Vincent Kompany blasted over, but Gervinho forced a fine save out of Hart at the near post when he ran past Gael Clichy and Martin Demichelis.

After the restart Totti’s strike flashed past the far post, then Hart threw himself at Miralem Pjanic to block a shot from close range. The Bosnian hit a scorcher wide moments later, but Yanga-Mbiwa was decisive to stop Fernandinho pulling the trigger after a well-worked move.

Pjanic hacked off target after Totti and Florenzi combined, while Skorupski finally had something to do on 67 minutes, getting down to turn a Frank Lampard screamer round the near post.

A smart Maicon ball was rolled across the six-yard box, but nobody was able to get the tap-in and Pablo Zabaleta could clear.

Roma’s energy levels flagged towards the end and Maicon had to be helped off the field with a head injury. Zabaleta rolled across in stoppages and David Silva turned wide from three yards under pressure from Manolas. Stevan Jovetic also blasted a couple of efforts over on his comeback from a month out with injury.

Manchester City 1-1 Roma

Scorers: Aguero pen 4 (MC), Totti 23 (R)

Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy; Navas (Milner 46), Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Silva; Dzeko (Lampard 57), Aguero (Jovetic 84)

Roma: Skorupski; Maicon (Torosidis 88), Manolas, Yanga-Mbiwa, Cole; Pjanic, Keita, Nainggolan; Gervinho, Totti (Iturbe 72), Florenzi (Holebas 83)

Ref: Kuipers (NED)

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