#Manchester City 1 CSKA Moscow 2
Manager Manuel Pellegrini was as surprised as anyone by his side's continued incapacity to succeed in Europe, after yet another disappointing night for the English Champions in the Champions League left them rock bottom in Group E. The unexpected loss at the Etihad (it was the Russians' first win in England) to a competent and well drilled CSKA side was more or less confirmed when the home side were reduced to nine men near the end of the match, with Samir Nasri fortunate to not be dismissed as well after crudely kicking out in obvious frustration. As it was, both Fernandinho and Yaya Toure were dismissed for two yellow cards and face suspension, to add to their team's problems in their remaining two group games, both of which they now need to win to have any chance of progressing further in the competition.
City were soon in trouble against the Russians, Toure not tracking Seydou Doumbia's run as he headed past Joe Hart to put the visitors ahead in only the second minute. It took the home side only six minutes to equalise through a pinpoint Toure free-kick, but their comeback was stalled on 34 minutes when Doumbia was allowed space in the box by the threadbare City defence. His neat control enabled him to open up his body to slide the ball home at Hart's near post, for his second goal of the night.
Fernandinho made City's task even more difficult when he received a second yellow card (shortly after the first) on 70 minutes and was deservedly followed down the tunnel on 81 minutes by Toure, to effectively seal their fate.
The English side's fans were incensed not merely by their players' dismissals on the night but also by the CSKA player who should have been dismissed in between the two reds that were given, as referee Tasos Sidiropolous mistakenly allowed Pontus Wernbloom to stay on the pitch. He wrongly gave what should have been Wernbloom's second yellow card to teammate Sergei Ignashevich instead. The officials also failed to uphold a couple of strong City penalty appeals for challenges on Sergio Aguero late in the game.
City's slim chances of staying in contention for the qualifying places rest on the unlikely premise that they can beat both German champions Bayern Munich (albeit at home) and Italian side, Roma away. Even then they require results elsewhere in the group to go their way, but it would be a major turnaround for them to live up to their side of the equation in the first place on this form, especially with star man Toure missing against the Germans.
The racist side story surrounding the two teams had once again surfaced in the run up to the game as Toure has referred abuse that he received via social media to the police. The Ivory Coast player had withdrawn from Twitter for five months but on his return found himself targeted for messages of a racist nature.
Fans of the Russian side had been banned from attending last night's match, after UEFA had taken action following several occurrences involving racist chanting at their games. Even so, around eighty of CSKA's supporters sneaked into the Etihad and were evicted by stewards, thankfully resulting in no arrests.
Bayern Munich ensured that they topped the group and maintained their flawless record with a 2-0 victory over Roma. Franck Ribery opened their account before half-time and Mario Gotze made the game safe with a second shortly after the hour mark. #Football