FT: Man City 3-2 Sporting (3-3 agg) – Sporting advance on away goals
22.25 – Mancini calls the game “strange,” and says they “didn’t play as a team in the second half”. He says he was “disappointed” with Balotelli for conceding the free kick that led to the first goal, but says it’s “not Mario’s fault”.
22.18 – All in all, it has been a spirited but error-strewn display from City. Individual errors have ultimately cost them dearly.
Sporting, meanwhile, will breathe a sigh of relief, after their plan to park the bus in the second half backfired somewhat.
22.10 – Joe Hart admits to ESPN that he thought his chance at the end was in, and blames City’s loss on their below-par first half performance.
Asked whether he should’ve kept the first goal out, he evades the question somewhat, saying: “I wanted to keep it out.”
21.44 – Pereirinha falls to the ground dramatically after being fouled, and Nigel De Jong tries to pick him up off his feet. “Pathetic,” is the verdict of Craig Burley, who considers him to be play acting.
21.02 – This is quite a bizarre result, considering how comfortably Man City beat Porto, but Mancini’s side have played relatively poorly over the course of this game, perhaps suffering from a lack of confidence in light of their loss to Swansea at the weekend. They have failed to really catch fire in attack, in addition to committing some sloppy errors at the back, which have been punished by Sporting’s highly effective counter-attack.
20.46 – Following the goal, Mancini pointed his finger accusingly at Balotelli, after the Italian gave away a cheap free kick in the lead up. I’d like to imagine he replied: “Why always me?”.