Manchester City beaten by CSKA Moscow

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Remember, remember the fifth of November, may have been the words on everyone's lips on bonfire night, but Manchester City will want to forget their 2-1 defeat to CSKA Moscow as quickly as possible.

There were fireworks in the air and fireworks on the pitch as City were reduced to nine men in a defeat that could have ended their Champions League hopes for yet another season.

Manuel Pellegrini's side should have gone into the game brimming with confidence following their derby win on Sunday, but they'll be forgiven for feeling like their world has caved in after a Seydou Doumbia double condemned them to defeat.

The Premier League champions now need maximum points from a home game against runaway group leaders Bayern Munich and a trip to Roma if they're to decide their own destiny.

Anything less than two wins will leave them relying on results elsewhere if they're to have any hope of an unlikely route into the round of 16.

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While some Champions League fixtures are often cagey affairs, this was a game full of action from the off and it took just two minutes for CSKA to take the lead.

Gael Clichy was unlucky to concede a free-kick for a handball on the left-hand side of the City box but there was no explaining the lack of marking that allowed Doumbia to head home Bebras Natcho's set-piece.

The home side were level within six minutes, when Yaya Toure, who Doumbia had ran free of for the opener, curled in a trademark free-kick.

With less than ten minutes on the clock there was no need for the hosts to panic; they still had over 80 minutes to secure a much needed three points.

However, it was the visitors who struck next after Natcho and Doumbia linked up again. A sliced clearance from Clichy allowed the former to play in his teammate who doubled his, and CSKA's, tally for the night with a composed finish.


With the visitors going into the break a goal to the good, few in the ground would have thought anything of midfielder Pontus Wernbloom picking up a first-half yellow card, although that would later cause outrage around the ground.

Pellegrini knew he had to do something at half-time and decided to introduce midfield duo Samir Nasri and Fernandinho in place of Jesus Navas and Stevan Jovetic.

Those changes didn't go to plan for the City boss though, and when Fernandinho picked up two quick bookings the home side found themselves down to ten men for the last 20 minutes.

Pellegrini's men were given a boost when Wernbloom looked to have evened things up soon after when a bad foul should have seen him given his marching orders.

Greek referee Tasos Sidiropolous had other ideas though and would enrage the home team by booking Roman Eremenko in a case of mistaken identity.

Down to nine

With the home crowd growing increasingly restless, the ten men of City couldn't break the Russian resistance and things would go from bad to worse when Toure was dismissed ten minutes from time.

The Ivorian could have no complaints with the decision having inexplicably raised his arms in a challenge with Eremenko and will now, along with Fernandinho, miss the crucial home tie with Bayern Munich.

It certainly wasn't a case of from Russia with love for striker Sergio Aguero who was twice up-ended in the box only for Sidiropolous to wave away his desperate appeals.

The defeat leaves City bottom of the group, and although qualification is not yet impossible, Pellegrini will face a number of questions as to why his team have been so poor in Europe this season.

Manchester City
UEFA Champions League
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