How Manchester City were able to come back from the brink

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Goals from Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta were enough to see Manchester City through to the knockout stages of the Champions League. But it was nowhere near an easy ride.

Here we take a glance at the ups and downs they faced during their journey through the group stage.

BAYERN MUNICH 1-0 MAN CITY (September 17)

City got off to the worst possible start after Jerome Boateng scored a late winner in Munich despite a superb performance from Joe Hart and Roma were able to easily dispose of CSKA Moscow.

Not the way City would have wanted their Champions League campaign to start.

MAN CITY 1-1 ROMA (September 30)

In what City would have regarded as a game they needed to win, Sergio Aguero gave them the lead from the penalty spot, but a record-breaking Francesco Totti goal rescued a point for Roma.

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At home to their main rivals for the second qualification spot these were important points dropped. The home crowd were a dissappointment as well as the attendance was 10,000 under capacity.

CSKA MOSCOW 2-2 MAN CITY (October 21)

In freezing temperatures and with an empty stadium it was always going to be difficult for City but they seemed to be cruising at half-time thanks to goals from Sergio Aguero and James Milner.

But what followed was a disastrous second-half performance that saw Seydou Doumbia and Bibras Natkho steal a point for the Russians. Although City would have felt hard-done by after a controversial penalty was awarded against them.

MAN CITY 1-2 CSKA MOSCOW (November 5)

After taking only two points from the opening three games, the return fixture at home to CSKA was marked as a must win. But it turned out to be a nightmare for City as both Fernandinho and Yaya Toure saw red and Seydou Doumbia scored a brace to secure an unlikely away win for the Russian side.

Defeat at home to what was considered as the weakest link in Group E and Yaya Toure banned for the rest of the campaign, it looked as though there was no way back for Man City.

MAN CITY 3-2 BAYERN MUNICH (November 25)

The game against the German champions was the turning point for City. They were given a huge boost with a miraculous three points at the Etihad thanks to one man, Sergio Aguero.

The Argentinian scored a hat-trick and kept his team in it. The fact that Vasili Berezutski was able to snatch an added time leveller against Roma was also massive for the English champions.

ROMA 0-2 MAN CITY (December 10)

And then of course they did it. Despite missing key men like Aguero, Toure & Kompany, City soldiered on and got the result.

Nasri and Zabaleta took them through to the stage that looked so unlikely just two games ago. It was a roller coaster of a ride for City and their fans but now a place in Monday’s last-16 draw is confirmed.

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UEFA Champions League
Samir Nasri
Manchester City
Pablo Zabaleta

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