UEFA Champions League

October 18, 2011

Full-time

Manchester City

2 - 1

Villarreal

Group A

18:45 +00:00, October 18, 2011

Etihad Stadium

Referee: Pavel Kralovec

  • 93'

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

  • 93'

    This should be a massive confidence boost for City though ahead of their next European game at Villarreal.

  • 93'

    Villarreal remain on zero points, but it's harsh after a second half in which the visitors could just as easily have claimed the win.

  • 93'

    City get a badly needed three points in the most dramatic of circumstances to claim their first ever Champions League victory.

  • 93'

    FULL TIME

  • 93'

    Zabaleta picks up a pass by the byline and centres for Silva to flick with his instep and Aguero is there to divert into the empty net!

  • 93'

    They've done with seconds remaining of injury time as Aguero steers the ball home!

  • 93'

    GOAL FOR CITY!

  • 92'

    Villarreal have the ball in the City half with 60 seconds remaining.

  • 92'

    Mario gets a booking.

  • 92'

    Zabaleta tests Diego Lopez with a diving header from close range but just can't quite get the power.

  • 91'

    Kolarov crosses into the centre and the ball bounces around the feet of Toure and Silva but they can't get a shot away!

  • 90'

    There will be three minutes of added time.

  • 89'

    City win a corner but it comes to nothing.

  • 88'

    De Guzman comes off to be replaced by Gullon.

  • 88'

    City are the attacking team at the moment, but they're struggling to make anything happen.

  • 86'

    Dzeko has a free header in the centre but, stretching slightly, he can't get it on target. That was a decent chance.

  • 86'

    Dzeko has a free header in the centre but, stretching slightly, he can't get it on target. That was a decent chance.

  • 86'

    Zapata gets a fine challenge in to stop Kolarov darting down the left.

  • 84'

    Aguero looks to dart past Gonzalo but knocks the ball too far. Goal kick.

  • 83'

    The corner is headed clear but City's break comes to nothing and Villarreal are back in possession.

  • 83'

    City fans are throwing a lot of rolled up paper at Valero...

  • 83'

    Villarreal win a corner.

  • 82'

    Goal-scorer Cani comes off and Mario is on.

  • 81'

    Kompany stretches to take the ball from Mubarak, and it's a stretch too far for the ref. Free-kick.

  • 81'

    City have been offside nine times tonight, to Villareal's one.

  • 81'

    Toure pokes the ball through for Aguero, but he's offside.

  • 80'

    Mubarak comes on for Hernan Perez, while Milner replaces Nasri.

  • 79'

    Kolarov looks for Aguero in the centre but, while the Argentine gets some contact, he can't control it.

  • 79'

    Aguero's pass to Dzeko on the edge of the box just lacks a bit of accuracy and Villarreal race away. City just haven't lived up their league standards this season in the Champions League.

  • 77'

    Aguero finds Dzeko in the box but, from a difficult angle, he lashes his shot over the bar! Good chance, and he could have looked for a team-mate.

  • 76'

    Hart comes out to punch it, fairly unconvincingly, before De Guzman fires a shot wide.

  • 75'

    Villarreal have a free-kick out on the left and Valero lines it up.

  • 75'

    Kolarov gets back to rob Hernan Perez and plays a long ball forward for Dzeko, who handballs it.

  • 74'

    Kolarov strikes it on goal from 30m and the City fans think it's in, but it's just wide. Fine effort.

  • 73'

    Valero brings down Silva and City have the chance to put in a cross from deep.

  • 72'

    Villarreal are standing up well to the City attacks and providing a strong threat on the counter.

  • 71'

    Silva runs at the defence and tries to find Dzeko, but the pass is cut out. Good thinking from the little Spaniard, though.

  • 70'

    Valero finds Hernand Perez down the right again, but Kompany heads the latter's cross clear.

  • 69'

    Kolarov darts down the left but has too much to do.

  • 67'

    Rossi gets a yellow for diving as he throws himself over on the edge of the area as he goes past Kolarov. Hart gives Rossi a shove.

  • 65'

    Hernan Perez does very well to create space on the right and get a cross in, but it's cut out.

  • 64'

    Nasri finds Kolarov out wide and the Serbian does very well to whip a cross in, but he can't find a team-mate.

  • 63'

    Silva finds Aguero on the edge of the area, and he nearly has a chance to shoot but the goes down, resulting in no free-kick.

  • 62'

    De Jong comes off as Aguero enters the fray. It's a brave move as City haven't exactluy been keeping the visitors at bay.

  • 61'

    Zapata races down the right and unleashes a fierce shot on goal, but it's straight at Hart.

  • 59'

    Kolarov clashes with Hernan Perez, causing the latter a bit of pain. Aguero is being readied.

  • 58'

    Valero tries another long-ranger but, again, the accuracy isn't there.

  • 58'

    City get the corner clear and look to break, but a Nasri dummy hands possession back to Villarreal.

  • 57'

    Hernan Perez sends in a cross from the right and it's headed behind for a corner.

  • 56'

    Kolarov is offside once more. It's end to end right now.

  • 56'

    Cani dances past a couple of defenders before slipping the ball to Valero, but his shot is poor.

  • 55'

    Kolarov smashes the ball into the net from the underside of the crossbar, but he's correctly ruled offside from Toure's pass.

  • 53'

    Cani fires way, way over the bar as the corner is cleared.

  • 53'

    Rossi wins a corner as Villarreal keep up the pressure.

  • 52'

    Rossi makes space in the left of the area once more and, though the angle looked prohibitive, Hart spilled the shot. No one there to take advantage, but Villarreal are looking more dangerous now.

  • 51'

    Toure makes space down the left and does brilliantly to get a ball into the box, but it's cut out.

  • 50'

    Toure looks to spray the ball out wide but it's intercepted and Villarreal counter. Rossi makes the space for the shot but it's not an easy chance and he hits the side netting.

  • 48'

    Toure bursts down the right and looks to drive along the byline, but loses his balance. Goal kick.

  • 47'

    Zabaleta finds Dzeko in acres of space just in front of the goalkeeper but Diego Lopez makes the save!

  • 46'

    City fans have been throwing bits of paper at the officials, and they've been warned over the Eastlands PA system.

  • 46'

    Rossi goes for gold by firing a shot wide from the edge of the area.

  • 46'

    Villareal get the second half underway!

  •  

    Robbie Mustoe, though, has some support for Mancini's unexpected substitution. "Brave switch from Mancini in the 28th minute. Losing 1-0 out came Adam Johnson in came Gareth Barry. It worked," he tweets.

  •  

    And a tweet from our senior editor, John Brewin: "Mancini and Gareth Barry: Any player subbed for him always looks annoyed."

  •  

    A tweet from journalist Henry Winter: "At #mcfc. About a dozen Villarreal fans up in the Gods....Spaniards apparently didn't sell one ticket. These hardy souls are walk-ups."

  •  


    Cani celebrates the opening goal

  •  

    Villarreal look to be carrying a largely latent threat on the counter and could yet cause the hosts more problems.

  •  

    It's all square at Eastlands. City have dominated the half, though they trailed for most of it, but still look to lack a bit of confidence in this competition.

  • 45'

    IT'S HALF-TIME

  • 45'

    Toure finds Nasri out on the left of the area but his shot, from a tight angle, is easily gathered by the 'keeper.

  • 44'

    Silva slips in Dzeko in space in the area and he's onside, but the angle is against him, and Diego Lopez is able to stay big and block the shot. Another good chance, though.

  • 44'

    De Guzman takes a shot but it's out for a goal kick.

  • 44'

    Zapata crosses from the right but Kolarov controls the ball well.

  • 43'

    A great pass from Nasri sets up Kolarov to sidefoot into the centre. Marchena diverts it into his own net, though Dzeko would surely have scored had he not made contact.

  • 43'

    GOAL FOR CITY!

  • 42'

    Kolarov crosses from the left and Villarreal just about get it away.

  • 41'

    Silva moves to the right, Nasri to the left and Toure moves into the attacking central position.

  • 40'

    Johnson is taken off for Barry. Johnson doesn't look happy, although it doesn't quite look like another Tevez/Dzeko situation.

  • 39'

    Toure feeds Dzeko in the area and Marchena brings him down but gets enough of the ball. No penalty.

  • 38'

    Toure bustles his way onto the ball but fires wide from the left of the area.

  • 37'

    City have had 63% possession but just can't make it happen.

  • 36'

    Nasri and Silva trade passes on the left of the Villarreal area before the former puts in a cross. It would have been a certain goal had it been a little more accurate, as Dzeko was in plenty of space.

  • 35'

    Toure bursts through the middle and attempts an ambitious shot, but it's blocked.

  • 34'

    Nasri looks for Dzeko but he can't hold it up and gives away a free-kick. I suspect we might see Aguero in the second half.

  • 33'

    Catala gets a booking for time-wasting from a throw-in.

  • 32'

    Barry is warming up now. Is he the man to get City back on track? You wouldn't think so.

  • 30'

    Johnson looks to trick his way past Catala, but the ball goes out of play and the linesman points for a goal kick. It looked like a corner.

  • 29'

    Dzeko goes down theatrically on the left flank and the ref waves away the appeal for a free-kick.

  • 28'

    Toure tries a throughball but Catala intercepts and races away down the left flank. City are just lacking a bit of accuracy in their passing at the moment.

  • 27'

    Kompany makes a last-ditch tackle on Rossi as Villarreal apply the pressure, but it's a goal kick.

  • 26'

    Villarreal are starting to launch a few counter-attacks now after a long spell of City dominance.

  • 25'

    Silva plays a neat ball right for Zabaleta, but his cross is cut out.

  • 24'

    Hernan Perez tries a cross from the left, but it's high and Hart is able to gather it after a bounce.

  • 24'

    Zapata races away down the right but his cross is cleared by Lescott.

  • 23'

    Silva tries a shot and mishits it, which nearly allows Johnson to get onto it, but he doesn't.

  • 20'

    The corner comes to nothing.

  • 20'

    Kolarov takes it and goes for the top corner, forcing Diego Lopez to push over the bar. Fine effort.

  • 19'

    Johnson wins a free-kick after being tackled by a host of players.

  • 19'

    The ball comes back to Kolarov, but his second attempt clears everyone and goes out for a goal kick. City are well on top right now.

  • 18'

    Kolarov's corner is headed clear.

  • 18'

    Kolarov finds Dzeko in the centre but he's soon crowded out. Toure pitches in to win a corner though.

  • 17'

    Silva takes it but it's a poor cross and easily gathered by the goalkeeper.

  • 17'

    Kolarov and Silva stand over the free-kick.

  • 16'

    Catala brings down Johnson as he approaches the area from the right flank.

  • 15'

    Dzeko races to the byline and pulls it back for Silva but he just can't get the shot away! That could easily have been the equaliser.

  • 15'

    Silva plays a superb throughball but Dzeko just can't quite reach it! Superb pass.

  • 13'

    Nasri fires over the bar from a Kolarov cross after decent work from Toure. Wasn't the easiest of chances.

  • 12'

    Zabaleta sees a cross headed clear and Kolarov unleashes a decent shot from distance that has Diego Lopez sprawling, but it's wide of the post.

  • 11'

    The Manchester rain is pouring now.

  • 11'

    Kompany is forced to head clear as Villarreal make headway down the right flank once more.

  • 10'

    Kolarov whips in a decent cross from the left but Marchena is well placed to head clear.

  • 9'

    David Silva loses possession once more. He's not made a great start against his countrymen.

  • 7'

    Johnson tries a little chip over the top as City look for an equaliser, but it's a poor ball and Zapata chests it back to the 'keeper.

  • 5'

    Toure makes a clumsy tackle to concede a free-kick. Signs of frustration after losing that early goal.

  • 4'

    Silva gives the ball away and Rossi unleashes a shot that Hart can't hold, allowing Cani to tuck in the opening goal!

  • 4'

    GOAL FOR VILLARREAL!

  • 2'

    City are knocking the ball around and trying to assert a bit of control early on.

  • 1'

    Hernan Perez brings down Kolarov as the full back advances down the left. It's a vibrant atmosphere at Eastlands.

  • 1'

    Hernan Perez brings down Kolarov as the full back advances down the left. It's a vibrant atmosphere at Eastlands.

  • 1'

    City get the game underway!

  •  

    The teams are now out on the field ahead of the kick-off.

  •  

    With City having home advantage, they will feel they need to take all three points.

  •  

    As we approach the kick-off, it's worth underlining the importance of this game to both sides. City are third in the table with one point and Villarreal have lost both their games to date.

  •  

    Manchester City tweet: "Filling up nicely here with 15 minutes to go until kick-off. Will look even better with all the blue and white cards held aloft!"

  •  

    Mancini tells Sky of Adam Johnson: "I think that he can change the game. He can do a good job there."

  •  

    Villarreal are without several players due to injury, most notably the long-term absentee Nilmar. Defender Mateo Musacchio, though, is considered fit enough to take his place among the substitutes.

  •  

    Nigel de Jong is chosen ahead of Gareth Barry in central midfield while Adam Johnson keeps his place after scoring against Aston Villa at the weekend.

  •  

    Mario Balotelli is still serving his European suspension, Carlos Tevez remains blacklisted, while Sergio Aguero is still working his way back to fitness, so Edin Dzeko leads the line for City.

  •  

    Villarreal: Diego Lopez, Zapata, Marchena, Rodriguez, Catala, Valero, Bruno, Perez, De Guzman, Cani, Rossi. Subs: Cesar, Musacchio, Mario, Wakaso, Bordas, Gullon, Joselu.

  •  

    Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, De Jong, Toure Yaya, Johnson, Silva, Nasri, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Richards, Milner, Savic, Aguero, Barry, Clichy.

  •  


    Giuseppe Rossi could well be key to Villarreal's chances of success

  •  

    If City are to progress from this group, they'll almost certainly need to take all three points from Villarreal at home, and David Silva says progress is going to be tough.

  •  

    Live commentary will appear here from 1945 BST.