Ajax vs. Manchester City, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Final score 3-1, Citizens all but out of the competition

Mike Hewitt

Manchester City are all but out of Champions League, thanks to their disastrous performance against Ajax in Amsterdam.

Manchester City are now in a virtual must-win three in a row situation following their shockingly convincing 3-1 defeat at the hands of Ajax. With just one point from their first three matches, City will need to win their next three matches in a row to have a good chance of qualifying for the knockout stage of Champions League.

Samir Nasri scored an impressive goal in the 22nd minute to put City on the board first. To some, this signaled a potential game over for Ajax, who should have struggled against a City side trying to hold onto a lead. Instead, Siem De Jong netted an equalizer just before the end of the first half, turning in a cross by Ricardo Van Rhijn, and Ajax had new life heading into the second half.

Niklas Moisander netted Ajax's stunning go-ahead goal in the 57th minute, brilliantly turning in a corner from Christian Eriksen. However, as good as the header was, he was left embarrassingly unmarked and was virtually uncontested in his jump for the ball. Eriksen put City in a dire situation 11 minutes later, scoring on a shot that deflected off Gael Clichy.

Roberto Mancini will find himself taking much of the blame for the loss, and for good reason. Between Ajax's second and third goals, he subbed off Joleon Lescott for Aleksandr Kolarov and moved Gael Clichy inside to form a back three. That move backfired, and the team's lack of positional understanding appeared to directly contribute to Ajax's goal.

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