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Man City 1-1 Roma: Totti strike dents Pellegrini’s Champions League hopes

first_img Francesco Totti 1 Legendary Roma forward Francesco Totti became the Champions League’s oldest goalscorer as he denied Manchester City victory at the Etihad Stadium.Having gone ahead through an early Sergio Aguero penalty, Totti was on hand with a delightfully deft chip to haul his side level.And, despite the efforts of Man City’s frontline, the Italians held on to the 1-1 scoreline to claim a valuable point, which will put a huge dent into any hopes Manuel Pellegrini had of leading his side out of the group stages.The English side now sit third in Group E after two matches, four points behind leaders Bayern Munich and three off Roma, who thrashed CSKA Moscow 5-1 in their opening clash.On night slightly lacking in atmosphere in Manchester, the hosts very quickly had the advantage as former right-back Maicon dragged back, much to manager Rudi Garcia’s disbelief, Sergio Aguero to give away a penalty.And the Argentine striker made no mistake from the spot as he stroked the ball home beyond Lukasz Skorupski.Maicon nearly atoned for his error, which earned him a yellow card, immediately but, after a sweet give and go with the evergreen Totti, he struck a shot on the angle against Joe Hart’s near post.Hart, who was looking to make a point after being rested by Pellegrini for City’s games with Sheffield Wednesday and Hull City, was quick off his line to deny ex-Arsenal forward Gervinho a sniff of goal moments later, but soon he was to be fishing the ball out of his own net.A sleeping City backline allowed Italian legend Totti to be slipped through on goal by Radja Nainggolan and the 38-year-old, aided by a slight slip from Hart, chipped beautifully into the back of the net to level, before saluting his adoring fans.I Giallorossi seemed the more threatening side but were consistently halted in their tracks by the linesman’s flag, while the hosts saw a shout for another penalty turned down despite the ball hitting Kostas Manolas’s hand and looping over a well placed Yaya Toure.After the break, Totti had Hart at full stretch once again but this time his shot from range whistled wide of the upright before Miralem Pjanic’s curler clattered the stanchion.Roma were by far the more dominant of the sides and they turned to Frank Lampard, with 56 minutes of the clock, as they looked to turn the game around, with the Englishman replacing Edin Dzeko.A left-footed James Milner shot slid wide of Skoprupski’s goal and the Polish goalkeeper tipped a Lampard shot wide after another Pjanic shot had sent Hart scrambling across his line.The game quickly turned fractious though and soon tackles were flying and a lack of composure seemed to affect the 22 men on the field as both looked for the strike which would win them all three points.After a tussle for supremacy it appeared the hosts were the closer to nabbing victory and Pellegrini’s side upped the pressure as Lampard sliced a right-foot shot from 20 yards.But, with his side in the ascendency, Pellegrini opted to swap Stevan Jovetic on for Sergio Aguero with five minutes to go, and an injury to Maicon, which forced him off the field, proceeded to kill any momentum left in the tie and leave Manchester City with a tough task to make the knockout stages.last_img

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