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Džeko double seals City passage

Manchester City FC 3-0 Aris Thessaloniki FC (agg: 3-0)
Two first-half goals from Edin Džeko set Roberto Mancini's side on their way to the last 16, Yaya Touré completing the scoring.

Džeko double seals City passage
Džeko double seals City passage ©UEFA.com

Manchester City FC set up a last-16 meeting with FC Dynamo Kyiv after Edin Džeko's first-half double and Yaya Touré's late third secured a comfortable 3-0 victory over Aris Thessaloniki FC.

After last week's stalemate in Greece, Roberto Mancini's team took control of the tie with two goals inside 12 minutes from Džeko. Given Aris had scored only three in their preceding eight games – all by Neto – the last thing they wanted was to concede early. Yet after seven minutes defender Nikolaos Lazaridis slipped when controlling Aleksandar Kolarov's long ball, leaving Džeko clear to shoot across Michalis Sifakis and into the bottom corner for his first European goal for City.

Džeko found the same corner five minutes later when, after collecting Carlos Tévez's pass, he stepped inside Michel and, this time with his left foot, beat Sifakis with an angled drive. Aris were heading out of the UEFA Europa League yet their supporters did not stop singing. Some 3,500 fans had flown over to Manchester and, joined by another 1,000 or so Greek expats, they maintained their impressively noisy backing throughout.

Although City lost Vincent Kompany to injury before half-time – Jerome Boateng moving into central defence with substitute Pablo Zabaleta filling in at left-back – they were untroubled by a visiting attack which forced only one save out of Joe Hart. On the stroke of half-time Džeko missed a golden chance for his hat-trick, Sifakis getting a hand to the ball as the Bosnian international sought to round him.

Raúl Bobadilla was not far wide for Aris with a speculative effort that went over the angle of post and crossbar on the hour but Giannis Michalitsios's men were second best. Mario Balotelli struck a post before, in the 75th minute, Touré made it three, picking up a clearance from a corner and beating Sifakis with a 25-metre strike that deflected in off Kristi Vangjeli.