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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 12 May 2021
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Are we all sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin. Send us your thoughts and comments on this afternoon’s action. Tweet @thescore_ie, email sport@thescore_iefind us on Facebook, or leave a comment below.

Full time: Manchester City 2 Villarreal 1

Napoli 1 Bayern Munich 1

Lille 0 Inter Milan 1

Basel 0 Benfica 2

Otelul Galati 0 Manchester United 2

Dinamo Zagreb 0 Ajax 2

Real Madrid 4 Lyon 0

CSKA Moscow 3 Trabzonspor 0

Dia dhuit, a chairde!*

What do you mean you’re not watching TG4′s presidential debate?

Welcome instead then to TheScore‘s coverage of tonight’s top, top football action. We’re just concluding our pre-game routine (mint Aero and milky tea) but will have the team news momentarily.

Get your predictions in.

*may be incorrect.

City legend Uwe Rosler is in the Sky studio with Jeff Stelling, Gary Neville and Graeme Souness. What a treat.

Mr Mancini would like him up front, what? Well, not really. Here’s the XI to take the pitch against Villarreal this evening.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, De Jong, Toure Yaya, Johnson, Silva, Nasri, Dzeko.

Subs: Pantilimon, Richards, Milner, Savic, Aguero, Barry, Clichy.

And here’s the visitors. Rossi’s back in town…

Villarreal: Diego Lopez, Zapata, Marchena, Rodriguez, Catala, Valero, Bruno, Perez, De Guzman, Cani, Rossi.

Subs: Cesar, Musacchio, Mario, Wakaso, Bordas, Gullon, Joselu.


Roberto Mancini, when asked about Kun Aguero’s omission:  ”He’s okay, he’s okay. He’s not ready to play all the games. In four days… another game, another game. He’s ready for the second half maybe.”

Elsewhere, of course, City’s local rivals United are in Manchester to play a side of which I’ve never heard. Here’s the teams, Tv3 are showing it:

Otelul Galati: Grahovac, Rapa, Perendija, Antal, Frunza, Costin, Filip, Salageanu, Neagu, Giurgiu, Punosevac.

Subs: Branet, Skubic, Iorga, Ilie, Sarghi, Pena, Viglianti.

Man Utd: Lindegaard, Fabio Da Silva, Vidic, Smalling, Evra, Valencia, Anderson, Carrick, Nani, Rooney, Hernandez.

Subs: De Gea, Jones, Evans, Owen, Berbatov, Welbeck, Fletcher.

So Wayne Rooney is back in and one of nine changes to the Manchester United starting line-up. Skipper Nemanja Vidic makes his first appearance since August, whilst Anders Lindegaard is in goal.

Due to the miracle of time travel however, I can already tell you one result. CSKA Moscow have beaten the erstwhile undefeated Trabzonspor 3-0 in Inter Milan’s Group B.

On the day when Manc legends, The Stone Roses, announced – hallelujah! – their return, let’s warm up with a couple of tunes.

United usually emerge to This Is The One:

While City can make do with this:

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GOAL! Villarreal have gone one up through Cani. Deary me.

This makes it interesting doesn’t it? In a must-win game, City are behind really early on.

So what happened? Well David Silva - who enjoyed the pre-game hype from Sky, played a sloppy ball in midfield. De Jong failed to nail a tackle and Joe Hart spilled the subssequent shot.

Cani reacted quickest to knock it past the England No 1 on the rebound. Game on, Ger.  Bayern Munich have gone one-up too in Naples.

So we’re 10 minutes in and City seem to finding their rhythm. David Silva’s metronomic passing – his misplaced and costly error, not withstanding,  is crucial.

The crowd at Eastlands seem a little surprised by the visitors’ bright start.

As I type, Kolorov had City’s first range-finder, belting one across goal but it skids wide after bouncing menacingly in front of the keeper.

Here’s that early Yellow Submarine goal:

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The crowd have found their voice. Dzeko made it to the byline and dragged it back dangerously but Villareal snuffed out the danger.  That’s better from City.

Benzema has put Real Madrid one up against Lyon. There’ll be more there.

Kolorov again comes close. The left back was expected to loft in a free kick to his team-mates but again tried to squeeze it into the top corner. The goalkeeper got across to bat it over however.

United look to be struggling in Romania. Lawro on TV3 says the hosts are working hard to negate the European heavyweights.

After a cursory glance, it’s not unlike Donegal’s deep-lying defence.

The BBC’s Phil McNulty tweets:

“Man City fans getting kicks by pelting extra official with rolled up bits of paper – reflection on lack of action on the pitch.”

I do this in the office.

Gareth Barry is on for Adam Johnson who isn’t at all happy. They certainly need something in midfield.

Whatever the question is however, I’m not sure Gareth Barry is the answer.

As Dean Martin almost sang: In Napoli… Badstuber has scored an own goal and the sides are level.

GOAL! Man City score and I miss it. The whistle blows on the first half on the game in Romania, which I was watching.

Back at Eastlands, Marchena cut out a vicious cross from danger man Kolarov before Dzeko can get to it. But, predictably, it ends up in own net.

So we’re up and running. Manchester United’s players trot quickly to their positions covered in the spittle of an elderly Glaswegian gentleman.

The message will have been clear: get the finger out.

Boom. Real Madrid score again. German midfielder Khedira makes it 2-0.

In the meantime, Trevor Welsh and Mark Lawrenson are discussing the Evra-Suarez racism row. Tricky one.

Alex Ferguson is looking concerned on the sidelines but one of his centre halves seems pretty chilled.

Yesh! Boerrigter puts Ajax a goal to the good in Zagreb.

I’m trying to keep an eye on the City game too as well as this United one. Villarreal seem to have come out of the traps – to use a cliche – strongly and the hosts are again on the back foot.

In Romania, Ferguson is starting to look at the cast on his bench. Might Berbatov fancy his chances here?

The liveblogger’s curse; as I referred to United’s bench, Fabio contrived to injure himself in an innocuous-looking fall. The Premier League side are currently down to 10.

Rooney fails to make United’s best chance of the night count. Nani fed the England man on the penalty spot, with his back to goal.

Rooney swiveled and shot but he dragged it wide.

Elsewhere, Özil puts Real 3-0 up against Lyon.

GOAL! Rooney (64 minutes)

Moments after he failed to find the corner with that swivel-and-shoot, Rooney gets on the scoresheet.

He crossed for Hernandez but Costin stuck out a hand and gave away a penalty. Costin was booked, Rooney scored.

RED CARD As they said in Almost Famous, it’s all happening!

Nemanja Vidic is off in his first game back. And he looks stunned.

The Serb, who missed a crucial penalty for his country last week, gets his marching orders for a robust challenge. Mark Lawrenson’s assessment? A yellow, maybe. Carrick is gone back into defence.

What did you think of Vidic’s tackle?

Evans is on for Valencia as Fergie tries to shut up shop. In Manchester, the former Red Devil Rossi is booked for an embarrassing dive at Eastlands.

From Infostrada:

“Wayne Rooney has taken the English record for most career CL goals (25), beating the 24 by Paul Scholes”

Phil Jones trots on for Fabio as United defend a corner – something that’s never a good idea.

And the visitors are even more furious with the ref as he allows the Romanians to take a corner before Jones gets to the action.

In Bucharest, Otelul still think they can claim a famous point,  Bratislav Punosevac has just shot wide from Ioan Filip’s cross.

In Madrid, Read have now gone four up on Lyon through Sergio Ramos.

RED CARD There’s a mere two minutes or sp left but it’ll be 10 v 10 for the remainder in Romania.

Already on a yellow, Perendija walks having obstructed Hernandez as he tried to spin clear. As he does so, Nani hops one off the base of the post with an impressive  toe-poked effort.

GOAL (Rooney 92 minutes) Rooney steps inside Antal and goes down under the tired challenge. The England man confidently goes the same way to  put the proverbial gloss on the scoreboard.

It looks like it’s going to end in a stalemate in Manchester. A result that does little for Roberto Mancini in truth.

GOAL!  Aguero (90+ minutes)

That’s a massive goal. The Argentine popped up at the back post to turn it in and keep City in this.

The whistle goes immediately afterwards.

Stat of the night from our own Gav Reilly:

“That was #MUFC‘s first win wearing blue this season. In red shirts: 89% wins (P9 W8 D1 L0; F29 A9). Wearing blue: 25% (P4 W1 D3 L0; F5 A3).”

Hold the back page.. Lee McCulloch grabbed the only goal of the game as Rangers claimed victory over Liverpool in that friendly at Ibrox.

So there we leave it. Manchester City took a while to get there but Sergio Aguero has ignited the Blues’ Champions League campaign with that goal deep in stoppage time.

Next up for Roberto Mancini’s men? Manchester United this weekend. Alex Ferguson will expect a better performance than that which he say in Bucharest this evening. They come away from Romania with the points though.

Keep the comments coming and join us again tomorrow night for the second installment of Champions League football this week.

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