UEFA Cup Group Stage
Wednesday 3 December 2008, 19:45 KO
City: Hart, Zabaleta, Dunne (c), Ben-Haim, Garrido, Kompany, Ireland, Elano (Benjani 47), Vassell (Hamann 76), Sturridge, Jo (Evans 65)
Unused: Schmeichel, Berti, Logan, Caicedo
City Man of the Match: Vincent Kompany
This was a game between a team who had qualified for the next round and a team that was virtually out and boy did the result show it. City saw the opportunity to give some fringe players a chance, but they were uninspiring as the game never really got going from start to finish.
Elano marked his return to the first team by almost slotting Sturridge in for a one-on-one, but the young striker over-ran the ball into the PSG goalkeeper. Landreau did well, then, to parry Elano’s follow up.
Jo then looked to have played Vassell in, but the offside flag was raised as the City man slid a shot well wide of the goal.
Mateja Kezman then found himself in the book after a series of questionable challenges. First, City skipper Richard Dunne wasn’t happy with Kezman’s use of an elbow in challenging him, then Joe Hart had some angry words for the Serbian after he caught the home keeper late, before Ben-Haim went down under his challenge.
With just three minutes to the break (that was how eventful this half was), Jo had the chance to head at goal, but he could only put Zabaleta’s cross over the bar. The Argentinian right back then forced Landreau into a good save, after Vassell had knocked the ball back and he had fired it across goal.
Ben-Haim then put in a terrific tackle to deny what looked like a certain goal, as the City defence were caught napping and the ball was driven low and hard across the area towards Luyindula. But the Israeli timed his tackle to perfection and Dunne was able to clear.
The half ended with a long range effort from Vincent Kompany, forcing Landreau into another decent save.
City kicked off the second half with an attack, that ended with a Daniel Sturridge shot bobbling wide. But the attack was more costly, as Elano went down shortly after. With two minutes of the second half gone, he left the game injured, to be replaced by Benjani.
Joe Hart made a comfortable catch from a long range drive, before Darius Vassell curled a shot well over the bar from just outside the area, after some neat City build up.
But the neat patches of play were few and far between, with neither side able to keep the ball for long. Sturridge fired wide once again, before Hart had to be alert to dive at Luyindula’s feet to block his shot.
City struggled to create another chance, with Kompany firing a free kick well over the bar from just outside the area.
PSG had the best of the latter stages of the game, as City appeared to be happy with a point. Hoarau placed a shot well wide of Hart’s goal, when he should have done better, before Luyindula fired over from the left hand side of the box. Luyindula was then inches from a low cross that would have been a certain goal, had he connected.
The game petered to an end with neither side really threatening and results elsewhere in the group left City top, but only by a point, before they travel to Santander two weeks on Thursday.