Man City v Aris Thessaloniki in the Round of 32, Europa League, 2nd leg - Manchester City FC

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Edin Dzeko
  • Manchester City

    City 3

    Dzeko 7, 11 Yaya Toure 75

  • Aris FC

    Aris 0

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  • 24 February 2011 21:58
  • Posted by Peter Ferguson
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City fans celebrated Carlos Tevez's "nifty 50" before kick-off, but it was the Blues' newest recruit who got a move on with the goals that ensured Roberto Mancini's men will head for Kiev next month.

Edin Dzeko may not have been inspired by the skipper's exploits as big-screen videos replayed his goals galore, but the eager Bosnian - yet to score in the Prem - took barely ten minutes to book the Europa League trip to Ukraine.

Yaya Toure's deflected effort from well outside the box 15 minutes from the end merely rubbed it in for the Greeks, held 0-0 in the first leg and undone as much as anything by their chronic lack of goal power.

City, blessed in that department, should have had more - Mario Balotelli pinged the inside of a post in the second half - as Aris went out meekly, and the recharged Dynamo will present a greater barrier to a quarter-final place.

The Greeks contributed to their own downfall initially, a poor reward for the impressive loving support that 6,000 raucous travelling fans poured down on their team of honest but limited toilers.

When Nikolas Lazaridis stumbled and fell, he could hardly have picked a worse destination to miscue the ball than Dzeko, so hungry for goals after his appetizers in the FA Cup against the League One opposition of Notts.

The Bosnian might have been tempted to offer a grateful nod of thanks for the gift that landed in his path.

Instead he strode on at pace before directing a powerful low shot beyond Michail Sifakis and inside the far post

If that was a bonus, then his second four minutes later was "properly" manufactured by a City attack bent on tying up that trip to Kiev as soon as possible with so much more business to attend in the coming weeks.

David Silva worked the ball to Carlos Tevez in the middle, and the skipper duly fed Dzeko to his right then watched his team-mate cut across the box before shooting through a second defender's legs and past Sifakis.

That was with his left; the first had been with his right. He could have chosen either for the chance that offered itself just before half time to complete a memorable hat-trick when he and Silva sprung the offside trap.

But this time he was just hesitant enough to allow Sifakis to get a hand on the ball as the Bosnian dribbled round his desperate dive, and Kristi Vangeli, tracking back, weighed in quickly to complete the clearance.

The Greeks could hardly have complained if they had gone in at half-time 3-0 in arrears - the game belonged to City for long spells despite the efforts of Brazilian Neto and Raul Bobadilla to gain some reward.

They came up against a defence superbly marshalled by Vincent Kompany until the Belgian became the victim of an awkward Aris challenge and was replaced by Pablo Zabaleta ten minutes before the interval.

Zabaleta almost made his mark on the game before then with a shot from outside the penalty area that was only wide by a couple of feet. Tevez went even closer with a deflected effort that skipped a few inches past.

Balotelli, whose willingness to work was enlivened by some fine skills, earned applause but not the goal he deserved, and it was left to Yaya Toure to collect the plaudits for his deflected long-range effort.  

Match details

Thursday 24 February 2011, 8:05PM

Europa League

Pavel Kralovec


Manchester City:

Hart, Boateng, Kompany (Zabaleta, 35), Lescott, Kolarov, Barry, Yaya Toure, Silva (Wright-Phillips, 79), Tevez (Vieira, 79), Dzeko, Balotelli

Unused subs:
Taylor, Jo, Kolo Toure, Wabara


Aris FC:

Sifakis, Vangeli, Ronaldo, Laziridis, Michel, Prittas, Faty, Neto (Kaznaferis, 79), Toja, Sakata (Mendrinos, 46), Bobadilla (Sergio 61)

Unused subs:
Barrero, Oriol, Cesarec

Vangeli, Neto, Prittas

All times are taken from a live feed and are approximate at time of publishing.
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