City v Kyiv: The story so far
- 10 March 2016 11:58
- Posted by @timoscroft
City can clinch a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time when Dynamo Kyiv visit Etihad Stadium on 15 March.
The Blues are within touching distance of the last eight thanks to an outstanding result in the first leg.
That 3-1 win on away soil handed Manuel Pellegrini and the side a huge advantage - how did it unfold, and what was the reaction?
Pellegrini almost completely overhauled his starting 11 from the youthful one that had faced Chelsea three days earlier.
Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Yaya Toure were the four Blues who had faced Dynamo the last time the two clubs met, in 2011. For the hosts, Olexander Shovkovskiy, Danilo Silva and Andriy Yarmolenko were the three survivors from that Europa League meeting in Manchester.
Ebb and flow - how the match panned out
Playing both Fernando – the sole survivor from the Chelsea cup tie – and Fernandinho allowed Yaya Toure to push up in support of Sergio Aguero, with Raheem Sterling and David Silva either side of him.
The defensive shield of City’s Brazilian pairing was needed in the opening phase as Dynamo sought to make their home advantage count.
But City weathered the storm and struck clinically after only 15 minutes, Sergio Aguero pouncing on a Toure header from close range.
The Blues – or rather the ‘Ghost Greens’ in that natty away kit – dominated the rest of the half with one of their most assured displays of the season. The lead was deservedly doubled shortly before the break when a neat backheel from Aguero set up Sterling for a cross easily converted at the far post by Silva.
Dynamo hit back strongly after half-time, and pulled a goal back near the hour mark when Vitaliy Buyalskyi’s shot took a deflection to deceive Hart and roll into the net.
England’s number one preserved the lead with a brilliant save down low to his right to deny Buyalskyi, but Toure missed out a few minutes later when heading a great chance wide from close range.
But the Ivorian, so often the man for the big occasion, made amends in the closing stages when he curled home a sublime shot from the edge of the box.
“It was a great result, especially away from home and we couldn’t have hoped for better. We didn’t play it safe looking for a draw or a 1-0 win and tried to kill the tie off tonight.” - Vincent Kompany
"Manuel Pellegrini's decision to sacrifice the FA Cup paid off as Manchester City planted one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals. Here, in the biting cold and driving sleet of Kiev, that decision was vindicated, with City producing a coming-of-age win to effectively put them in the last eight for the first time." David McDonnell, The Mirror
Make sure you’re there to cheer the lads on to the quarter-finals. Tickets are available from £30 for adults, and from £5 for Under 16s.