Aris versus Man City Europa League match report - Manchester City FC

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Silva and Tevez in Greece
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    Aris  0

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  • 15 February 2011 19:10
  • Posted by Chris Bailey
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As pick-me-ups go this pert and perky performance could hardly have been better prescribed had the Blues made a mass booking at a local pharmacy.

The only things missing were a couple of goals to go with some superb passing and movement and impressive discipline and tactical nous.

A goalless draw can be a very dangerous result for an away side in these two-legged affairs but City will start as firm favourites in next week’s return.

Still there was much to admire as the ‘Old Trafford seven’ (there were four changes from the weekend if anyone’s maths isn’t quite what it ought to be) went back under starter's orders.

They all showed few signs of shellshock having returned from derby duty with plaudits but no points.

Aris are no pushovers in their own stadium - in fact you didn’t have to push them at all to make the yellow shirts hit the deck - having not lost to foreign opposition in European competition for four decades.

The Greeks were set up defensively and happy to make the game a stop-start affair.

Brazilian Darcy Neto was particularly fond of the turf though when he was upright he proved a danger man from free kicks. One whizzed just past the upright late in the opening half.

Even so, Jane Austen would not have been impressed with some of Mr Darcy’s antics.

What few chances there were in open play were created by a visiting side not put off by the constant din from the home fans or laser lights shining at their eyes from the stands.

David Silva’s shot in the 18th minute brought the best save of the night from Greek number one  Sifakis.  The Aris keeper was on hand again to save twice from Edin Dzeko though in truth the Bosnian failed to get enough power or purchase on either effort.

Silva versus Aris

The second half saw City trying to move the ball more quickly and with more incision but the pattern was the same. The bulk of possession fell to the Blues but clear cut chances were few and far between.

The best of them for City came in the 63rd minute when Sifakis tipped over a flashing header from Dzeko.

Neto, who stayed on his feet much better after the break, replied by curling a shot towards the far corner that showcased Joe Hart’s shot-saving talents.

But the game soon petered out with the last fifteen minutes most notable for the arrival on the pitch as a substitute of the returning Mario Balotelli.

The Italian will be a big player for the Blues in the final third of the season. There was one flash of brilliance as he controlled a difficult ball in the 87th minute and then screwed an overhead kick wide.

Match details

Tuesday 15 February 2011, 5:00PM

Europa League

Alberto Mallenco (Spain)


Aris FC:

Sifakis, Neto (Castillo 87mins), Guiaro, Michel, Lazaridis, Vangeli, Toja, Faty, Prittas, Bobadilla (Cesarec 71mins), and Sakata

Unused subs:
Vellidis, Oriol, Kaznaferis, Mendrinos, and Cesnauskis

Manchester City:

Hart, Richards, Kolo Toure, Boateng, Kolarov, Wright-Phillips (Balotelli 77mins), Barry, Yaya Toure, Silva, Dzeko (Zabaleta 83mins) and Tevez,

Unused subs:
Given, Kompany Jo, Lescott, Vieira

Dzeko 76 mins

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