Manchester City 3 Sporting CP 2 – Joe Hart nearly scores winner for City
Manchester City are out of the Europa League after a dramatic night at Eastlands which saw Sporting race into a 3-0 aggregate lead only for Roberto Mancini’s side to nearly qualify for the quarter finals.
March 15th, 2012
City were 1-0 down from last Thursday’s first leg and Mancini fielded a team with lots of attacking intent, although the absence of Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott in defence was going to be a problem in the first half.
The home side could have conceded a penalty before Fernandez scored a fantastic free-kick after Mario Balotelli has needlessly conceded on the edge of the penalty area.
It was to get worse for City when Ricky van Wolfswinkel scored just before half-time to send the visiting supporters into raptures and Sporting were now three goals clear in the tie including two away goals.
Even so, the Premier League’s second place side began their comeback in the 60th minute through Sergio Aguero and the Argentine scored again in the 82nd minute, sandwiching a Mario Balotelli penalty to set up an interesting finale.
Sporting were keen to wear the clock down wherever possible although a late foray forward from Joe Hart saw the goalkeeper head the ball towards goal only for his opposite number to deflect it wide.