City hold nerve after AaB fightback

Aalborg BK 2-0 Manchester City FC (agg: 2-2, City win 4-3 on pens) The visitors won a UEFA Cup shoot-out for the second time this season in Denmark, despite relinquishing a two-goal lead late on in regulation time.

Manchester City celebrate their penalty shoot-out triumph
Manchester City celebrate their penalty shoot-out triumph ©Getty Images

Manchester City FC won their second penalty shoot-out of the season in Denmark despite relinquishing a two-goal advantage in the final five minutes of normal time against Aalborg BK to progress to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

Given saves
The game was meandering towards a scoreless draw which, after their 2-0 first-leg win, would have been good enough to send City through. However, strikes in the last five minutes from Luton Shelton and Michael Jakobsen sent the match into extra time. With no further goals, the tie was decided on penalties and while City were perfect from the spot, Thomas Augustinussen and Shelton had their efforts saved by Shay Given to put City into Friday's last-eight draw.

Early slumber
The drama late in the game was in marked contrast to an uneventful first half. Both sides threatened sporadically with the visitors going closest when Stephen Ireland's strike from Shaun Wright-Phillips' cross was blocked inadvertently by team-mate Chedwyn Evans. Still needing to score twice, AaB took the game to City after the break. Caca had the hosts' first real glimpse of goal after 53 minutes, latching on to Shelton's knock down and driving a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area.

Robinho chance
Andreas Johansson then went down in the area under a challenge from substitute Javier Garrido, but AaB's penalty claims were waved away. The hosts continued to search for the elusive breakthrough, although it was Robinho who could have settled the tie with eight minutes remaining but he fired against crossbar after good work by Ireland.

Dramatic late rally
Then, with five minutes remaining, Shelton took advantage of another flick on from Caca to control and volley in. The hosts were reinvigorated and ramped up the pressure under which, in the 90th minute, City crumbled. Caca's corner was handled by Evans and Jakobsen fired the subsequent spot-kick high into the net. City had overcome Danish opposition in a shoot-out in the form of FC Midtjylland in the second qualifying round and repeated the trick against AaB, Given's two saves proving critical in a 4-3 success.

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