CL: Roma fail Man City test

by | Dec 10, 2014 21:36

Roma are out of the Champions League and drop to the Europa League after a 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City.

Bayern beat CSKA Moscow 2-0 with a team of reserves, so the Giallorossi needed a victory or a 0-0 draw in this fixture to go through. It ultimately came down to the woodwork, as Samir Nasri’s shot ricocheted in and the Kostas Manolas header went wide.

Roma are out of the Champions League and drop to the Europa League after a 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City.

Bayern beat CSKA Moscow 2-0 with a team of reserves, so the Giallorossi needed a victory or a 0-0 draw in this fixture to go through. It ultimately came down to the woodwork, as Samir Nasri’s shot ricocheted in and the Kostas Manolas header went wide.

Going into the final group game, these two teams and CSKA Moscow were locked together on five points, all battling for one place in the Champions League knockouts. Leandro Castan and Vasilis Torosidis missed out for the hosts, while Daniele De Rossi was dropped. City were without top scorer Sergio Aguero, Matija Nastasic, Vincent Kompany and the suspended Yaya Toure, while Stevan Jovetic and David Silva were only fit for the bench.

After four minutes Joe Hart needed a desperate save one-on-one with Jose Holebas, who had been sent clear by an inspired Francesco Totti ball over the top. Moments later Eliaquim Mangala stopped Gervinho turning in Radja Nainggolan’s assist, also from Roma’s left channel.

It was end-to-end stuff on 20 minutes, as first Morgan De Sanctis beat away a James Milner strike, then Gervinho went on the counter and forced Hart into a fingertip save to turn it past the upright.

Edin Dzeko failed to make the most of a smart Samir Nasri pull-back and Jesus Navas had the ball in the net after play had been stopped for Dzeko’s dangerous play. Hart plucked a Douglas Maicon strike out of the air and Gervinho fired straight at the goalkeeper when sent running by a Nainggolan cross-field pass.

De Sanctis made himself big at the near post to deny Milner one-on-one, while Gervinho dribbled between four players and wanted a penalty, but seemed to lose his balance. Dzeko and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa went into the book for a minor scuffle.

After the restart Milner blasted over and Totti’s effort was charged down in the box. Gervinho brilliantly nutmegged Zabaleta only for his through ball for Maicon to be intercepted. Pjanic unleashed a rocket from distance, forcing Hart down to beat it away.

However, Manchester City took the lead with a stunner from Samir Nasri. His scorching shot from 25 yards ricocheted in off the inside of the near upright. As CSKA were still losing in Munich, Roma needed a victory in this game to qualify.

Nainggolan’s blockbuster from distance stung Hart’s gloves under the bar and Ljajic put Zabaleta down with a double dummy only to drill over the bar. It was his last contribution, making way for Juan Manuel Iturbe.

Kostas Manolas thought he had equalised from a corner on 72 minutes, but his header smacked against the upright and – unlike Nasri’s shot – went back out again. From the next corner, Martin Demichelis charged down Mattia Destro’s effort in front of an open goal after Hart misjudged the ball.

Roma’s heads dropped and they conceded a second. Nasri felt Zabaleta coming up behind him and rolled across to fire in, anticipating Manolas.

Roma 0-2 Man City

Scorers: Nasri 60 (M), Zabaleta 86 (M)

Roma: De Sanctis; Maicon (Florenzi 78), Yanga-Mbiwa, Manolas, Holebas; Pjanic, Keita, Nainggolan; Gervinho, Totti (Destro 70), Ljajic (Iturbe 67)

Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Mangala, Clichy; Fernando, Fernandinho; Navas (Silva 67), Nasri (Kolarov 88), Milner; Dzeko (Jovetic 78)

Ref: Mazic (SRB) 

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