Man City failed to beat Roma in Tuesday’s Champions League Group E encounter. The Premier League champions were held 1-1 at the Etihad Stadium in a game they didn’t deserve to win.
Sergio Aguero gave the hosts an early lead with a converted penalty inside the opening 5 minutes. But 38-year-old Roma legend Francesco Totti, equalised on 23 minutes to become the oldest scorer in Champions League history. City had a couple of close chances but were extremely wasteful in the final third and from set plays. Joe Hart had to save well to earn them a point in a game Roma could have won.
It seems to be a bit of a mystery as to why Man City have been poor in the Champions League since entering for the first time in 2011. They have only got past the group stage once but it hasn’t helped being drawn with the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid over the years.
It’s not just the Champions League though; they didn’t have a great record in the Europa League either beforehand. Although it does take a number of years to get used to playing at the highest level and getting used to the European style of football, City have now had 3 or 4 years to do this.
They have plenty of winners and leaders in the side. Players like Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure are certainly big names but also big characters that can will a team on and change a game in an instant.
The club is full of fantastic players that can certainly turn their fortunes around, both in the League and in Europe. Man City have not had a great start to the season, already losing points at home to Stoke and Chelsea. Although recent wins with the demolition of Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup and a comfortable victory at Hull, it looked like momentum was coming back to the boys in Sky Blue.
But this result will certainly knock them back a bit, knowing they have to beat Roma away to stand any chance of qualifying to the knock-out stages of the Champions League. They have players too good not to turn it around.
World-class talent such as Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and David Silva will play a key role, not forgetting the class of Samir Nasri, Edin Dzeko, Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart. They now have a truly excellent squad with at least two quality players in each position, which should be able to challenge with most top teams in Europe.
Although it is only October, Man City know they cannot afford many more slip ups now in both competitions. Time will tell if their Champions League mystery goes on but for now it certainly remains.