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City to offer Sporting no quarter

Published: Friday 9 March 2012, 9.05CET
Trailing to Xandão's goal in Lisbon, Manchester City FC will look to reassert their UEFA Europa League credentials as Sporting Clube de Portugal return to England for the decider.
City to offer Sporting no quarter
Edin Džeko celebrates his birthday in the week of the Sporting rematch ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Friday 9 March 2012, 9.05CET

City to offer Sporting no quarter

Trailing to Xandão's goal in Lisbon, Manchester City FC will look to reassert their UEFA Europa League credentials as Sporting Clube de Portugal return to England for the decider.

Manchester City FC will hope to forge on towards the quarter-finals at the expense of Sporting Clube de Portugal, having won both of their previous home games against Portuguese opponents.

• Sporting are 1-0 up from the home leg. Drafted in to replace the injured Oguchi Onyewu, centre-back Xandão broke the deadlock with an inspired back-heel (51).

Previous meetings
• The sides have been paired for the first time in UEFA club competition.

• They met in a 2010/11 pre-season friendly in New York, with Yannick Djaló scoring twice in a 2-0 win for Sporting.

• The teams for that game on 24 July 2010 were:
Sporting: Tiago, João Pereira, Carriço, Polga, Evaldo, Pedro Mendes (André Santos 87), Maniche, Vukčević (Valdés 74), Djaló, Postiga (M Veloso 79), Saleiro.
City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott (Onuoha 46), Cunningham (Bridge 45), Ireland (Boyata 64), Vieira (Tchuimeni-Nimely 64), Zabaleta, Johnson, Jô (Tutte 74), Bellamy (Guidetti 74).

• Sporting's 18 previous games against English sides have ended W9 D3 L6 (W7 D1 L1 in Lisbon – W2 D2 L5 in England).

• Sporting have met City's neighbours Manchester United FC four times with the record W1 D0 L3. That lone victory, a 5-0 in the 1963/64 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals, remains the Red Devils' worst ever European result. However, they have lost both their previous games in Manchester – 4-1 and 2-1.

• City's record in four games against Portuguese opponents is W3 D1 L1 (W2 D0 L0 at home – W1 D1 L1 away). They ousted holders FC Porto in this season's round of 32.

• The only previous campaign in which City encountered Portuguese opponents ended with them winning their only major UEFA title; they beat A. Académica de Coimbra in the quarter-finals of the 1969/70 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, drawing 0-0 in Portugal before Tony Towers scored the only goal of the tie in the 119th minute at Maine Road.

Match background
• City are unbeaten in 16 European home fixtures − 13 wins and three draws − since a 1-0 UEFA Cup first round loss against FC Midtjylland on 14 August 2008.

• Sporting have won only once in their last eight European away games, 2-0 at FC Zürich in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage. Their record in that run has been W1 D3 L4.

• Sporting have reached the round of 16 twice since losing the 2004/05 UEFA Cup final 3-1 against PFC CSKA Moskva in Lisbon. They beat City's English rivals Bolton Wanderers FC in 2007/08, bowing out to Rangers FC in the quarter finals, then lost to eventual winners Club Atlético de Madrid in the 2009/10 last 16.

• City striker Sergio Agüero was a key player in that latter game; having featured in the goalless first leg in Spain, he struck twice in Madrid as Atlético drew 2-2 to win the tie on away goals.

• City are playing in the round of 16 for the third time in four seasons; they eliminated Aalborg BK in 2008/09, going on to lose to Hamburger SV in the last eight, but bowed out to FC Dynamo Kyiv in the last 16 last season.

Team facts
• Four of City's six goals in their round of 32 victory against Porto came in the last 15 minutes of normal time.

• The next goal City let in will be the 50th they have conceded in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League; this is their 52nd game in the two competitions.

• Agüero and Sporting left-back Emiliano Insúa won the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup together with Argentina. Insúa also spent five years in England with Liverpool FC, making 46 league appearances.

• City striker Edin Džeko celebrates his 26th birthday on Saturday 17 March

• As a forward City manager Roberto Mancini won 36 caps for Italy, and Serie A titles – and the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup – with both S.S. Lazio and UC Sampdoria. As a coach, he won three Italian titles with FC Internazionale Milano before joining City in 2009; his first trophy in Manchester came in last season's FA Cup.

• Mancini's Inter traded 1-0 home wins with Sporting in the group stage of the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League.

• Domingos Paciência was dismissed as Sporting coach at the start of February, having led SC Braga to last season's UEFA Europa League final, where they lost 1-0 to FC Porto in Dublin.

• Youth coach Ricardo Sá Pinto, 39, has been named Sporting boss until the end of the season. The former Portugal forward had two spells with Sporting, from 1994-97 and 2000-06 and played abroad with Real Sociedad de Fútbol and R. Standard de Liège.

• Sá Pinto faced City's James Milner (against Newcastle United FC in the quarter-finals) and Adam Johnson (in the round of 16 against Middlesbrough FC) as a Sporting player in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup. He came out on top in both ties as Sporting went on to reach the final.

Competition statistics
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here:
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1750416.html

Last updated: 12/03/12 16.57CET

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http://www.uefa.com/news/newsid=1761753.html#city+offer+sporting+quarter

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