Europa League Round of 16, Leg One
Thursday 10 March 2011, 20.05 KO
City: Hart, Richards, Lescott, Kompany, Zabaleta, Barry (c), Y Touré, Kolarov (Wright-Phillips 82), Silva, Dzeko, Balotelli (Tevez 57)
Unused: Taylor, Boateng, Boyata, de Jong, Vieira
Booked: Balotelli, Tevez
Referee: Florian Meyer
Man of the Match: David Silva
With Dynamo Kyiv having won their last Europa League tie by a large aggregate scoreline, City knew that this first leg would be a tough game. Temperatures were low and the pitch was rock solid, but it was the visitors who had the first chance, as Balotelli volleyed over from a deep corner.
Kyiv responded with some pressure on City’s goal, but Milevskiy dragged his shot well wide of Hart’s goal. Kolarov’s low ball into the Kyiv box almost caused a mix-up between goalkeeper and defenders, but the home side just about cleared.
Some more pressure from the home side was decisively ended by Lescott and Kompany, before the English centre-back carried the ball forward. After a quick one-two with Dzeko, he found Silva, who looked to slip Richards in behind the defence, but the goalkeeper was off his line quickly to snatch the ball.
With nearly 20 minutes on the clock, City were given a shooting opportunity in the Kyiv half as David Silva was fouled, but from the resulting free kick Kolarov could only find the arms of Shovkovskiy. Kolarov then had another effort from the edge of the box, this time from open play, after Dzeko had done well to keep it and Zabaleta had done well to touch it on.
But, with City having the better chances, it was Kyiv who took the lead. A shot from the edge of the box flicked off Kompany and prevented from going behind for a corner by Richards. That allowed the ball to be fired back into the City box and neither Hart nor Kolarov could get there first and Shevchenko knocked it into the net.
City tried to respond immediately with a free kick from Balotelli, but he scuffed it straight to the Kyiv defence. Yaya Touré then delivered a left wing free kick into the box, but it was well cleared. Two City corners almost allowed Kyiv to break, but each time the quick attack was snuffed out.
Kyiv wanted a penalty for a foul on Milevskiy, but there was nothing doing from the referee. Shevchenko then stayed on his feet to win a corner for Kyiv and could have done more damage to City, but he volleyed over as the visitors failed to clear their lines.
A quick free kick was then worked to David Silva on the edge of the box, via Barry and Dzeko and he crossed for Richards at the back post, but the right back’s jump was just too soon and the ball was just too high and he couldn’t connect. A poor delivery from a Kolarov free kick then allowed Kyiv to break and it could have been another shooting chance for the home side, save for some good defending from Zabaleta.
Milevskiy then found a shooting chance on the edge of the box after Barry couldn’t intercept Varmolenko’s low cross, but he couldn’t trouble Joe Hart and City got into the break without further damage.
The first talking point of the second half concerned Mario Balotelli… City kicked off with ten men, while Balotelli was late arriving to the pitch. From there, Shevchenko shot over from the edge of the box and Zabaleta was lucky to escape a yellow card for a rash challenge in the Kyiv half.
Kolarov then turned in onto his right foot from the left wing and unleashed a shot on his weaker foot that needed flicking over the bar. Balotelli’s corner then came to nothing, as the keeper caught it at the second attempt. Balotelli then ended a mazy run with a foul and City lost possession.
A nice ball from Tevez then almost sent Richards through in the area, but Yussuf read his intentions and got a foot in, before Tevez then found Silva on the edge of the box. He lost his shooting opportunity, but it found its way to Touré, who forced a good save from Shovkovskiy.
Milevskiy then nutmegged Richards with a slide-rule shot, but it wasn’t fooling Hart and the City keeper got hold of the ball. Dzeko then tried to slip Tevez in at the other end, but his pass was just too long for the Argentinean and he couldn’t get there before the goalkeeper.
Hart then needed to be off his line quickly to deny Shevchenko a shooting chance, after some neat interplay from Kyiv set them free down the right wing. Dzeko then couldn’t find room for the shot inside the home team’s box.
A City corner was then nodded as far clear as Kolarov. The Serbian put the ball back into the box and Lescott nodded it towards Tevez, before receiving the return on the edge of the box and striking it at goal. The keeper, though, saw it all the way and was able to hold on, but it was a good effort from the centre-back and City looked to be getting nearer.
Tevez then tried to slip Silva in, but the Kyiv defence blocked the pass. It bounced back to Tevez and he tried again, but Silva wasn’t expecting it and it was cleared as far as Zabaleta. His scuffed effort nearly fell for Silva, but he couldn’t readjust his body in time to put the ball in the net.
But, just as it looked like City were getting themselves back into the game, they were pegged further behind. A flicked header from Kompany inside the area unluckily fell to Gusev. Richards couldn’t react and Gusev smashed it past Hart for Kyiv’s second goal of the night and City were now desperate for an away goal.
Tevez tried to respond immediately, but couldn’t win a corner and was booked for arguing the point, before his shot took a deflection and bounced straight into the arms of Shovkovskiy.
Wright-Phillips almost had an instant impact as he tried to slide the ball through to Richards – who was playing as a makeshift centre-forward – but it was just over hit and City were getting desperate. Gusev then had a deflected effort well held by Hart.
With just over a minute before stoppage time, Hart got in to block a three-on-one breakaway and keep City in the tie. Dzeko then got up well in the box and nodded it down to Silva, who had more time than he realised and tried to head it at goal, but it was an easy take for the goalkeeper.
City have it all to do in the return leg.