Claiming the scalp of a highly fancied Manchester City FC side can give FC Dynamo Kyiv the confidence to go all the way in the UEFA Europa League according to midfielder Roman Eremenko.
Dynamo, UEFA Cup semi-finalists in 2009, advanced to the last eight as 2-1 aggregate winners despite going down 1-0 in the second leg in Manchester and Eremenko said that City's status as one of the tournament's favourites made the victory all the sweeter.
"It feels extra nice, I thought to myself before the tournament had even started that they were the favourites to win it, so of course it feels really good," said the Finnish international. "It's given us a lot of confidence because we beat the favourites already, so we have a really good chance now."
Aleksandar Kolarov hit City's winner on the night in the 39th minute, three minutes after Mario Balotelli's red card for a high challenge on Goran Popov. Eremenko said the Italian's dismissal gave Dynamo more space to exploit in the second half, when Ognjen Vukojević and Andriy Yarmolenko tested Joe Hart and Denys Garmas had a header cleared off the line.
"It helped us a lot," said Eremenko. "The game opened up a bit more in the second half." All the same, City ended the match with 11 corners to four and twice as many shots, leaving Andriy Shevchenko to hail Dynamo's overall defensive effort against opponents who had hit three goals in their previous three European home games. "
We know Manchester City play very well at home. The whole team tried to defend very well and for us it's a fantastic result," said the veteran forward.
City midfielder Nigel de Jong agreed that over the two ties, Dynamo were probably deserved winners. "I think so, yes. The first game we didn't play that badly but Kyiv were more effective, and today as well. And when you have ten men from the early stages you know it is going to be difficult to score that second goal."
City's best spell came before Balotelli's dismissal. In the opening five minutes they opened up Dynamo twice but Carlos Tévez's shot was deflected over and Balotelli blazed high a clear chance at the far post from Micah Richards' cross. David Silva said: "We had chances but we couldn't take them. We're disappointed we couldn't get through, the team did well and if it wasn't for the sending off it would have been easier."
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