UEFA Champions League

November 22, 2011

Full-time

Napoli

2 - 1

Manchester City

Group A

19:45 +00:00, November 22, 2011

San Paolo, Italy

Referee: Damir Skomina

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    The result leaves City one point behind Napoli, so they must now beat Bayern Munich in their next game to give them any chance of progressing. However, a win for Napoli over Villarreal, who have lost five from five in the group stages, means City are out regardless.

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    City lacked the necessary composure to get a result tonight, and the front two of Dzeko and Balotelli were, in particular, largely unimpressive. Disappointing for Mancini.

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    The Italians defended very well and were very organised, allowing City the keep possession while ensuring that possession was largely unthreatening.

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    Despite having most of the possession, City's lack of intelligence was their downfall tonight. They ran out of ideas early on as Napoli's tactics worked perfectly.

  • 90'

    Full-time! Referee signals the end of the game. Napoli 2-1 Manchester City

  • 90'

    Johnson really overhits a cross and it gives Napoli a goal-kick. Probably their last chance gone, now

  • 90'

    Napoli defend well from Balotelli. City have the ball again and enough time for one last attack.

  • 90'

    Less than 90 seconds of the 3 mins stoppage time remaining

  • 90'

    Late drama almost! Poor Lescott pass back almost gifts Napoli a tap-in but Hart rushes in and intervenes

  • 90'

    Napoli win the ball but fail to break after a poor cross. City launch another attack after Hart throws the ball out

  • 90'

    City throw-in.

  • 90'

    City again with all the possession, but Napoli defending superbly against them.

  • 89'

    Johnson cross blocked. Napoli try to break but Kompany intercepts.

  • 89'

    Little time for remaining for City to equalise

  • 88'

    Dossena off, Fernandez on.

  • 88'

    Kolarov wastes two opportunities to get the ball into the Napoli box, the first a poor cross and the second a shot...

  • 87'

    Napoli launch a long ball forward from the free-kick but Hart saves.

  • 86'

    Professional foul, can't be any arguments.

  • 86'

    Foul by Kolarov.

  • 86'

    Aguero shoots but De Sanctis saves! Corner to City.

  • 85'

    Zabaleta off, Johnson on.

  • 85'

    Another good save from De Sanctis! Balotelli gets a shot away after the corner but the Italian 'keeper saves well.

  • 84'

    Aguero wins City a corner after a foray into Napoli's box ends with his cross getting blocked.

  • 84'

    City playing the ball from the back. Not currently looking like scoring

  • 83'

    Cavani, scorer of both of Napoli's goals, is replaced by 2010 Champions League winner Goran Pandev

  • 83'

    Change for Napoli...

  • 83'

    Good play by City gives Nasri the chance to cross for Balotelli. It's a great cross and Balotelli jumps well, but the striker heads over.

  • 82'

    Aguero on, Dzeko off

  • 81'

    Aguero now set to come on (against the former side of his father-in-law, Diego Maradona)

  • 81'

    Last ten minutes of normal time remain.

  • 80'

    Balotelli clearly feels he was fouled there but tries not to react.

  • 79'

    Poor defending now from City gives Maggio a scoring chance but Hart saves brilliantly. Lucky again for City - Hart to thank.

  • 78'

    Great through-ball over the top for Balotelli which the striker controls before shooting at De Sanctis! Decent effort, deserved a goal.

  • 77'

    City again lacking invention and inspiration. Repeating the same moves and passes with little success

  • 76'

    Hamsik hits the post! That could have been game over for City. Great footwork from Hamsik to cut inside and beat Hart but the finish wasn't quite good enough.

  • 76'

    Silva felled on the edge of the box but the ref waves play on and Napoli are breaking

  • 75'

    Napoli defending well, very organised side.

  • 75'

    Boos ringing at around the crowd with City comfortably keeping possession but failing to threaten Napoli

  • 74'

    Balotelli plays a poor pass to Toure. Far from his best tonight.

  • 74'

    Zabaleta cross headed clear. City throw-in

  • 73'

    City again exchanging possession in defence

  • 72'

    Napoli escape with a blatant handball there, much to Balotelli's obvious disgust

  • 71'

    Kolarov cross is poor when aiming for Dzeko. De Sanctis to take the resulting free-kick

  • 71'

    Kompany blocks Lavezzi's dangerous looking cross. City looking to attack again

  • 71'

    Positive move from Mancini with City really needing a goal.

  • 71'

    De Jong off, Nasri on

  • 70'

    Nasri waiting on the sidelines, ready to come on

  • 70'

    Hart catches the corner... City now building gradually

  • 69'

    ..from which Napoli break. Lavezzi escapes Kompany and shoots before producing a good save from Hart. Corner

  • 69'

    Terrible touch by Kolarov, loses possession and wastes a promising City move

  • 69'

    Samir Nasri warming up...

  • 67'

    Well defended by Napoli, forcing City back into defence to look for space

  • 67'

    Silva back in defence now trying to start attacks. City on the break with Milner..

  • 66'

    Lavezzi offside after some nice passing from Napoli. City free-kick

  • 65'

    Cross from Milner collected by De Sanctis. Too high for anyone to head.

  • 64'

    City throw-in. They're gradually edging forward and seem to be less desperate than before. Encouraging for City fans that they're more calculated.

  • 63'

    Good passing by City creates a shooting chance for Balotelli but he fires wide. Not that it matters, because the Italian was offside, anyway

  • 63'

    Napoli clearly happy to allow City to attack as they're now playing increasingly deep. A clear attempt to begin playing on the counter

  • 62'

    Wlel defender from Cannavaro who intercepts the ball from Dzeko before clearing. Good performance from him so far tonight

  • 61'

    Silva booked for dissent

  • 60'

    Promising cross towards Dzeko and Balotelli but Dzeko can't quite make contact with the ball and it's out for a goal kick

  • 60'

    Now a City free-kick from a good crossing position on the right

  • 60'

    City's cross headed clear. Throw-in

  • 60'

    Silva coming deeper to collect the ball and get more involved

  • 60'

    Time to introduce one or more of Johnson, Aguero or Nasri?

  • 59'

    Important challenge by De Jong winnning possession back for City but again, they don't seem to know what to do with the ball.

  • 58'

    City trying to work their way forward but looking like they're bereft of ideas

  • 57'

    Inler off, Dzemaili on

  • 57'

    Inler in some discomfort so the ball is kicked out...

  • 56'

    Lescott forces a pass from defence and Napoli intercept. Poor again.

  • 55'

    City now lacking the patience they ended the first-half with and panicking in possession. Stray passes creeping into their game.

  • 55'

    Frustration appearing within City's ranks?

  • 54'

    Balotelli boooked for arguing after a foul is awarded against him

  • 54'

    Lescott now with possession

  • 54'

    De Sanctis collects the loose ball And kicks long but it eventually reaches Hart.

  • 53'

    Before trying a through-ball that runs out for a goal-kick

  • 53'

    Napoli spreading possession comfortably again

  • 51'

    Hamsik shot blocked as City are under pressure again. Lescott blockes the shot before the ball is headed out for a goal-kick.

  • 51'

    Same problem as before in that they now seriously risk getting countered

  • 50'

    City now under big pressure, as they need to win tonight.

  • 49'

    Out of nowhere! Cavani fires in his 4th goal in 5 Champions League games after a cutback from Dossena provides a shooting opportunity on the edge of the box. Hart could have done better but it was a very good finish.

  • 49'

    GOAL Napoli 2-1 Manchester City! Cavani!

  • 49'

    City again lose possession. Napoli now with the ball in defence

  • 48'

    Milner tackled but Hamsik's ball to Lavezzi is slightly overhit and it's a City goal-kick.

  • 47'

    City now passing in defence

  • 47'

    Napoli waste a shooting opportunity after a poor touch from Cavani but it's a reminder of City again losing possession cheaply

  • 46'

    City throw-in

  • 46'

    Napoli cross intercepted and cleared by Zabaleta.

  • 46'

    And we're underway again

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    City's turn to kick-off, of course...

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    Teams back out for the second-half, while David Platt admits City need to be sensible in possession...

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    ...Stresses the need for City to win tonight - without doing so they'll have to beat Bayern next week which could be very difficult.

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    As the live table stands, Bayern are clear on 13 points, City have 8, Napoli have 6 and Villarreal have 0.

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    For those interested, England manager Fabio Capello is attending tonight's fixture...

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    Game still very much wide open, but little need for Mancini to yet turn to one of his many substitutes unless, of course, Balotelli's discomfort means he has to come off.

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    City the better side after Napoli went in front, but Napoli have defended well and limited City to long range efforts, on the whole.

  • 45'

    Ref blows the whistle for half-time following Hart's goal-kick.

  • 45'

    1 minute stoppage time to be played...

  • 45'

    Napoli now spreading the ball nicely

  • 44'

    Dzeko wins the header but it's harmlessly over. Goal-kick

  • 44'

    Milner to take the corner

  • 44'

    Balotelli overhits a cross but Silva collects before winning a corner. Chance to go ahead just before half-time

  • 44'

    Balotelli, meanwhile, looks in some discomfort

  • 44'

    But City again intercept and Toure and De Jong look to build patiently

  • 43'

    Kolarov shoots following Dzeko's lay off but De Sanctis saves well. Napoli now breaking

  • 42'

    Silva crosses into the box towards Dzeko but it's just too high for the striker and De Sanctis collects

  • 41'

    City throw-in after possession is lost in midfield

  • 40'

    City casually exchanging the ball again. Must be having the vast majority of the possession

  • 40'

    Kompany wins the header but sends the ball wide. Napoli goal-kick

  • 39'

    City corner

  • 38'

    Milner wins the ball in midfield, this time on the left and looks to play Balotelli in

  • 37'

    Which they do, providing a shooting opportunity for Cavani who created space by Kompany before shooting over.

  • 37'

    Balotelli tackled when he should have been trying to keep the ball and Napoli look to break...

  • 37'

    Napoli throw-in

  • 36'

    City visibly lifted by the goal, passing more crisply and being more reasonably ambitious instead of unrealistic in their approach

  • 35'

    Foul by Maggio on Kolarov. Hart to take

  • 34'

    City lucky with the goal but not necessarily lucky to be on even terms. Napoli have done relatively little since the opener

  • 33'

    Out of nowhere - Aronica deflects a Kolarov cross to Silva who shoots at De Sanctis but the ball is rebounded to Balotelli who taps in with ease

  • 33'

    GOAL Napoli 1-1 Manchester City! Balotelli!

  • 32'

    Another long ball into the Napoli box doesn't quite reach Balotelli and De Sanctis collects

  • 32'

    Kolarov takes instead, curls the ball into the box poorly and Napoli clear with ease

  • 32'

    Silva lines up free-kick

  • 31'

    Nice skill from Milner who manages to keep possession despite being crowded, runs down the right-hand side and before being fouled for a free-kick

  • 31'

    Balotelli the next to selfishly shoot from distance. Decent effort but De Sanctis collects comfortably. City going to need to be more clinical and less individual

  • 30'

    City again exchanging possession at the back

  • 30'

    Heavy touch by Milner loses possession

  • 29'

    Kolarov fouled. City free-kick in their own half

  • 29'

    City with the ball in defence

  • 28'

    Silva fires over. Selfishly. Had options but decided to shoot and it wasn't particularly close.

  • 27'

    City now passing the ball around in defence

  • 27'

    Corner comes to nothing but City have the ball in midfield with De Jong, Milner and Toure exchanging possession

  • 26'

    Milner crossesin for Dzeko but Cannavaro gets a boot on the cross with the striker looking to head goalwards. Well defended. City corner

  • 26'

    Kompany defends excellently - intercepts a through-ball looking for Lavezzi which could have been dangerous.

  • 25'

    Napoli cross into the box but it's not close enough to Cavani and Hart collects.

  • 24'

    Napoli waste possession as Cannavaro overhits a pass for a City throw-in

  • 23'

    Napoli free-kick following a rather innocuous foul.

  • 22'

    Which duly leads nowhere. De Sanctis again with the ball

  • 22'

    Kolarov, attacking from left-back, tries a cross but it's blocked and City hsve a throw-in

  • 22'

    He takes the free-kick quickly and the ball returns to De Sanctis who kicks long

  • 21'

    Aronica writhing on the floor following Zabaleta's environment. Level of contact remains unclear, however...

  • 21'

    And gets into a dangerous position before slipping.

  • 21'

    Silva breaking again...

  • 20'

    Now it's City's turn! Dzeko and Silva combine well for Silva to curl in an effort but De Sanctis saves comfortably

  • 19'

    Napoli go close again! Again on the break - Cavani, making a good run, fires into the side netting which Hart appeared to have covered but it's another warning

  • 18'

    Napoli have already proved how good they are playing counter-attacking football and City, now in need of a goal, will be more vulnerable than before

  • 17'

    Joe Hart is absolutely fuming - Lavezzi crosses to the near post which Cavani tries to head in but the ball glides pass him, hits Kolarov and goes in. City in trouble early on.

  • 17'

    GOAL Napoli 1-0 Manchester City!

  • 17'

    Great save from Hart! Long range drive from Inler, out of nowhere, which was going in until Hart tipped over the bar. Lavezzi to take the corner

  • 17'

    Maggio takes Napoli throw-in...

  • 16'

    Attack fizzles out and it's a Napoli goal-kick

  • 16'

    Before passing to Balotelli who wastes possession with poor control

  • 15'

    Lavezzi shoots again but Kompany blocks and Milner begins to break...

  • 15'

    Dossena crosses into City box but Napoli can't connect properly so it's a corner.

  • 14'

    Toure passes to Kolarov who combines well with Dzeko before crossing into the box but the ref judges Kolarov to have fouled. Napoli free-kick.

  • 13'

    City again with the ball in defence

  • 12'

    Balotelli caught in possession and Napoli again look to launch an attack until Lavezzi overhits a cross-field pass and gifts City a throw-in

  • 12'

    City with the ball back in defence and patiently passing across the back four

  • 12'

    Napoli's front three have proved as entertaining as any in Europe this season.

  • 11'

    Lavezzi and Cavani link-up superbly with some one-touch football, which Lavezzi fires wide. Real danger for City and another warning against breaking in big numbers.

  • 11'

    Cannavaro dispossesses Balotelli and Hamsik breaks...

  • 10'

    Kolarov, after being put into some space by Silva, wastes a good crossing opportunity that Napoli clear with ease. Throw-in.

  • 10'

    City throw-in. Kolarov to take.

  • 9'

    An early warning for City not to get caught on the break.

  • 9'

    Hamsik heads straight at Hart following Lavezzi's cross. Had lots of time and space, and was well positioned - should have done better.

  • 9'

    But they lose possession and it's now Napoli's chance to break

  • 8'

    Cavani goes down, claiming a foul on the edge of the City box but the ref waves play on and City break

  • 7'

    Shot from Balotelli curls wide but decent effort. Dzeko, however, would do well to stay up front and provide City with a focal point and allowing Balotelli to do the link-up work

  • 7'

    Dzeko comes deep to support Silva and City spread possession across midfield

  • 6'

    Shot from Yaya Toure flies over unthreateningly! Found space well, however, City rotating positions well and showing some flexibility.

  • 6'

    City now passing the ball around in defence

  • 5'

    Plays a long ball for Dzeko who hugs the byline until playing a poor cross that's collected by De Sanctis in goal.

  • 5'

    Throw-in wasted, Zabaleta now in possession for City

  • 4'

    Well defended from Kolarov. Prevents a cross. Napoli throw-in.

  • 3'

    Dzeko fails to find Milner with an overlap and instead cuts inside, City definitely adopting a patient approach early on.

  • 3'

    City now passing the ball around patiently

  • 3'

    Unsurprisingly hostile atmosphere in Italy...

  • 2'

    Zabaleta crosses into the Napoli box but Dzeko fails to connect properly

  • 1'

    City's offensive doesn't last either and the ball is back in defence.

  • 1'

    They instantly look to go forward but Vincent Kompany intercepts for City on the edge of the box...

  • 1'

    Napoli kick-off, with the Italians playing from right to left.

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    In other team news, City are without the in-form Micah Richards, while Mancini is obviously seeking a solid, less flamboyant approach in relying upon James Milner, Nigel De Jong and Yaya Toure in midfield for one of the most important games of their season to date.

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    In other team news, City are without the in-form Micah Richards, while Mancini is obviously seeking a solid, less flamboyant approach in relying upon James Milner, Nigel De Jong and Yaya Toure in midfield for one of the most important games of their season to date.

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    Teams are out on the pitch, and awaiting kick-off...

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    Napoli, meanwhile, have Mario Santana and Goran Pandev on the bench, while Gokhan Inler will be relied upon to make them tick from midfield.

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    Should it go wrong at any stage for City, they have game changers on the bench in the form of Aguero, Adam Johnson and Samir Nasri.

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    City's greatest goal threats come from the superb David Silva, Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko, with perhaps the evening's major selection surprise being the inclusion of Sergio Aguero on the bench.

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    Joe Hart, who has been in excellent form for City this season, could be key again tonight. It was he that kept the scoreline respectable away at Bayern Munich, and he could be called upon again regularly tonight given the potential possessed by Napoli's front three of Lavezzi, Cavani and Hamsik.

  •  

    For all of the talent within their squad and their impressive domestic form, their lack of Champions League know-how has seen them fail to reach the same level in Europe.

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    There's no question tonight will provide a serious test of Manchester City's Champions League credentials.

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    It may only be their debut season, but Man City have impressed Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri who thinks they are as strong as Barca or Real Madrid.

  •  

    David Silva thinks his side can go all the way this season.

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    Join Declan Warrington at 1945 GMT to see if Manchester City can claim their place in the next round of the Champions League with a win over Napoli. Lose, and it could all get quite interesting.