UEFA Champions League

November 2, 2011



0 - 3

Manchester City

Group A

19:45 +00:00, November 2, 2011

El Madrigal, Spain

Referee: Pedro Proença

  • 93'

    Take care folks and don't forget to join us tomorrow for some relentless Europa League action.

  • 93'

    Right, look out for the report from this and other Champions League games up on ESPNsoccernet imminently, and if you want to discuss this match further - contact me on Twitter via @marklomasESPN .

  • 93'

    FT: Villarreal 0-3 Man City. Not a lot to add to the first-half summary, aside from: Yaya Toure scored again. A walk in the park for the Premier League leaders and they leapfrog Napoli into second place in the group.

  • 93'

    And there it is, the final whistle puts Villarreal out of their misery like a fallen horse at the Grand National.

  • 92'

    I am at risk of drifting off here, someone get me an espresso.

  • 91'

    Headed away with ease.

  • 90'

    Free-kick now for Villarreal, tight to the right touchline. Valero to deliver.

  • 89'

    I wish I could update you with some interesting happenings but there are none to report I'm afraid.

  • 87'

    City just taking the mickey a little bit now just passing it around unopposed and Villarreal don't seem to have anything left in their tank.

  • 86'

    I'm sure Joe Hart would appreciate a clean sheet, going into this game he had gone five games without a shut out.

  • 85'

    This game just drifting towards its inevitable conclusion now.

  • 84'

    Oriol on for Perez.

  • 83'

    Wonderful skill from Clichy and a delightful through-ball with his right foot. But it comes to nothing. Shame as it deserved better.

  • 82'

    Kolarov on for Balotelli.

  • 81'

    Stat Attack: If Villarreal fail to score in the next nine minutes they will have not managed a goal in four of their past five games in the Champions League.

  • 80'

    Aguero is getting rather vocal abuse every time he touches the ball.

  • 79'

    Best passing move of the game for Villarreal - i.e. they put six consecutive passes together - ends with Valero volleying a pass straight to a City shirt.

  • 78'

    Valero wins a free-kick after Milner gives him a shove.

  • 77'

    Turning to Bayern v Napoli, Holger Badstuber has just been sent off for the hosts in Munich and Napoli have just scored - a second for Fernandez has made it Bayern 3-2 Napoli.

  • 76'

    Bordas on for Wakaso.

  • 75'

    Lopez's first game since January. He's been out with a cruciate injury.

  • 75'

    Angel Lopez on for De Guzman

  • 74'

    Villarreal fans of course dislike Aguero after Yellow Submarine players accused him of rubbing last week's winning goal in their faces in the tunnel after the game.

  • 74'

    Wow, that's a lot of boos!

  • 74'

    Aguero on for Toure.

  • 73'

    Aguero warming up, nice that an Argentine can happily do that in a Man City match away in the Champions League.

  • 72'

    Perez finds himself in the area and was at risk of a nosebleed for being so high up the pitch. Clichy challenges and City advance.

  • 71'

    Villarreal 0-3 Man City. That was just so embarrassingly easy. Nasri to Balotelli down the left and then Balotelli found Yaya Toure, who marched into the area and then again showed the poise of a striker to slot it in.

  • 71'

    GOAL Toure with his second.

  • 69'

    About 35 yards away, left of centre. Milner plays it short and City happy to be patient in possession.

  • 68'


  • 68'

    Savic with a nice but of skill to open up some room in midfield and Balotelli then draws a foul from Perez.

  • 67'

    Silva still grimacing in the dugout.

  • 66'

    Solid punch from Hart and moments later Wakaso fires in a shot. Well, fires out a shot. Nowhere near the goal.

  • 66'

  • 66'

    Valero to deliver into a packed box...

  • 66'

    De Jong with a fierce tackle gives away a free-kick, around 35 yards out on the right.

  • 65'

    Johnson on for Silva.

  • 64'

    Marchena looks to find Mario but it's another poor decision from a Villarreal player. Possession wasted.

  • 63'

    Adam Johnson warming up for City, imagine he will be coming on for Silva.

  • 62'

    Balotelli won and scored City's second from the penalty spot just before half-time.

  • 62'

    Silva clutching his back, which is a touch worrying for City fans.

  • 61'

    Valero has a shot from around 20 yards but it took a nick off a blue shirt and Hart again not really stretched.

  • 60'

    Stat Attack: Prior to tonight, Man City had failed to score in their last three away games in European competition. Before Toure's goal they had gone a total of 313 minutes without scoring.

  • 60'

    Nasri slices a shot wide from the edge of the area.

  • 59'

    Perez, who played really well at Eastlands a couple of weeks ago, but he has had a stinker tonight. Another poor piece of control by him there.

  • 58'

    Ambitious effort from Balotelli - struck well but too high on this occasion.

  • 57'

    Yaya Toure ruled offside when he quite clearly wasn't. He had run a fair old distance to reach Nasri's through ball, but it was in vain.

  • 56'

    Terrible touch from Perez with all the time in the world to control and run or cross from the right flank.

  • 55'

    Cleared to safety easily enough by the Villarreal defence.

  • 54'

    And he does hit it, but it's deflected out for another City corner.

  • 54'

    Balotelli looks like he also fancies it...

  • 53'

    Catala fouls Silva on the edge of the box. Similar position to the first half, slightly further right of centre and 20 yards out.

  • 52'

    City corner after Balotelli's shot is deflected over.

  • 51'

    Not what we want to hear.

  • 51'

    Tweet from Oliver Kay, a journalist with The Times: Balotelli wins and scores pen, winds up home fans with his celebration. Monkey chants ensue, sadly

  • 50'

    Wakaso chases back impressively to tackle Balotelli but there's such limited movement or options up front for Villarreal.

  • 49'

    Mario creates some space on the right and sets up Perez for a cross. Easily dealt with by Kompany.

  • 48'

    Fantastic footwoork from Silva to escape the clutches of three yellow shirts - pure class from the conductor of Man City's orchestra.

  • 47'

    Corner for Villarreal and Wakaso went down again, the referee ignored him.

  • 47'

    Just as I mention that Wakaso goes on a storming run and Milner is forced to make a superbly-timed challenge inside the box.

  • 46'

    Looks to be normal service resumed here, City knocking it around defence and midfield with ease. It's all very comfortable for Roberto Mancini's side.

  • 46'

    Stat Attack: Man City have scored 50 goals in 17 games so far this season.

  • 45'

    We're off for the second half...

  • 45'

    Yaya Toure celebrates scoring Man City's opening goal.

  • 45'

    To keep on top of all of tonight's other Champions League matches, join Chris Murphy for live chat and updates.

  • 45'

    Absolutely, and they're doing a good job at the moment. I can't wait for the game away to Napoli - should decide who goes through.

  • 45'

    Comment from @rybell7 here on Twitter earlier in the game: "Not surprised to see 5 in midfield, but this is a must win for city, can't see them beating napoli AND bayern."

  • 45'

    Just seen a replay of the Balotelli pen, it was actually a bit soft and he was already on the way down. But it's easy to see why the referee gave it, Mateo Musacchio shouldn't have put his arm anywhere near the City striker.

  • 45'

    Remember, you can have your say on Twitter - @marklomasESPN is the place to go.

  • 45'

    Villarreal really need to step things up in the second half - they showed flashes in the first half with Valero and De Guzman, but City have had too much quality thus far.

  • 45'

    HT: Villarreal 0-2 Man City. Certainly a deserved lead and I'm not too sure what Villarreal were so unhappy about with the penalty. Gonzalo slid in and won the ball but it was Musacchio who tugged at Balotelli and that's what the spot-kick was given for.

  • 45'

    There goes the whistle for half-time.

  • 45'

    Marchena booked for his protestations.

  • 45'

    Villarreal 0-2 Man City. Very cool from Balotelli. Sent the goalkeeper the same way but the Yellow Submarine are incensed that a penalty was given.

  • 45'

    GOAL Balotelli slots it home.

  • 45'

    Balotelli to take it...

  • 45'


  • 45'

    Penalty to Manchester City. Musacchio brought down Balotelli.

  • 45'

    De Guzman hits it but it's deflected into Hart's gloves.

  • 44'

    One last chance for Villarreal to build an attack.

  • 44'

    Napoli have pulled one back in Munich - Fernandez making it 3-1.

  • 43'

    Joselu has put in a good shift up front but he's been feeding on scraps since that De Guzman through-ball.

  • 43'

    Villarreal sitting frighteningly deep for a team in need of a goal.

  • 42'

    Just to clear that up, it was Gomez. A hat-trick for the prolific Bayern striker and that's good news for City.

  • 42'

    Bayern crusing against Napoli - it's 3-0 to the Bavarians and I'll give you one guess who scored.

  • 41'

    Gonzalo hacks at Balotelli and it's a City free-kick on the left wing.

  • 40'

    Silva continues to pull the strings for City and tees up Nasri. The France midfielder's deflected shot fails to trouble Diego Lopez though.

  • 39'

    Stat Attack: City have had 63% possession so far to Villarreal's 37%.

  • 39'

    Catala pushed Silva over and gets booked for his troubles.

  • 38'

    Great chance for City as a Toure pass slliced the Villarreal defence open - Silva sprinted away and squared the ball back, but it was behind a loitering Balotelli.

  • 37'

    Balotelli ruled offside from Milner's cross.

  • 36'

    Milner looks for Zabaleta with a long diagonal, but he can't match the sort of trajectory that De Guzman has managed so far - both with his passing and shooting!

  • 35'

    Toure again wriggles his way through, but couldn't quite engineer enough space to shoot this time.

  • 34'

    Free-kick for Balotelli after he was brought down by Musacchio.

  • 33'

    De Guzman with a woeful shot - high and wide. Generally pretty rubbish.

  • 33'

    Stat Attack: That was Yaya Toure's first goal for City since he scored the winner in May's FA Cup final.

  • 32'

    Wakaso crosses from the left but Kompany stretches to divert the ball to safety.

  • 31'

    Cracking finish and fully deserved on the balance of play so far.

  • 30'

    Villarreal 0-1 Man City. David Silva gave it to Yaya on the edge of the box and he took one step inside the area before bending a righ-foot shot into the corner past Diego Lopez.

  • 30'

    GOAL Yaya Toure nets the opener.

  • 29'

    Valero and De Guzman both looking good in possession but I'm not convinced about them defensively.

  • 28'

    Mancini just tried to step out of the dugout and smashed his head on his way out. Didn't look pretty.

  • 27'

    Suspicion of handball as Silva's shot crashes into the wall, but Marchena clears.

  • 26'

    Dangerous position this for City and I fancy it will be Silva to take it. Just right of centre, about 20 yards out...

  • 26'

    Wakaso penalised. Bad tackle and he got right in Silva's face.

  • 25'

    De Jong to Yaya Toure and Man City pressing hard. Silva fouled on the edge of the area by Wakaso.

  • 24'

    Silva gives the ball away (a collector's item) and Catala given space to run down the left wing.

  • 23'

    Balotelli frustrated by a throw-in decision going against him and he kicks the ball away. The ref was looking elsewhere though.

  • 22'

    Bayern are 2-0 up - it's that man Gomez again with his 14th goal in 11 games this season.

  • 21'

    Zabaleta and Wakoso embroiled in a bit of a handbags. The City defender wins the free-kick.

  • 20'

    Clichy and Balotelli exchange passes and find Nasri in space, but the Frenchman strikes wide.

  • 19'

    In tonight's other Group A game, Bayern Munich lead Napoli 1-0 through a Mario Gomez goal.

  • 18'

    But this time he wandered a yard offside.

  • 18'

    Villarreal finally finding their stride and De Guzman again the creator-in-chief, finding Perez.

  • 17'

    But he couldn't bring it under control or even get a shooting chance.

  • 17'

    Valero drops his shoulder to accelerate past De Jong before over-running it. Then De Guzman plays a perfectly-weighted 40-yard pass towards Joselu who is clean through...

  • 16'

    I'm not sure how Balotelli managed to avoid a booking there.

  • 15'

    Valero does well to pick the ball off Balotelli's foot but the Italian promptly goes and cleans out Perez.

  • 14'

    Stat Attack: Villarreal have faced English teams nine times in the Champions League and are yet to win a game (six draws, three losses).

  • 13'

    City free-kick as Catala tackles Silva late.

  • 12'

    Another misplaced pass from a player in yellow, this time Perez passed into space but there was not a team-mate in sight.

  • 11'

    A disastrous corner routine from Valero results in an opportunity to cross missed and a Man City throw-in a metre away from the corner flag. Comical.

  • 10'

    Villarreal corner now after Clichy heads it out.

  • 9'

    De Jong with a typically De Jong-esque challenge on De Guzman.

  • 8'

    So far the Yellow Submarine has been sitting deeper than the USS Wahoo (I'm reliably informed that is a famous submarine). Really defensive outlook from the home team.

  • 7'

    Silva has been given far too much room so far in this game. He found himself with plenty of space to turn again then and he's unlucky that it ricocheted back against him and out for a goal-kick.

  • 6'

    No English club has ever won at El Madrigal and City have not won away from home in Europe for five games, since they beat Salzburg last season.

  • 5'

    Clichy crosses in and Gonzalo rises highest to head it away. I think he may be rather busy this evening.

  • 4'

    The move breaks down but City have the ball once again.

  • 4'

    City just keeping hold of the ball at present and a delightful flick from Balotelli fed Silva into space.

  • 3'

    Firmly held by Joe Hart.

  • 3'

    Marchena with a great ball to Joselu and the ball breaks to Perez, who strikes one from all of 30 yards....

  • 2'

    Clichy dispossesses Valero and now advances down the left. Good footwork from David Silva creates space but his through ball is overhit.

  • 1'

    Eight of Villarreal's first-teamers out tonight, that's going to be so tough to deal with.


    Villarreal get us ubderway and there's an early hoof up field from the Yellow Submarine towards lone front man Joselu.


    And we're off...


    Let's hope that's not a sign of things to come tonight, my fingers are firmly crossed for goals.


    Stat Attack: Almost a quarter of Villarreal?s Champions League matches (6 of 25) have been 0-0 draws.


    Players just in the tunnel at the moment, and we're almost ready for kick-off.


    I'd be keen to hear your thoughts throughout the match, so feel free to contact me on Twitter @marklomasESPN is the place to go.


    Villarreal face a real uphill battle here, and I fully expect City to walk away with a valuable three points. I will of course keep you updated on the goings on in the other Group A game tonight - Bayern Munich v Napoli at the Allianz Arena.


    Villarreal have been absolutely decimated by injury and it couldn't have happened at a worse time for them. They have yet to claim a single Champions League point, have had a terrible start to La Liga this season and now they are without Giuseppe Rossi, Christian Zapata, Cani, Javier Camunas, Marco Ruben, Marcos Senna and Nilmar.


    Other team news from Manchester City is that Stefan Savic makes his Champions League debut. He is yet to start a Premier League match for City, having made five substitute appearances. Though he has started twice in the Carling Cup.


    I'm just pinching myself a little bit as British broadcaster ITV have managed to get Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira - TOGETHER - doing their punditry for the game tonight.


    Right, 15 minutes to go until kick-off at El Madrigal and Mario Balotelli is back in the spotlight. He starts up front on his own, with Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero on the bench.


    Last time out, City beat Villarreal 2-1 at Eastlands thanks to Sergio Aguero's stopppage-time winner.


    Villarreal face a real uphill task tonight as they have a number of big players out injured. But coach Juan Carlos Garrido believes his inexperienced youngsters can defy the odds and beat City.


    Join us from 1930 GMT for build up to and live commentary of the Champions League Group A clash between Villarreal and Manchester City at El Madrigal.