Man City in 'do or die' match with Real Madrid



Associated Press

Published — Tuesday 20 November 2012

Last update 20 November 2012 9:01 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

MANCHESTER, England: For the second straight season, Manchester City faces elimination from the group stage of the Champions League unless players who have failed to live up to their price tags can find a way to beat Real Madrid.
The underperforming English champions are last in Group D with only two points from four matches after opening the campaign with a 3-2 loss at Madrid.
“It is very difficult, because probably we did some mistakes in the first game,” City manager Roberto Mancini said Tuesday.
Mancini will make a late decision on whether striker Mario Balotelli’s back has recovered in time for him to face Madrid.
“Yesterday he trained with the physio and tomorrow and today he will train with the team and we will see if he can play,” Mancini said.
The pressure on Mancini has been lifted slightly by City rising to the top of the Premier League on Saturday for the first time in its title defense. But it’s in Europe where the top teams are judged, and for some City players the last two Group D matches could now only be a matter of pride.
“Unlikely as it is that we will go through, we want to win our remaining two games and give ourselves at least half a chance,” City winger James Milner said. “And if that’s not good enough, at least we can finish with our heads held high.”
Madrid is second in Group D, one point behind Borussia Dortmund and three ahead of Ajax.
But Madrid has stumbled in its last two matches, losing at Dortmund and then being held by the German champions at home two week ago.
“We have a good chance of winning in Manchester if we impose our attacking strength,” Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira said. “The quality of this team is incredibly high and ... we definitely have to concentrate on trying to play our own way there, not letting ourselves to be influenced by the opponent’s style.”
Madrid’s passage to the knockout phase would be guaranteed with a game spare with a win in Manchester, where Cristiano Ronaldo will be playing for the first time since leaving United in 2009.
“Tomorrow he should have more attention on him, not only the other players ... because he’s a player that can change the game alone,” Mancini said.
Winger Denis Cheryshev has been called into the Madrid squad, with midfielder Michael Essien and forward Alvaro Morata sidelined.
Dortmund is the only unbeaten team in Group D and to advance only needs a draw at Ajax, which has never been beaten at home by German opposition.
“I have a lot of respect for Ajax,” Dortmund defender Neven Subotic said. “They don’t allow themselves to be shaken up.”

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The chief of the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia), Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sanad, signed a SR35 million deal recently to construct nine buildings and various centers for Islamic organizations across the Kingdom.The deal, to be...
JEDDAH: Officials at the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) have emphasized their electronic training (e-training) system in their 5th Annual Seminar on Sunday.The five-day seminar was held at the office of the Jeddah Development Ce...
JEDDAH: The Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) honored its distinguished employees from various departments and sectors under the “Thank you” program, on Sunday. The event was meant to encourage the employees so they can perform much bett...
JUBAIL: An accident on the busy Abu Hadriyah-Jubail road on Saturday afternoon left five people injured, once again highlighting commuters’ concerns about speeding and poor lighting among others. Over 17 accidents happened on this route in the past t...
RIYADH: A number of parents have complained about the lack of hygiene in schools, expressing fears about the potential spread of the MERS virus with the beginning of the new academic year. This comes in the backdrop of another death due to the deadly...
JEDDAH: Disputes over sharing of property or inheriting family business are common. But Dhahran has witnessed an unusual fight among four brothers — over donating kidney to their youngest brother.Coincidentally, all the brothers were found fit to don...

Stay Connected

Facebook