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Aris Salonika 0 Manchester City 0: Roberto Mancini's men held to drab stalemate in Greece

16 Feb 2011 10:37:23

Aris Salonika 0 Manchester City 0: Roberto Mancini's men held to drab stalemate in Greece

Roberto Mancini criticised Edin Dzeko and compared the striker's troubles to those of another big-money signing, Fernando Torres, after Manchester City suffered a frustrating night. A draw in the Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium on the shores of the North Aegean left City favourites to qualify for the last 16 at Eastlands next week, but it didn't have to be this difficult. Heads, you draw: Dzeko and Co failed to find the back of the net in City's Euro clash That they created only two clear chances against a team currently sixth in the Greek Super League says much about their performance despite the presence of Carlos Tevez and David Silva alongside Dzeko. Both fell to - and were wasted by - the Bosnia international, who has only scored once since arriving from Wolfsburg for ?27million in the January transfer window - and that was against Notts County. Dzeko, who was left on the bench for Saturday's Manchester derby, was also booked for a petulant foul before being replaced by Pablo Zabaleta near the end. Watching brief: Mancini (right) named a strong line-up in the first leg of City's Europa League match Mancini believes Dzeko is facing the same problems as ?50million Chelsea signing Torres because both joined their clubs in mid-season. He said: 'I expect more from him and he needs to improve quickly. The other players must score -- they can't wait for Carlos Tevez every game. 'He's a good player but he has the same problem as Fernando Torres because when you arrive in January it isn't easy to get to know your teammates and the system.' The City boss also criticised Shaun Wright-Phillips for failing to provide Dzeko with the service he needs from the flanks. He said: 'With Dzeko playing we should cross it more. Shaun was playing tonight but we only had one cross in the second half and that was from Gareth Barry. 'A 0-0 result is good but not perfect. It can be dangerous but it will be a different game in Manchester.' Giants of the game: City defend in front of a huge mural in the home stands The atmosphere inside this compact 23,000-capacity arena was certainly more intimidating than anything City experienced at Old Trafford on Saturday. With City's 1,000-strong contingent totally drowned out, it was easy to see why Aris are now unbeaten on this ground in 26 European games stretching back 43 years, and Mancini responded to the challenge by naming a strong line-up. They certainly had the better of the first half. Indeed, Aris had hardly touched the ball when Silva had the first effort on goal in the ninth minute, collecting a pass from Tevez before testing Michalis Sifakis with a low effort from 25 yards. The goalkeeper was called into action again seven minutes later. Dzeko took Aleksandar Kolorav's low cross off the toe of Silva inside the box and forced a reflex save from Sifakis, who recovered just in time to snatch the loose ball. In the thick of it: Wright-Phillips started the last-32 clash At that stage the only threat to Mancini's side were the green lasers that appeared to be aimed at his players from the crowd as they prepared to take a corner - a worrying twist on the impressive home support that may warrant closer inspection by UEFA. But the Greeks' first genuineopportunity came from a corner of their own and Joe Hart's blunderseven minutes before half-time. Green light: City pair Micah Richards and Akleksandar Kolarov were picked out by home fans' lasers MATCH FACTSARIS SALONIKA (4-4-1-1): Sifakis 7; Vangjeli 5, Ronaldo 6, Lazaridis 5, Michel 6; Neto 7 (Castillo 88min), Prittas 6, Faty 6, Sakata 7; Toja 5; Bobadilla 6 (Cesarec 72, 6). Subs not used: Vellidis, Oriol, Kaznaferis, Mendrinos, Cesnauskis.MANCHESTER CITY (4-2-3-1): Hart 5; Richards 6, K Toure 6, Boateng 5, Kolarov 8; Y Toure 6, Barry 6;Wright-Phillips 5 (Balotelli 77), Tevez 5, Silva 7; Dzeko 5 (Zabaleta 84). Subs not used: Given, Kompany,Lescott, Vieira, Jo. Booked: Dzeko.Man of the match: Aleksandar Kolarov.Referee: Alberto Mallenco (Spain) 4. The City keeper comfortably gathered Michel's header, only to fumble the ball as he bumped into Gareth Barry on the edge of the area, and he was penalised for handling outside his box by Alberto Mallenco after the Spanish referee's assistant changed his mind under furious protest from the Aris players. Fortunately for Hart, setpiece specialist Darcy Neto's free kick swung over the wall and just past his right-hand post. It took City more than an hour to engineer their best attempt on goal. Barry's first-time cross picked out Dzeko who rose between two Aris defenders to head goalwards only to see Sifakis instinctively stick out a hand to tip the ball away. The hosts' response was almost immediate, Darcy forcing Hart to lunge to his right and turn away a fierce 25-yard effort. Mancini sent on Mario Balotelli for his first appearance in six weeks, but the decision to replace Dzeko with Zabaleta six minutes from time indicated a willingness to settle for a draw. Advantage City, but this one is not over yet.  Man City's millions meant nothing to Ibrahimovic as ace snubbed ManciniMan Utd 2 Man City 1: Mancini - we'll match United despite Rooney's heroicsAris Salonika v Manchester City: All the action from Thessaloniki as it happenedAll the latest Manchester City news, features and opinion  Explore more:People: Edin Dzeko, Joe Hart, Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Gareth Barry, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Roberto Mancini, Fernando Torres Places: Manchester, Spain, Bosnia


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