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Paul Scholes slams Manchester City fans before Roma clash

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Paul Scholes appears to have further cemented his legacy as a true Manchester United hero after producing a rather scathing assessment of the lack of atmosphere generated by rivals Manchester City in the Champions League.

The Citizens are yet to enjoy much success in Europe's elite club competition since making their debut under former manager Roberto Mancini back in the 2011/12 season and have failed to advance beyond the group stage in three attempts.

Their fourth foray into the competition has not exactly started well either, with last night's disappointing home draw with Serie A title hopefuls AS Roma meaning that they now trail Pep Guardiola's formidable Bayern Munich outfit by five points in Group E.

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Scholes criticism

A veteran of two Champions League triumphs and countless eventful European campaigns during his heyday at Old Trafford, former England international Scholes has undoubtedly been privy to many memorable, special and even intimidating atmospheres over the years.

However, he evidently has not been at all impressed by the performance of Manchester City's fans during such high-profile and important European fixtures.

"The crowd need to get behind this team they need to create a special European atmosphere," Scholes - who spent the entirety of his illustrious career at Manchester United before retiring for the second and final time in 2012 - said prior to Tuesday's match at the Etihad Stadium in a rant that was subsequently quoted by the Daily Mail.

"I was lucky enough to play at Old Trafford and we always talked about the atmosphere on a Tuesday night, the special atmosphere you create, and the crowd is rocking when you go out for a warm up. At quarter past seven and there's empty seats everywhere."

Compared to the feeling created at many English stadiums on Champions League nights, Scholes obviously feels Manchester City just do not compare at this moment in time.

Lucky City fans

Indeed, the 39-year-old - who was famous for his lack of interviews as a player but seems to have had no problem with sharing his forthright views as a television pundit - even went as far as to suggest that City's supporters might be taking their club's place in the lucrative tournament for granted.

"Tonight I don't think there is [a special atmosphere]. I don't think they realise what a big game this is.

"They've got the team, they've definitely got the players, the quality is definitely there, but do the crowd realise how lucky they are to be in this competition? I don't think they do."

Frustrating draw

City actually got off to a flying start against Roma, with former Citizens full-back Maicon needlessly conceding a penalty after a blatant tug on the shirt of fellow South American Sergio Aguero.

Manuel Pellegrini's side looked on course for a comfortable victory after the latter stepped up to beat Lukasz Skorupski from 12 yards, although they were pegged back just 19 minutes later as the evergreen Francesco Totti capitalised on an unfortunate tumble from Joe Hart to notch his first goal against English opposition and, in the process, become the oldest scorer in the history of the Champions League.

With just a solitary point to their name, Manchester City - who trail Chelsea by five points in the Premier League - know they simply must beat CSKA Moscow in Russia later this month to have any chance of reaching the first knockout phase.

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Topics:
Manchester United
Manchester City
UEFA Champions League
Paul Scholes
Premier League
Football

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