Manchester City vs Sporting Lisbon 3-2, Manchester City fell victim to away goals by Lisbon

Manchester City vs Sporting : Man. City bow out to Lisbon despite dramatic fightback
Manchester City vs Sporting : Man. City bow out to Lisbon despite dramatic fightback

Manchester City vs Sporting Lisbon Europa League game saw drama pure as Manchester City knocked out of the Europa League by Sporting Lisbon on 2 away goals rule as the dramatic second-half comeback to win 3-2 was not enough. Video

London / NationalTurk – Manchester City followed city rivals Manchester Utined out of the Europa League 2012 last 16 after a inspired second half fightback only meant City just failed to get past Sporting Lisbon, who held off a dramatic Manchester City comeback to edge the English Premier League leaders out of the Europa League on away goals after a 3-2 win for Manchester City levelled the scores 3-3 on aggregate.

Manchester City vs Sporting : Man. City bow out to Lisbon despite dramatic fightback – win

Manchester City and Manchester United have exited from Europa League earlier than most people have anticipated, where they had been favourites to play the final against eachother. In the end both Manchester sides showed what competition is far more important to them, as they are in a fierce competition against each other for this years Premier League title. Manchester United and Manchester City ‘s opponnents from the Iberian peninsula respectively Athletic Bilbao and Sporting Lisbon proved that they are more than worthy opponnents and favourites for Europa League 2011- 2012 title.

Watch how the other Manchester club suffered at the hands of Bilbao

Roberto Mancini’s men won 3-2 on the night of Manchester City vs Sporting Lisbon, Sporting Lisbon managed to advance on the away goals rule at Eastlands only just 1 hour after arch-rivals Manchester United crashed out in Spain against the impressive Athletic Bilbao. Manchester City appeared in disarray as they fell 3-0 behind on aggregate following first half goals from Mathias Fernandez and Ricky van Wolfswinkel of the second leg of Manchester City vs Sporting Lisbon match for their last-16 tie in Europa League.

Manchester City vs Sporting Lisbon : Another drama on the pitch

Matias Fernandez and Ricky van Wolfswinkel of Sporting Lisbon scored twice and it appeared any real hopes of Manchester City overturning their first leg disadvantage of 1-0 to have killed them.

Yet Manchester City were as good in the second half as they were bad in the first period of Manchester City vs Sporting Lisbon game, hitting back through double Sergio Aguero goals and a Mario Balotelli penalty to fall agonisingly short of the quarter-finals of Europa League. The pulsating finish, which saw Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart’s last-gasp header tipped wide, seemed highly unlikely at the break of Manchester City vs Sporting Lisbon game.

The early second half goal from Argentine star Sergio Aguero reduced the arrears and a Mario Balotelli penalty after 74 minutes in the Manchester City vs Sporting Lisbon match had all Manchester City fans dreaming of an unlikely victory over Lisbon.

Manchester City vs Sporting Lisbon : Aguero wanted to win the game more than any player on the pitch

Needing four goals to advance, Aguero scored his team’s third after 82 minutes and, in a frantic finale, goalkeeper Joe Hart appeared on the end of a Nigel de Jong cross to head goalwards only for Rui Patricio to keep out his attempt with the last touch of the game after 95 minutes.

The only consolation for Manchester City is that they, like Manchester United, can now concentrate on the Premier League without the distraction of extra games in Europa League, which many consider is not important at all.

Sporting Lisbon on the other hand had no intention of sitting back on their first-leg advantage as Europa League remained their main priority of their bad season and the impressive Fernandez found space to shoot, but his effort was blocked by Stefan Savic and first-leg goalscorer Xandao headed wide from the resulting corner. If Manchester City now faced an uphill task, Sporting Lisbon’s second goal five minutes before the half-time break seemed to doom City completely.

Manchester City full-back Aleksandar Kolarov was at fault as Bruno Pereirinha’s pass down the right side found the City defender out of position and team-mate Marat Izmailov in abundant space. The forward’s superb cross to the far post was met by van Wolfswinkel who converted into the open net of Manchester City goal.

Manchester City vs Sporting Lisbon Highlights : Watch the drama video at Ettihad stadium
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The 2-0 half-time lead flatter the visitors from Lisbon, who only stand fourth in the Portuguese league table in a woeful season with many problems in and off the pitch.

The second half opened with Manchester City needing four goals to advance to the next round and it wasn’t until just before the hour mark that their improbable comeback was launched.City were left needing four goals to progress after Sporting then grabbed their second of the night six minutes before the interval. Aleksandar Kolarov headed clear a free-kick but was then caught out of position as Marat Izmailov stole in and crossed low for Van Wolfswinkel to tap in.

Yaya Toure inspired an attack from the inside right position and his pass into the area found Sergio Aguero who took the ball, turned neatly and beat Sporting goalie Rui Patricio from seven yards in the box.

Kolarov’s free-kick flew into the side-netting and maintained Manchester City’s second half improvement with Sporting Lisbon apparently prepared to sit back and soak up the pressure of an angry British team who was playing in front of their crowd. Danger!!!

Manchester City vs Sporting Lisbon : Lisbon was doomed to be eliminated but…

Sporting Lisbon was to realize that it proved a risky tactic after 74 minutes when substitute Renato Neto made a rash lunge at Sergio Aguero, tripping him for a blatant penalty, which Italian troublemaker Mario Balotelli converted with his trademark nonchalant stutter-step walk-up.

Manchester City suddenly began to sense an unlikely comeback as Aguero won a penalty after being felled by Renato Neto. There was some debate as to whether the offence took place in the area, but Balotelli showed no sign of nerves with a cool penalty that left wrong-footed Patricio standing.

The game was truly on as Aguero remarkably put City ahead on the night – and level on aggregate – eight minutes from time. The Argentinian was left unmarked at the back post as a Kolarov corner made its way to him via the head of Savic and he blasted in.

And Sporting Lisbon’s casual approach to the second half of Manchester City vs Sporting Lisbon game was further exposed after 82 minutes when Kolarov sent over a fine corner which substitute firepower Edin Dzeko headed on to the far post where a more than in-form looking Sergio Aguero was poised to drive in his second of the night, and Manchester City’s third.

After 88 minutes, Kolarov delivered another superb cross from the left, which found Balotelli only for the Italian’s glancing header to pass well wide of goal.

Then in the last second of the five minutes of added time — some of which resulted from the visitors’ decidedly unsporting delaying tactics — de Jong set up Hart for the last scoring attempt of a remarkable tie. Hart almost completed a sensational comeback as he went forward for a corner deep into injury time, but his header was tipped round the post by Patricio and there was no time to take the resulting corner.

Manchester City vs Sportin Lisbon : Manager comments

‘ I think the first half was very strange ‘ stated Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini who admitted he and his Manchester City had underestimated Sporting Lisbon.

‘ We left Sporting too much space on the counter-attack didn’t play as a team we used to play. We expected the counter-attack from Sporting and didn’t do a good job in the first half. We could have scored the fourth after scoring three.’ ‘ In football, never say never if you score two goals in 20 minutes. I’m disappointed because I might have made some errors and I am sorry for the great Manchester City supporters.’

Sporting Lisbon manager said thet have deserved to reach the next round and they want to bring the title to Lisbon.

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