Hosts confirm quarter-final spot but captain Vincent Kompany suffers fresh injury blow
- Manchester City sealed their progression to the Champions League quarter-finals after a goalless draw at Etihad
- City were dealt a major blow when captain Vincent Kompany limped off with an injury problem after just six minutes
Any executive who continues to advocate closed shop European football, minus promotion, relegation or a rigorous qualification process, should be tied to a chair and made to watch this game.
This what football looks like, when there is nothing to play for. This is what it becomes. A waste of your time, a waste of my time, a waste of everybody’s time. Manchester City knew they were through, Dynamo Kiev knew they were out, and both teams knew their obligations to UEFA’s round of 16 would soon be over. Not even injuries to both of Manchester City’s starting centre-halves could breathe life into this abysmal affair.
City could arguably be excused for on medical grounds. Losing Vincent Kompany after five minutes, Nicolas Otamendi after 24, would sink the spirits of any team. Kompany is a talisman for City, they are much reduced without him. If his calf injury stretches towards May, his loss could be fatal to City’s ambitions in the remainder of the season.
Manchester City were dealt an early blow as captain Vincent Kompany limped off after just five minutes with another injury problem
Kompany sits on the floor after suffering a fresh injury concern in the opening minutes as he chased back to clear the ball
Jesus Navas (far right) came closest to getting a goal when his fierce low drive smacked the inside of the Dynamo Kiev post
Sergio Aguero flashes an effort wide of the far post during the second half as Manchester City eased into the Champions League last eight
Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Hart 7; Zabaleta 7, Kompany 6 (Mangala 7, 6), Otamendi 6 (Demichelis 24, 6.5), Clichy 7; Fernando 6, Fernandinho 6.5; Navas 6, Toure 6, Silva 6 (Sterling 79); Aguero 7
Subs not used: Caballero, Kolarov, Bony, Garcia
Manager: Manuel Pellegrini 6
Dynamo Kiev (4-1-4-1): Shovkovskiy 6; Vida 7, Dragovic 6, Khacheridi 6, Antunes 6.5; Veloso 6; Yarmolenko 6.5, Buyalskiy 6, Garmash 6 (Sydorchuk 64, 6), Gusev 6 (Yakovenko 62, 6); Teodorczyk 6 (Gonzalez 46, 6)
Subs not used: Rudko, Silva, Korzun, Makarenko
Manager: Sergei Rebrov 6
Booked: Antunes, Garmash
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan
Ratings by Jack Gaughan
For Kiev there is less excuse. They should have been buoyed by City’s misfortune, instead they settled. Andriy Yarmolenko had a shot saved by Joe Hart after 64 minutes, but that was about the best of it. For City, Jesus Navas hit the post. The travelling Ukrainian press pack largely hit the bar. They weren’t bad judges.
How anyone can advocate meaningless rounds of matches, shorn of tension, as a money-spinner format for the Champions League in future is a mystery. Occasionally in two leg cup tournaments this will happen, a tie that is as good as over at the end of 90 minutes. It could be the same in the Nou Camp on Wednesday night when Barcelona and Arsenal meet. But to build an absence of danger into the fixture list, to make the process so safe and formatted, would be fatal to fans interests.
City did not sell out this match as it was and had the locals known then what they know now, their numbers would have been even smaller. This was an occasion devoid of everything that makes football compelling. If this is the future, they will have to count a lot of us out. Fans deserve more. We all do.
The only conclusion that could be drawn from the first-half was that Dynamo Kiev did not appear to have done enough hard work on Manchester City’s defence. Better informed they would surely have realised how calamitous it was to lose not just Vincent Kompany but Nicolas Otamendi in the opening 25 minutes. It left Eliaquim Mangala and Martin Demichelis guarding the shop and neither acquitted himself particularly well in the period before half-time.
Yet Kiev’s tempo barely altered, despite this enormous slice of good fortune. Premier League opponents, sensing the local discomfort, would have instantly sought to gain advantage. The play would have got quicker, more direct, there would be balls in the box, energy to test the makeshift back line. Instead, Kiev plodded on, their pace not much faster than City’s – and the home team were in danger of sinking into torpor.
For those that had braved the chill air it was hugely frustrating. The Etihad Stadium only looked about 75 per cent full – a disappointment in itself considering this is the Champions League breakthrough season – but they deserved better than this. Yes, Kiev needed three goals to send them through and that was unlikely to happen, but there was no need for a performance as lacklustre as this from City. They were sloppy, slow, cautious, aimless. Of course, losing two centre-halves is a blow but it didn’t need to suck the life out of the game like this. It had the snap of testimonial without a fraction of the freedom of expression.
David Silva evades the incoming challenge as Manchester City look for a fast start against Dynamo Kiev in this second leg
Pablo Zabaleta (left) and Joe Hart (right) have a chat with their captain after Kompany hit the deck with an early injury problem
The Belgian centre back leaves the field with a stoney look etched upon his face after realising instantly that he had to be replaced
Kompany receives a reassuring pat on his back from Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini as he heads straight down the tunnel
Jesus Navas raises his foot high to try and win the ball ahead Dynamo Kiev’s Vitaliy Buyalsky who put his head in where it hurt
Manchester City were handed another injury blow when Nicolas Otamendi needed treatment before being replaced by Martin Demichelis
The Argentine defender attempted to run off the injury concern but eventually had to be replaced by his compatriot
It needed Kiev to threaten, but they could not. Joe Hart was forced off his line to clear on a couple of occasions and Mangala and Demichelis made errors that would have proven costly against more ambitious opposition, but City remained untroubled despite the obvious nature of their weakness.
The biggest fear was that this was the season as good as over, right here, in the first five minutes. City are still in there fighting for the title, or at least a Champions League place next season, and Europe’s last eight beckons for the first time in this modern era – but as Kompany limped off forlornly so City hearts sunk.
With him on the pitch this season, City concede a Premier League goal every 194 minutes; without him that falls to 65 minutes. That means Manchester United are likely to score at least once in the derby here on Sunday. There is little fun to be had at City without Kompany.
Manchester City playmaker Silva occupies the attention of Andriy Yarmolenko (left) and Domagoj Vida as he launches an attack
Dynamo Kiev forward Lukasz Teodorczyk tries to get on the end of a cross but the flag goes up for offside anyway
Oleh Gusev is chased down by Sergio Aguero during a tame first half at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night
Manchester City manager Pellegrini did not have too much to be concerned about during a dull opening 45 minutes
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure (left), who returned to the side after missing the Norwich draw, hassles Miguel Veloso
The captain arrived here in 2008 and since then has suffered 14 calf injuries. Early reports suggested this was the 15th. He was shepherding the ball away from Oleg Gusev when he suddenly pulled up, clearly troubled. He kicked the ball off immediately and fell back onto the turf, mainly in frustration. His face told the story. He had a thousand mile stare. You could tell he was doing the reckoning. By the time he comes back, the season could be as good as over.
Then there is the impending arrival of new coach Pep Guardiola. Kompany is his best in situ defender, by a mile. But not injured. Injured, he might as well be – well, Mangala, or any of City’s other expensive underachievers. Guardiola will want reliable players. Casualties, if not jettisoned altogether, will become increasingly peripheral. And with that Kompany rose slowly and hobbled gingerly to the periphery.
On came Mangala and, within a few minutes, another casualty. Otamendi ran into Vitaliy Buyalskiy and both men fell to the ground, hurt. Otamendi rose, eventually, but wincing with pain and awkward in movement. He limped around for a further ten minutes or so, until an attempted upfield pass appeared to end all hope of toughing it out.
Like Kompany, Otamendi signalled to the bench that his match was at an end. Off he went, replaced by Demichelis, forging a a partnership that would go down about as well around these parts as a Mike and Bernie Winters tribute act. Fortunately, Kiev seemed largely happy to sign up for a non-aggression pact and City were not greatly tested. They will proudly take their place in Friday’s draw as England’s only representatives – another first – but this was hardly an occasion befitting the honour of Breakthrough Night. Sleep through night, maybe.
Manchester City’s Spanish winger Jesus Navas attempts to hurdle the challenge of Dynamo Kiev midfielder Gusev
Silva looks to race on to a through ball from Fernandinho but Oleksandr Shovkovskiy, 41, comes off his line to snuff out the danger
Manchester City striker Aguero takes a tumble as the Argentine striker bared down on the Dynamo Kiev penalty area
Spanish winger Navas was unfortunate not to give City the lead in the second half when his shot cannoned off the post
Source: Daily Mail