City count the cost after ending quarter-final wait
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Manchester City 0-0 Dynamo Kyiv (agg: 3-1)
City are through to the quarter-finals for the first time, but injuries to Vincent Kompany and Nicolás Otamendi meant celebrations were muted.
Article top media content
- City reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time
- Vincent Kompany and Nicolás Otamendi go off injured inside 24 minutes
- City host Manchester United in the derby on Sunday
- Dynamo's wait for a first European win in England extends to 14 games
- Quarter-final draw streamed live on UEFA.com from 12.00CET on Friday
Manchester City are through to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time, but injuries to both centre-backs against Dynamo Kyiv overshadowed their night.
The sight of injury-ravaged Vincent Kompany exiting early on drew a collective sigh from the home crowd, becoming a groan when Nicolás Otamendi quickly followed. The silver lining was that Manuel Pellegrini's side's 3-1 first-leg advantage was never really under threat: at the third time of asking City won a round of 16 tie.
The game struggled to get started in the first half, the initial slow tempo almost reaching a standstill after the deflating departures of Kompany and Otamendi. City had two centre-halves on the bench so the immediate impact was not severe, but those injuries could have far-reaching consequences.
The once raucous crowd, no doubt coming to a similar conclusion, grew grave and the atmosphere among the players in sky blue was scarcely better. Instead it was Dynamo, wearing a darker hue, who began pushing on and before the interval Martín Demichelis's sloppy pass inadvertently created an opportunity.
Andriy Yarmolenko collected, but his through ball to Denys Garmash lacked composure and Gaël Clichy cleared. It summed up the opening 60 minutes. Once the clock struck the top of the hour it opened up – slightly. Jesús Navas lashed against the post at one end, then Yarmolenko cut inside and fired at Joe Hart at the other.
Half-chances continued to come and go, with Hart denying Olexandr Yakovenko at the death, but there was no stopping City's walking wounded marching on.
Analysis from Simon Hart at the City of Manchester Stadium
Key player: Yaya Touré
This was not a vintage City performance yet it was job done all the same. Clichy got up and down the left with impressive energy, Sergio Agüero produced one sensational turn but Yaya Touré, back in the team, did as much as anybody to drive Pellegrini's men on. There were a couple of those trademark bulldozing runs and the Ivorian set up Agüero and Navas for the best two openings of the second period.
The loss of Kompany and Otamendi contributed to the lack of fluency in City's play and the sight of Kompany pulling up with an apparent calf problem was a particularly worrying sight for the hosts given how much more solid they look with him in their lineup. In the short term he will be missed badly in Sunday's Manchester derby and it is also a concern for his Belgium national team with UEFA EURO 2016 on the horizon.
Kyiv journey ends
Serhiy Rebrov was playing on the last occasion that Kyiv featured at this stage of the UEFA Champions League. In that context the Ukrainian outfit can take satisfaction from getting this far but tonight was a bridge too far. They were facing a City side short on confidence and disrupted by injury yet were unable to profit. Dynamo had not won in 13 previous visits to England and, until Yakovenko's late effort, seldom looked like altering that statistic here.