By William Wood | In Match Reports - Away Games
Manchester City’s Champions League aspirations were dealt a huge blow as they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Ajax.
After taking just one point from their opening two games, Roberto Mancini’s men went in search of the three points to boost their chances of progressing to the next stage, but they were greeted by a determined and fluid Ajax side who secured the win comfortably in Holland.
Micah lined up at right-back whilst Edin Dzeko was rewarded for his recent purple patch with a start. Ajax were quick out the blocks, with former Liverpool man Ryan Babel going close early on with a swooping effort.
However, it was City that edged ahead against the run of play, Micah picking out James Milner with a superb pass and the midfielder in turn finding Samir Nasri, with the Frenchman slotted home to make it 1-0.
Sergio Aguero went close to making it two a minute later only for his effort to be deflected behind, whilst Micah raced through and shot powerfully on goal only for his shot to be saved.
With a minute to go before half-time, Ajax drew level, Siem De Jong connecting with a cross to divert the ball beyond Joe Hart, and also re-directing Mancini’s half-time team-talk.
Things took a turn for the worse 10 minutes after the break as the hosts went in front. Niklas Moisander rose highest to meet a corner and head beyond Hart to make it 2-1.
The advantage was doubled minutes later, Christian Eriksen finding a yard of space and seeing his shot deflected past Hart by Gael Clichy’s foot.
Mancini introduced Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez as City hunted goals, and Dzeko went close with a header late on which found its way into Johannes Vermeer’s arms, and that was to be that as the visitors fell to defeat to leave their hopes of progressing from Group D hanging by a thread.
Ajax: Vermeer, Van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind, Schone, Poulsen, Eriksen, Sana, De Jong, Babel. Subs: Cillessen, Enoh, Sulejmani, Boerrigter, Veltman, Dijks, Fischer.
Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Toure, Barry, Milner, Aguero, Nasri, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Sinclair, Kolarov, Tevez, Nastasic, Balotelli, Evans.