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Dublin: 7 °C Saturday 18 November, 2017


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Right, that’s it from me. Thanks, as always, for your comments, and for reading.

Here’s one more chance to see that dramatic last-minute Joe Hart chance:
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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”.

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.

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.”

Incredible stuff at the end – Joe Hart was up from a corner and headed it a mere inch or two wide.


Sergio Aguero has been given the man-of-the-match award. But it looks like it’ll only be a consolation for City.

The number of Sporting players who have gone down ‘injured’ in the last few minutes is quite alarming.

There will be five minutes of time added on..

The Sporting goalkeeper has gone down now, claiming to be injured. Hmmm…

Aguero scores from close range, after a City corner is headed on by Savic. Game on!


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.

Balotelli confidently slots it into the corner, after Neto tripped Aguero. It was definitely a foul, but whether it was inside or outside the area is debatable.



Sporting invariably have every player in their own half whenever City are attacking. And with less than 20 minutes remaining, City now need a miracle to advance.

City substitution: Nasri has replaced Silva, who has been carrying an injury lately.

Kolarov’s free kick fails to trouble Patricio.

I wouldn’t write City off entirely just yet.

Great through ball from Toure to find an unmarked Aguero, who confidently smashes it into the corner of the net. One down, three to go.


A last-ditch tackle from Savic prevents Capel from bursting through on goal. City are still looking vulnerable on the counter-attack.

Dzeko is about to come on to replace Pizarro. That’s more like it.

Nigel De Jong has replaced Adam Johnson for this second half. Hardly the most positive substitution from Mancini.

The second half is underway…

“City are going to go out against a team in a Mickey Mouse league,” according to ESPN’s Robbie Savage. A bit harsh, surely.

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.


Van Wolfswinkel taps into the empty net after a cross from a conspicuously unmarked Izmailov. City now need to score four in order to advance to the next round.


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?”.

The away goal means City now need to score three.

Joe Hart can only parry a stunning Fernandez free kick into the net. 1-0 to Sporting.


Controversial. Fernandez is booked for diving inside the City box, but replays show there was contact, even if the Chilean did exaggerate his fall.

Chance for Balotelli, courtesy of a great through ball from Aguero, but he takes too much time to shoot, consequently allowing the defender to make a recovery tackle. The Italian then petulantly boots the ball away in frustration after it has gone out of play.

City have started brightly, playing the majority of the game in the opposition’s half, without really testing their goalkeeper yet.

Here’s at least partially what caused the problem with those fans earlier (Dave Thompson/PA Wire/Press Association Images):

There seems to be a bit of trouble in the area of the stadium where the 1,000 or so Sporting supporters are congregated. City stewards have moved in seemingly to keep an eye on things. Watch this space…

Johnson has just volleyed a pinpoint Silva cross narrowly wide.

And we’re underway…

Here are the line-ups for this evening’s game:

Man City: Hart, Richards, Toure, Savic, Kolarov, Pizarro, Toure Yaya, Johnson, Silva, Balotelli, Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Milner, Dzeko, Nasri, Clichy, De Jong, Roman.

Sporting: Rui Patricio, Daniel Carrico, Xandao, Anderson Polga, Insua, Bruno Pereirinha, Fernandez, Schaars, Diego Capel, Izmailov, van Wolfswinkel. Subs: Marcelo, Evaldo, Jeffren, Carrillo, Andre Santos, Neto, Rubio.

Welcome to our liveblog of Sporting v Man City. One Manchester club have already been dumped out of the Europa League this evening, will a second one follow?