City in Real need of win to pass Euro test
MANCHESTER - Agence France-Presse
Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero (L) celebrates a goal.Manchester City’s first tilt at Champions League glory ended in a heartbreaking group stage exit a year ago having been drawn in a tough group - though the club then went on to lift the Premier League crown.
Many observers will feel lightning is likely to strike twice as the signs are this season could prove a virtual re-run of last.
City pipped neighbors United to the Premier League post in May and now leads its local rival by a point after a weekend steamrollering of Aston Villa.
Sadly for Roberto Mancini’s men, tonight’s opponent Real Madrid is not Villa.
Mancini concedes that the odds are stacked against City but after wiping the floor with Villa he knows the club are in the global spotlight tonight and should make the most of the occasion.
“I think we have few chances to go through but it is important to do a good job,” said the Italian.
As City teeters on the brink, Arsenal will hope to join Manchester United as English participants in the knockout stages but the Gunners will at least need to beat French champions Montpellier at the Emirates while hoping that Schalke put Greek outfit Olympiakos in their place.
Schalke took four points off Wenger’s side and lead Group B by a point from Arsenal - but Olympiakos is only a point further back after beating Montpellier.
Visiting AC Milan will look to hold off Belgium’s Anderlecht and avoid falling at the group stage for the first time in 13 seasons.
Massimiliano Allegri’s men only lead the Belgians by one point with Malaga having already wrapped up qualification.