Europa League

March 15, 2012

Full-time

Manchester City

3 - 2

Sporting Lisbon

Europa League

20:05 +00:00, March 15, 2012

Etihad Stadium

Referee: Tom Harald Hagen

2nd Leg: 3 - 3 (Agg)

  • 96'

    Thanks for joining us and stick with ESPNsoccernet for the post-match reaction.

  • 96'

    It was a genuinely thrilling encounter and, it took City about 150 minutes to start playing to potential, all credit to Sporting for pulling off the upset.

  • 96'

    It was not to be, though, and City exit the Europa League on away goals.

  • 96'

    It was actually a great save to deny Hart what would have been one of the most memorably goals ever scored in European competition.

  • 96'

    It's all over!

  • 96'

    De Jong floats the ball into the area, and Hart heads just wide! Incredible stuff!

  • 95'

    City put the ball in the box and it comes out to Kolarov, whose shot deflects for a corner. Joe Hart heads up!

  • 94'

    Sporting keep it in the corner again before conceding a goal kick.

  • 94'

    ...and Jeffren wins a free-kick. Sporting may well have done enough here.

  • 94'

    Jeffren runs to the corner flag.

  • 93'

    Sporting have a free-kick. The clock's ticking and City still need a goal.

  • 92'

    Aguero races down the left, battling against Insua, and does brilliantly well to keep it in, but his cross at full stretch goes straight to the 'keeper.

  • 91'

    Richards attempts an overhead, and Xandao is holding his head. Balotelli goes crazy, a bit unfairly, and gets booked.

  • 90'

    Pereirinha is 'injured' again. The ref tells him to get up, which he does.

  • 90'

    Kolarov fires in another cross and City have another corner.

  • 89'

    Five minutes of time are to be added on.

  • 88'

    Kolarov crosses for Balotelli, whose header from close range goes wide! City somehow have a corner though.

  • 86'

    Kolarov sends a cross into the box, but Aguero's knockdown is cleared by Polga.

  • 85'

    Oh, he's fine, look.

  • 85'

    Oh dear, Rui Patricio is now apparently injured, and the medical team are taking an awfully long time to treat him.

  • 84'

    Dazeko heads over the bar! Crisp passing and a sharp cross from the left made the chance.

  • 83'

    Kolarov plays a wretched cross-field ball as City look to build an attack.

  • 83'

    City have the best part of ten minutes to score a winning goal here.

  • 82'

    Well, well, well. City are within a goal of progress as Aguero turns the ball home at the far post after Savic's flick on from Kolarov's corner.

  • 82'

    GOAL FOR CITY!

  • 82'

    Aguero drives into the area from the left and wins a corner.

  • 81'

    Xandao heads the corner tamely wide.

  • 81'

    Sporting win a corner off Kolo Toure.

  • 80'

    Kolarov looks to beat three men on the left, and Neto eventually shepherds the ball out for a goal kick.

  • 79'

    Pereirinha is ready to come back on, and gets a healthy booing.

  • 78'

    He didn't need it. He's standing on the sideline now.

  • 78'

    The stretcher is coming on. Hard to say whether Pereirinha actually needs it or not.

  • 76'

    A bit of a to-do here. Pereirinha is down after a tackle from Dzeko and City think he's playacting. De Jong tried to lift him off the field, which Sporting didn't like.

  • 75'

    Incidentally, Neto's tackle was right on the edge of the area and may even have been outside. Hard to say really.

  • 75'

    Balotelli takes a rather cocky penalty in the circumstances, pausing as he runs up and then passing into the net.

  • 75'

    GOAL FOR CITY

  • 74'

    Silly tackle from Neto as he brings down Aguero just inside the area.

  • 74'

    PENALTY TO CITY

  • 73'

    The free-kick is laid off to Insua, whose shot is fierce but a little wild.

  • 73'

    Savic picks up a booking for a trip on Suarez.

  • 72'

    Yaya Toure plays a hopeful ball forward and gives away possession.

  • 72'

    Richards clears the danger as Sporting break. City are running out of time.

  • 71'

    Yaya Toure floats the ball in from the left and goalkeeper Rui Patricio makes a mess of it, but the flag was up and he gathered it at the second attempt in any case.

  • 70'

    Balotelli loses his footing when receiving the ball on the edge of the area. It's not been his night really.

  • 69'

    They liked the corner less, given that it evaded everyone.

  • 69'

    Kolarov drives brilliantly into the penalty area and wins a corner. The crowd liked that.

  • 67'

    Van Wolfswinkel comes off and Carillo comes on.

  • 67'

    City force a throw-in. They've finally started playing a bit now, but Sporting are defending pretty resolutely.

  • 67'

    Aguero feeds Richards on the right, but he's swiftly closed down.

  • 66'

    Silva comes off to be replaced by Nasri.

  • 66'

    City scramble the ball towards goal through a series of players, but without ever really getting into a dangerous position.

  • 65'

    Dzeko runs at the defence and the ball squirms through for Balotelli, but the Italian's offside.

  • 63'

    Capel comes off to be replaced by Jeffren Suarez, while Fernandez is replaced by Renato Neto.

  • 63'

    Kolarov sends it wide of the post. It would've suited a right-footer better, you'd think.

  • 62'

    Balotelli is chopped down by Carrico just outside the area. It's the same position as Sporting's opener, pretty much, so perhaps City can make something of it too.

  • 60'

    I note that I said Sporting didn't look troubled at all. Perhaps by writing City's chances off, I can spark some sort of exciting finish.

  • 60'

    Aguero gives City hope as he controls Yaya Toure's pass, spins and fires into the net. When I say 'gives hope', I'm wildly exaggerating, of course.

  • 60'

    GOAL FOR CITY!

  • 59'

    Balotelli gives away a free-kick for handball. Sporting really don't look troubled at all.

  • 57'


    Sporting's Ricky van Wolfswinkel scores his team's second goal

  • 57'

    Kolarov heads behind for another corner.

  • 56'

    Insua runs down the left and dances through the defence before winning a corner.

  • 56'

    Yaya Toure looks to chip one into the area, but Sporting are mopping up with no problem. At the other end, Capel runs through but Savic puts it out for a throw-in.

  • 55'

    It's almost certainly much too late for City to recover, but Dzeko might at least give them a chance of making it interesting.

  • 55'

    Dzeko comes on for Pizarro.

  • 54'

    Kolarov sends the corner in, and it's cleared.

  • 54'

    Kolarov swings a wicked free-kick in, which Richards appeared to head over the bar, but City have a corner, so perhaps he didn't.

  • 53'

    Aguero takes a couple of kicks from Izmailov and ultimately just turns to the ref and asks for a free-kick, which he gets.

  • 52'

    Kolarov looks frustrated after failing to win a corner. He might well look disappointed too. He's been rotten. Stuart Pearce, incidentally, is chortling away in the stands. City could use a left back of his calibre tonight.

  • 50'

    The corner is met by the top of Xandao's head and Sporting manage to win a throw-in out on the left.

  • 50'

    Kolo Toure heads the corner behind.

  • 49'

    Sporting break and win a corner through De Jong. Renato, incidentally, did appear to handle it in the area.

  • 49'

    City are appealing for a penalty for a handball, but the ref's not interested.

  • 48'

    Yaya finds Richards in the area, but the full-back's attempt to cut it across the face is denied by the goalkeeper.

  • 47'

    Balotelli slips the ball through for Yaya Toure and, when it comes back to him, attempts a woeful long-range shot. A bit ridiculous really.

  • 46'

    The second half is underway

  •  

    ESPN's Robbie Savage: "City are going to go out to a team from a Mickey Mouse league."

  •  

    Nigel de Jong comes on for Adam Johnson.

  •  

    The Portuguese teams have enjoyed a lot of success in this competition, and you can see why.

  •  

    It probably is worth saying that Sporting have performed well. City have been well below par, but Sporting do deserve to be credited for the way they've approached both legs.

  •  

    @andybrassell tweets: "Felt like I was hallucinating whilst watching 1st half from Eastlands. City not good, but Sporting...I'd love to explain, but hard to. Super"

  •  


    Sporting's Matias Fernandez celebrates after curling home a free-kick to open the scoring at Manchester City

  •  

    City get booed off. It's been a really poor performance, and they've done nothing to give their fans any reason to be hopeful.

  • 45'

    HALF-TIME

  • 45'

    Johnson floats the free-kick towards the six-yard box, but Rui Patricio punches clear. It comes back in, but Savic concedes a free-kick.

  • 44'

    Balotelli runs towards the corner flag and wins a free-kick.

  • 43'

    David Silva launches into a frustrated challenge. City are rotten at the moment.

  • 41'

    City will need four goals without conceding now and, without being too presumptious, I'm going to predict that they might not manage it.

  • 40'

    Izmailov played the ball across the face of goal and Van Wolfswinkel was there to turn home.

  • 40'

    Van Wolfswinkel scores a second goal for Sporting and City's Europa League dream looks to be over.

  • 40'

    GOAL FOR SPORTING!

  • 40'

    Yaya Toure kicks the ball away. He's going to get himself send off if he's not careful.

  • 39'

    City can't break through the Sporting wall, and eventually Pizarro chips over it in frustration but sends the ball out for a goal kick.

  • 38'

    Savic passes the ball out of play for a throw-in. The English teams have been doing an awful lot of that lately.

  • 36'

    Kolo Toure blasts the ball well over the bar. City have responded since the goal, but they're still not showing a lot of quality in attack.

  • 36'

    City win another corner and Kolarov swings it in, only for Insua to head clear for a throw-in.

  • 35'

    Silva floats a ball into the danger area and City win a corner.

  • 34'

    Mancini is not impressed with Balotelli by the looks of things...

  • 33'

    That was a sublime free-kick, though Balotelli was foolish in the extreme for conceding it. City need to score three now without conceding.

  • 33'

    Matias Fernandez bends the ball in with real pace and Hart can't claw it out!

  • 33'

    GOAL FOR SPORTING!

  • 32'

    Balotelli barges over Insua as the Argentine approaches the City area. Silly piece of play from the Italian.

  • 31'

    Aguero shows a bit of desire as he battles to win the ball back, but he ends up conceding a free-kick.

  • 29'

    City need to up their game significantly - Sporting look the more likely, and an away goal would all but end their chances.

  • 28'

    Johnson picks the ball up and tries a shot from range, but it's blocked, and Sporting break. Fernandez tries a shot, but Savic has it covered.

  • 26'

    Fernandez gets a booking for diving! Pizarro makes a bit of contact, but the Chilean threw himself to the floor a bit too dramatically. Huge escape for City.

  • 25'

    Fernandez curls the free-kick straight into Hart's arms.

  • 25'

    Richard bundles over Capel and is lucky to escape a booking.

  • 23'

    Kolarov goes in hard as Sporting win another throw, and then another, near the City corner flag.

  • 23'

    Savic fails to cope with a header and the ball rolls out for a throw-in. Not the most confident piece of defending.

  • 22'

    Kolarov receives the ball high on the left flank again, but his cross heads into the stands.

  • 21'

    The corner is passed straight to Sporting, and Kolarov picks up a yellow in the aftermath.

  • 21'

    City win another corner.

  • 20'

    City break down the other end, and Balotelli looks to have some space, but Anderson Polga closes him down and the hosts settle for a corner.

  • 20'

    Kolarov controls the ball neatly on the left flank and then cuts inside before falling over. Sporting break, but Kolo Toure clears.

  • 19'

    Fernandez goes down on the edge of the area, but the red's not interested.

  • 18'

    Johnson superbly slips the ball through to Aguero, but the Argentine just can't quite bring it under control under pressure and Sporting get it clear.

  • 16'

    Aguero slips the ball through to Johnson, who cuts it back and wins the corner off Insua... only for the officials to rule it had already gone out of play. Goal kick.

  • 15'

    City have made a reasonable start, but you do wonder whether they'll be able to keep a clean sheet.

  • 14'

    Kolarov advances down the left but just tries to do too much and is dispossessed.

  • 13'

    Yaya Toure gets a booking after he gives away a free-kick on the halfway line and then throws the ball down in frustration.

  • 12'

    Superb play from Pizarro as City take control in the midfield and then play a ball over the top for Balotelli, who's surprisingly onside but slips and loses the chance.

  • 10'

    Silva receives the ball out on the left flank and sends in a deep cross, which Johnson sidefoots wide of the post. Not an easy chance by any stretch.

  • 9'

    Balotelli brings down Schaars. It's been a lively start, if not quite electric just yet.

  • 8'

    Fernandez sends in a corner that's met at the back post by Xandao, and his header is not far away.

  • 7'

    Matias Fernandez fires in a shot that deflects off Savic for a corner.

  • 7'

    Johnson receives the ball wide on the right, cuts in and finds Silva, whose reverse pass is decent but doesn't make it through.

  • 6'

    Sporting break through Capel but his cross is deflected back to Hart.

  • 5'

    City look quite comfortable at the moment as they play the ball around in their own half.

  • 4'

    Pizarro takes the ball towards his own goalline as he successfully plays City out of trouble.

  • 3'

    Johnson looks to nick the ball past his marker, but his touch is too heavy and it's out for another throw in.

  • 2'

    Slack stuff from Aguero as he nocks the ball out of play with City looking to build an attack.

  • 1'

    Johnson's flagged offside as Balotelli spreads the ball out onto the right flank.

  • 1'

    Stijn Schaars fires an early shot on goal for the visitors. It's a nicely struck one, but not troubling the 'keeper.

  • 1'

    It's a misty night at Eastlands.

  • 1'

    Sporting get the match underway!

  •  

    The teams are out on the pitch and the match is about the get underway.

  •  

    Mancini makes four changes in the hope of claiming a quarter-final place as Aleksandar Kolarov, David Pizarro, Adam Johnson and Sergio Aguero all return at the Etihad Stadium.

  •  

    The back-up centre-backs were paired together in City's shock loss at Swansea in the absence of Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott on Sunday and manager Roberto Mancini has to keep faith.

  •  

    Kolo Toure and Stefan Savic continue their defensive partnership as Manchester City seek to overturn a 1-0 deficit in their Europa League tie against Sporting Lisbon tonight.