Tuesday November 22, 2011 Group Stage: Group A Finished Stadio San Paolo

Napoli 2 - 1 Manchester City

  • Cavani 17’, 49’
  • Balotelli 33’

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  1. Napoli leave City hopes hanging by a thread

    Napoli leave City hopes hanging by a thread

    Manchester City's hopes of progressing from Champions League Group A suffered a serious blow as Napoli won 2-1 at the Stadio San Paolo. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Napoli
    • Manchester City
    • 90+3' The full-time whistle goes at the Stadio San Paolo, and Napoli have claimed a crucial 2-1 victory over Manchester City courtesy of a brace from Cavani! Balotelli's early equaliser proves irrelevant, and City suffer a chastening defeat in Naples. Napoli celebrate jubilantly, and it has not been a good night for Mancini and his side. Thanks for joining us. Group A standings
    • 90+2' Pandev does superbly to kill time for his side as he holds the ball up and buys a free kick at the expense of Lescott. There's time for one more break from City...
    • 90+1' Both coaches are extremely animated on the touchline as City break forward once more, but Silva loses the ball.
    • 90' There will be three added minutes at the end of this second half as Hart extinguishes another Napoli break with some sharp keeping.
    • 89' Dossena trudges off very slowly as Federico Fernandez comes on for Napoli, and that kills a bit more time.
    • 88' Kolarov is booked for a late challenge on Lavezzi on halfway, and that is a blatant yellow card.
    • 87' Johnson picks the ball up outwide on the right, but his cross cannot be collected by Nasri.
    • 85' Adam Johnson comes on to replace Pablo Zabaleta now as Mancini makes his final change.
    • 84' Balotelli again goes close as he is afforded space to volley straight at De Sanctis from inside the Napoli box!
    • 83' Pandev comes on as Cavani makes way to a hero's ovation, and he looks set to be the match-winner.
    • 82' What a chance! Balotelli heads over the bar from inside the Napoli box as he meets Nasri's cute cross, and he was unmarked and really should have scored from that position!
    • 81' Sergio Aguero comes on to replace Edin Dzeko, and Mancini makes another positive move.
    • 80' Hart makes another superb block as Lavezzi charges through on goal, and the Englishman is equal to it.
    • 79' Kompany is booked for a late challenge, and there are no complaints over that decision.
    • 78' Balotelli latches on to a long ball and shoots on target, but De Sanctis smothers the ball at his feet superbly!
    • 77' Hamsik hits the post! Hamsik races in through on goal after taking a raking pass from Cavani down into his stride, but his shot comes off the post!
    • 75' Lescott lumps a long ball up to Dzeko, but the forward is crowded out as Napoli defend obdurately.
    • 74' City are enjoying 61 percent of the possession, but there seems to be no way through this Napoli defence in this second half.
    • 73' Lavezzi is penalised for a foul on Zabaleta, and City can look to build from this set piece on halfway.
    • 72' Napoli are sitting deeper and deeper now as City dominate the play, and it's pretty much one-way traffic.
    • 71' City enjoy a good spell of possession in the Napoli half, but Dzeko's cross from the left drifts out of play.
    • 70' It's a very attacking change from Mancini as Nasri comes on to replace De Jong, and City are desperate to get back into this.
    • 69' What a save from Hart! Lavezzi gets in behind Zabaleta and forces Hart into making a very fine stop as the forward bears down on goal but is denied!
    • 68' The camera pans over to Samir Nasri who swaps his shorts with a pair of multi-coloured boxers with hearts on. He looks set to be introduced...
    • 67' Milner and Balotelli combine in the Napoli half, but the hosts defend stoutly and City are left frustrated.
    • 66' Lescott gives the ball away to Cavani very sloppily, but fortunately for the defender Lavezzi is ruled offside from the subsequent through ball.
    • 65' Hart does very well to smother a loose ball inside the City box, before Dzeko wins a throw in deep inside the Napoli half.
    • 64' The offside flag goes up as Balotelli and Dzeko break in behind the Napoli back four, but it was actually Kolarov whose run caused the play to be halted.
    • 63' Silva is booked for taking the free kick too quickly it seems, but that is all rather unclear as the Spaniard looks bewildered.
    • 62' A quick free kick from Silva just after the hour mark sees the Spaniard dink a delightful delivery to the back post, but neither Balotelli nor Dzeko are able to latch on to the ball with their late runs!
    • 61' Zabaleta wins a free kick out on the right with Gargano the guilty party, and this free kick could be dangerous...
    • 60' Silva drops deep and links the play expertly, but the final ball from Milner is again lacking.
    • 59' Milner makes a powerful run down the right, but he loses his composure and City have to build from halfway.
    • 58' Silva is penalised for a foul on Dossena, and moments later he is back on the ball and blasting a shot over the bar!
    • 57' Inler holds his back in pain, and he walks off gingerly as Blerim Dzemaili comes on in his place.
    • 56' Hart is swiftly off his line to gather a loose ball, and City have to build patiently from the back once more.
    • 55' Milner whips over a very poor cross from the right as De Sanctis is able to calmly gather, and that was a waste of a promising situation.
    • 54' City enjoy some overdue possession themselves, and the home fans whistle away as the visitors keep the ball.
    • 53' Balotelli is booked as he makes a very frustrated challenge on Campagnaro and protests his innocence.
    • 52' Inler misses the target with a rasping drive from range, and City are having to soak up a lot of pressure at the moment.
    • 51' The travelling supporters remain in full voice, but their side are really struggling to get on the ball in this second half.
    • 50' The home fans are suddenly in full voice as the atmosphere improves markedly once more, and Napoli are back in possession.
    • 49' GOAL!!!!! CAVANI DOUBLES HIS TALLY! Dossena makes a superb run to the left byline and cuts the ball back for Cavani, who finishes clinically to restore Napoli's lead!
    • 48' The City back four enjoy a lot of the ball, but City are rather boxed in at the moment.
    • 47' City stroke the ball around patiently at the back, and Napoli are content to sit deep and hold their shape.
    • 46' The second half is underway at Stadio San Paolo, and it is Napoli who make the early running as Cavani hurtles down the right and whips over a poor cross.
    • - DavidCassar thinks a late resurgence from City will see the visitors win 3-2... what do others think? David Platt says City are "most definitely" still going for the win!
    • 45+1' The half-time whistle goes at Stadio San Paolo, and it is 1-1 between Napoli and Manchester City with Mario Balotelli having cancelled out Edinson Cavani's opener. It's very finely poised! What do you think the final score will be? What did you make of that first-half showing from both sides? Get in touch with me on Twitter
    • 45' There will be just one added minute at the end of this first half as Maggio misplaces a through ball intended for Lavezzi.
    • 44' Silva wins a corner with a bright run down the left, but Dzeko heads over the bar under real pressure from Campagnaro!
    • 43' Silva takes a raking diagonal pass from Balotelli into his stride with a sublime touch, but the overlapping Zabaleta can only drive his shot straight at De Sanctis, who makes a fine save!
    • 42' Lescott ensures that City play the ball out from the back, before Silva's cross intended for Dzeko is intercepted by De Sanctis.
    • 41' Kompany plays the ball out from the back once more, and Milner battles away furiously down the right for the visitors.
    • 40' Dzeko wins a corner with a neat piece of footwork out on the left flank, but Silva's delivery is not met by anyone in a black and red striped shirt.
    • 39' Kolarov takes a safety first approach as he finds Hart, and City are content with this situation at present.
    • 38' The travelling supporters sing Mancini's name tirelessly as Cavani drives a wild shot over the bar!
    • 37' Napoli keep possession from halfway with City defending pretty high up the field, and the move breaks down as Gargano loses his poise.
    • 36' Milner misplaces a simple pass through to Balotelli, and that was a simple loss of concentration as Napoli build from the back.
    • 35' Maggio looks to buy a free kick out on the Napoli right, but instead the referee gives the set piece in favour of Kolarov and the visitors.
    • 34' City deserve to be level on the balance of play, and it's a very subdued celebration from Balotelli et al as the visitors remain completely focused.
    • 33' GOAL!!!!! BALOTELLI EQUALISES! Aronica makes a complete hash of an attempted clearance inside the Napoli box, and Silva's initial shot is saved which allows the opportunistic Balotelli to score from close range!
    • 33' Kolarov eventually takes the free kick, and it's a horrid delivery which fails to clear the first Napoli player with a crowd of bodies in the box. Poor.
    • 32' Milner is bundled over down the right as he surges forward and wins a free kick in a good area which Silva stands over...
    • 31' STAT: Manchester City have also faced an Italian opposition seven times, losing only once (back in the 1976/77 UEFA Cup 0-2 against Juventus) and sharing the points in the last three meetings.
    • 30' Balotelli drives a rather tame shot straight at De Sanctis, and the keeper makes a comfortable stop.
    • 29' City keep the ball at the back with Napoli sitting deep and looking to soak up the pressure. Mancini continues to look extremely agitated.
    • 28' Zabaleta is seeing a lot of the ball down the right, and City continue to bomb forward from deep in their droves.
    • 27' Silva apologises to Balotelli as he slices a tame shot wide, and he had options either side.
    • 26' Silva whips over a corner from the left, and Napoli clear at the second attempt through Dossena.
    • 25' Silva darts infield from the left and finds Dzeko, but the forward cannot direct his header on target as City break forward once more.
    • 24' Napoli are managing to stretch City at the back with pinpoint balls from deep, and Inler again finds Cavani before Lescott intervenes.
    • 23' City keep the ball at the back, in apparent direct response to Mancini's desperate pleas for his side to calm down.
    • 22' Toure again powers forward for City, but his runs are leaving the visitors exposed and overrun in midfield.
    • 21' Aronica rolls around on halfway in apparent agony after a challenge comes in from Zabaleta, and the referee tells the Napoli player to get up.
    • 20' Cavani makes another superb run down the right before cutting in and driving a shot into the side netting - City are shaken!
    • 19' The home fans are jubilant as their celebrations are mixed with whistles as City look to regroup with a stint of possession.
    • 18' GOAL!!!!! CAVANI PUTS NAPOLI IN FRONT! City are stunned as Lavezzi swings over the corner to the near post, and Cavani wheels away in celebration after getting a faint touch! Hart will be furious with himself to be beaten at his near post!
    • 17' Inler drives a very fine effort on target from all of 30 yards, and Hart is forced to tip the ball over the bar.
    • 16' The boos ring out around the ground once more as City keep the ball in the Napoli half, before Dzeko blasts a speculative effort over the bar!
    • 15' Napoli are picking holes in the City defence on the break, and Lavezzi heads wide of the far post as he steals in to meet Gargano's cross.
    • 14' STAT: Napoli have managed a clean sheet in all three previous meetings with English opposition at the San Paolo (two goalless draws, and a 2-0 win over Leeds United in the Fairs Cup 1968/69).
    • 13' Lavezzi hammers a wild cross-field ball out of play, and rather bizarrely Inler applauds his team-mate!
    • 12' Mancini, in particular, is very animated already as he gesticulates wildly at Milner and De Jong.
    • 11' It's end-to-end stuff at the Stadio San Paolo, and both coaches are out in their technical areas waving their arms rather frantically.
    • 10' Milner holds the ball up very effectively as he finds Balotelli, but he is crowded out and Napoli break at pace before Lavezzi drives a fierce shot wide!
    • 9' City, undeterred by almost being punished on the counter-attack, surge forward once more as the visitors continue to play very positively with Silva instrumental.
    • 8' Toure gives the ball away to Maggio rather sloppily in the Napoli half, and City are almost caught out as the hosts break at pace and Hamsik heads straight at Hart from inside the City box!
    • 7' Lavezzi drops off the frontline to gather possession, but he is quickly challenged by Toure, and City can bring the ball forward once more.
    • 6' Balotelli curls a precise shot agonisingly wide of the far post after being afforded far too much space on the edge of the Napoli box!
    • 5' City continue to dominate possession as the visitors settle very impressively. Napoli are struggling to get near the ball in these early stages.
    • 4' Balotelli is penalised for a foul on Inler, before Hamsik is superbly dispossessed by Kolarov, who holds his ground impeccably.
    • 3' Zabaleta surges down the right, but Milner cannot bring the ball down in his stride as he half-heartedly considers an overhead kick. Napoli finally enjoy some possession of their own.
    • 2' A cloud of smoke covers the field as City gain possession to a chorus of boos, and the Premier League leaders are keeping the ball superbly.
    • 1' The first half is underway, and City make a very assured start as they stroke the ball around patiently in their own half.
    • 19:40 The players emerge amid wild scenes at Stadio San Paolo - flares are going off all around the ground, and the atmosphere is absolutely incredible! Balotelli looks the calmest man in the stadium, and that is saying something...
    • 19:35 Right, it's time for you all to post your pre-match predictions! What will the scoreline be this evening, and who do you think will be on target? Also, what do you make of the side Mancini has sent out? Get in touch and let me know on Twitter!
    • 19:30 City are seeking their first win in Italy at the fourth attempt, having managed two small pieces of history - a first ever European Cup win, then a first away victory in the competition in their two meetings with Villarreal CF.
    • 19:25 The latest rankings in the Euro Club Index suggest Manchester City are now a force to be reckoned with in the Champions League. Further evidence of the strength of Roberto Mancini's side comes with the news that they have risen to fourth in the Euro Club Index. Meanwhile, City's opponents Napoli are in 47th after dropping five places. Euro Club Index: City usurp Bayern
    • 19:20 Sergio Aguero would love to inspire Manchester City to glory in the manner his father-in-law Diego Maradona did for Napoli. Aguero will step into his shadow as City take on Napoli at the San Paolo Stadium looking to secure a place in the knockout stage of the Champions League. "It is my dream, doing what Maradona did for Napoli, doing the same for Manchester City. But I don't want to talk about myself, it is important Manchester City do well as a team." Read more from Aguero...
    • 19:15 Arsene Wenger (of all people) says City are in store for a very difficult night in Naples. "I think they can achieve something good with the whole city of Naples behind them," he says. What do you make of Wenger's blog? Wenger: Tough night in store for City
    • 19:10 Bayern Munich currently top Group A with 10 points from four games, while Manchester City lie second with seven, and Napoli are third with five. Group A standings
    • 19:05 THE TEAMS ARE IN! Napoli: De Sanctis, Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Aronica, Maggio, Inler, Gargano, Dossena, Lavezzi, Hamsik, Cavani. Subs: Rosati, Grava, Mascara, Santana, Dzemaili, Fernandez, Pandev /// Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Silva, De Jong, Toure Yaya, Milner, Balotelli, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Johnson, Savic, Aguero, Barry, Nasri, Clichy.
    • 19:00 Welcome to Eurosport's live coverage of the Champions League Group A match between Napoli and Manchester City at the Stadio San Paolo!
  • Summary

    • 82' What a chance! Balotelli heads over the bar from inside the Napoli box as he meets Nasri's cute cross, and he was unmarked and really should have scored from that position!
    • 78' Balotelli latches on to a long ball and shoots on target, but De Sanctis smothers the ball at his feet superbly!
    • 77' Hamsik hits the post! Hamsik races in through on goal after taking a raking pass from Cavani down into his stride, but his shot comes off the post!
    • 69' What a save from Hart! Lavezzi gets in behind Zabaleta and forces Hart into making a very fine stop as the forward bears down on goal but is denied!
    • 62' A quick free kick from Silva just after the hour mark sees the Spaniard dink a delightful delivery to the back post, but neither Balotelli nor Dzeko are able to latch on to the ball with their late runs!
    • 49' GOAL!!!!! CAVANI DOUBLES HIS TALLY! Dossena makes a superb run to the left byline and cuts the ball back for Cavani, who finishes clinically to restore Napoli's lead!
    • 43' Silva takes a raking diagonal pass from Balotelli into his stride with a sublime touch, but the overlapping Zabaleta can only drive his shot straight at De Sanctis, who makes a fine save!
    • 33' GOAL!!!!! BALOTELLI EQUALISES! Aronica makes a complete hash of an attempted clearance inside the Napoli box, and Silva's initial shot is saved which allows the opportunistic Balotelli to score from close range!
    • 18' GOAL!!!!! CAVANI PUTS NAPOLI IN FRONT! City are stunned as Lavezzi swings over the corner to the near post, and Cavani wheels away in celebration after getting a faint touch! Hart will be furious with himself to be beaten at his near post!
    • 8' Toure gives the ball away to Maggio rather sloppily in the Napoli half, and City are almost caught out as the hosts break at pace and Hamsik heads straight at Hart from inside the City box!
    • 6' Balotelli curls a precise shot agonisingly wide of the far post after being afforded far too much space on the edge of the Napoli box!
    • 19:05 THE TEAMS ARE IN! Napoli: De Sanctis, Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Aronica, Maggio, Inler, Gargano, Dossena, Lavezzi, Hamsik, Cavani. Subs: Rosati, Grava, Mascara, Santana, Dzemaili, Fernandez, Pandev /// Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Silva, De Jong, Toure Yaya, Milner, Balotelli, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Johnson, Savic, Aguero, Barry, Nasri, Clichy.

Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Line-up

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    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
      - -
      Defenders
      - -
      - -
      - -
      Midfielders
      Substitution Out59′ - -
      - -
      - -
      Substitution Out89′ - -
      Strikers
      - -
      - -
      Goals ×2 Substitution Out83′ - -
      Subs
      Substitution In83′ - -
      Substitution In59′ - -
      Substitution In89′ - -
    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
      - -
      Defenders
      Substitution Out86′ - -
      Yellow Card - -
      - -
      Yellow Card - -
      Midfielders
      - -
      Substitution Out71′ - -
      Yellow Card - -
      - -
      Goal Yellow Card - -
      Strikers
      Substitution Out81′ - -
      Subs
      Substitution In71′ - -
      Substitution In86′ - -
      Substitution In81′ - -

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