UEFA Champions League 2011, Matchday 5: Napoli Defeat Manchester City, Look Set To Qualify

Napoli have pulled ahead of Manchester City in Group A, thanks to their 2-1 win on Tuesday. Elsewhere, Real Madrid scored six and Manchester United dropped points again.

  • Live
15 Total Updates since November 21, 2011
  • Important 8
  • Updates 9
  • Articles 6
  • All Updates 15

Napoli Vs. Manchester City, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Napoli 2-1 Victors After Thrilling Match

Manchester City find their Champions League campaign in real danger of being over at the first hurdle after a narrow loss against Napoli at the San Paolo that drops the Premier League leaders into third place in Group A. The hosts started the day two points back of their spendy opponents but had already held them to a draw at the Etihad Stadium during matchday one and clearly had the ability to give them problems at home.

Walter Mazzarri's side use an unorthodox 3-4-2-1 and Roberto Mancini countered by using a two-man strike force of Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli. That always looked like something of a mistake, and despite City having the better of things down the wings the centre of the pitch mostly belonged to Napoli, with Gokhan Inler and Walter Gargano doing very well in snuffing out the English side's passing game and launching quick counterattacks.

It was Napoli who struck first, going ahead through Uruguay star Edinson Cavani, who got the fainted of touches on an Ezequiel Lavezzi corner to divert the ball in at the near post. Napoli had trouble keeping City off the ball, however, and the visitors looked extremely dangerous whenever they used the full width of the pitch. The goal eventually came from play down the left - Dzeko sent in a low cross which Salvatore Aronica poked straight to David Silva, and the rebound from the Spaniard's shot was tucked away by Mario Balotelli.

City had their heads up, and had by far the better of what remained of the first half, but they were rocked by another Cavani goal shortly after the restart after some of the great interplay that Napoli are known for, with the striker combining well with Lavezzi and left wingback Andrea Dossena before sidefooting home the latter's cross.

Napoli are a counterattacking side and became even more dangerous with City forced to commit players forward, and the hosts could and should have added to their lead - Lavezzi, Christian Maggio and Marek Hamsik each had one on ones with Joe Hart (and it took the post to deny Hamsik) before the inevitable late surge from City. Sergio Aguero, Adam Johnson and Samir Nasri were each deployed in an attempt to breach Morgan de Sanctis's net for a second time, but the Partenopei just about held, and after three minutes of injury time came away with a superb win.

A win at Villarreal will now clinch knockout-stage qualification for the Serie A team, no matter the result of Bayern Munich's trip to the Etihad Stadium. City are left hoping that the Yellow Submarine will be able to earn their first points of the campaign and that they can take a Bavarian scalp next month. Considering their performance in the Allianz Arena last time they squared off against Bayern, that doesn't seem particularly likely.

Continue

Napoli Vs. Manchester City, 2011 UEFA Champions League: 1-1 At Halftime

It's been a thrilling match so far at the Stadium San Paolo where Napoli and Manchester City are locked in a 1-1 draw with both teams going for the win. City have controlled the play but the hosts are one of the most accomplished counterattacking teams in the world, breaking forward with pace whenever they recover in the midfield (which is frequently), and it was Napoli who'd get the first goal.

It's a little surprising that said goal came from a set piece, considering City's height advantage over the Italian side, but the identity of the goalscorer is no shock: Edinson Cavani is perhaps the best traditional centre forward in Europe and he got the slightest of touches to Ezequiel Lavezzi's near-post corner, flicking just past Aleksandar Kolarov and a wrong-footed Joe Hart.

City's response was hardly instantaneous, but they slowly piled on the pressure and it eventually paid off when a panicked clearance by Salvatore Aronica fell straight to the feet of David Silva. Morgan de Sanctis could only parry the Spanish star's drive, and Mario Balotelli was on hand for the tap in. The half ended with the visitors in the ascendancy, but really, anything could happen here. Both sides are playing fun, attacking football, and long may it continue.

Continue

UEFA Champions League 2011, CSKA Moscow Vs. Lille: Full Time, French Champions Grab Massive Three Points

Lille have shaken things up in Group B, going away to the Luzhniki Stadium and grabbing a 2-0 win over CSKA Moscow. The tightest group in the UEFA Champions League now features three teams all tied on five points, with Trabzonspor yet to play against first-placed Inter Milan. CSKA were missing three of their top four forwards, including the red hot Seydou Doumbia, and it showed on Tuesday.

The first half was terrible for the neutral, and probably for fans of both sides as well. Neither team came close to completing 70 percent of their passes, both teams managed just one shot on target, and no one ever looked like scoring. In the second half, Lille turned things up and took the lead quickly.

Lille's first goal is was an own goal by CSKA defender Vassili Berezoutski, and it was a hilarious one. While trying to clear the ball away from Moussa Sow, the Russian international hit a stunning volley off of the underside of his own crossbar, with the ball crossing the line when it came down. Sow added another goal in the 73rd minute, sealing the win and taking his team level on points with CSKA heading into the final matchday.

Continue

Napoli Vs. Manchester City, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Lineups

Lineups are out for Group A's biggest match so far: Napoli at home to Manchester City. Both teams need a win here in order to feel safe in finishing second behind Bayern Munich, so expect an aggressive approach from each side. They're fairly evenly matched - the previous encounter finished 1-1 at the Etihad Stadium - so it's too early to tell how this one will go.

Napoli are in their standard 3-4-2-1 shape with no surprises, while it looks like Roberto Mancini has gone with a 4-4-2 featuring both Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko with David Silva and James Milner playing wide. If that's true, it's an odd decision against a three-man back line, but the manager may be looking to restrict the space offered to Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik on the counterattack by deploying deeper wide players than usual.

Napoli lineup (3-4-2-1): Morgan de Sanctis; Hugo Campagnaro, Paulo Cannavaro, Salvatore Aronica; Andrea Dossena, Walter Gargano, Gokhan Inler, Christian Maggio; Ezequiel Lavezzi, Marek Hamsik; Edinson Cavani.

Manchester City lineup (4-4-2): Joe Hart; Aleksandar KolarovJoleon Lescott, Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta; David Silva, Nigel de Jong, Yaya Toure, James Milner; Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli.

Continue

UEFA Champions League 2011, CSKA Moscow Vs. Lille: Preview, Time And TV Schedule

With a trip to the San Siro looming on the final match day, CSKA Moscow will feel like Tuesday's UEFA Champions League match against Lille is a must-win, despite the fact that they sit in second place in Group B. Lille sit on just two points, so this doesn't just feel like a must-win for them. It is a must-win.

CSKA are playing at home and will be favored, but they'll have to get by without their leading scorer. Seydou Doumbia, one of the hottest scorers in the world at the moment, is suspended and will sit out this match. Vagner Love is returning for the Moscow outfit, but it's not unfair to assume that he'll be slightly less effective without his partner. CSKA are also without Keisuke Honda and Thomas Necid, who have been injured long-term.

Lille have been solid in Ligue 1 this season, but haven't been able to duplicate that form in Europe. However, they have all of Moussa Sow, Joe Cole and Eden Hazard healthy. With three of CSKA's four best forwards out, the conditions are right for an upset.

Game Date/Time: Tuesday, November 22, 12:00 pm ET

Venue: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia

Television: DirecTV Soccer (USA), Sportsnet World (Canada), Sky Sports 4 (UK)

Internet: FOXSoccer.tv (USA)

We'll have live coverage of CSKA Moscow-Lille and all of the other Champions League matches in our 2011 UEFA Champions League Tuesday, Matchday 5 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, head over to SB Nation Soccer.

Continue

Manchester United Vs. Benfica, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Preview, Time And TV Schedule

Manchester United are dealing with a variety of injury and suspension issues, but can clinch a place in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages with a draw against Benfica on Tuesday

Continue

Napoli Vs. Manchester City, 2011 UEFA Champions League Matchday 5 Preview: Must-Win For City

Napoli and Manchester City battle it out at the San Paolo for the second qualification spot in Group A.

Continue

UEFA Champions League 2011, Lyon Vs. Ajax Amsterdam: Preview, Time And TV Schedule

Lyon are trying to hold on to their hopes of making the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League as they host Ajax Amsterdam at the Stade de Gerland.

Continue
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.