Dzeko double helps City progress

Edin Dzeko hit a first-half brace as Manchester City beat Aris Salonika 3-0 on the night and on aggregate to reach the Europa League last 16.

Last Updated: 24/02/11 at 22:09 Post Comment

Dzeko: Celebrates City's opener

Dzeko: Celebrates City's opener

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

After unleashing his own battery of strikers on limited Greek outfit Aris, Blues boss Roberto Mancini now faces a great of the past in Andriy Shevchenko as City progressed to set up a last-16 showdown with Ukrainians Dynamo Kiev.

It will not be easy judging by the way Dynamo so comfortably crushed Besiktas but with his side beginning another winning run, Mancini will be hopeful of further progress, even if an FA Cup draw with Aston Villa next Wednesday would force the Blues to play twice in three days ahead of the first leg in the Ukraine on March 10.

Certainly, Dzeko can approach the tie in confident mood after claiming his first brace since a £27million arrival from Wolfsburg last month.

In fact, the giant Bosnian should have been heading home with the match ball after failing to take a glorious opportunity provided by David Silva.

A third did eventually come though, for Yaya Toure, whose 25-yard effort took a fairly sizeable deflection.

Given he scored in the final minute against Notts County on Sunday, Dzeko might argue he completed a 13-minute hat-trick given the explosive start he made here.

And to think, leading up to the weekend FA Cup win, the Bosnian's form had been scrutinised after registering a single goal since his big-money arrival from Wolfsburg last month.

Such judgements were incredibly harsh given the difficulty most players experience when they move during the January transfer window, and so Dzeko has proved.

His opener did involve a large slice of good fortune.

Aleksandar Kolarov, who had already drifted two curling free-kicks narrowly over, did not appear to be trying anything inventive as he hoofed a long ball forward from inside his own half.

After defending so defiantly last week, Aris collapsed.

Nikolaos Lazaridis got himself in a tangle as he tried to control, succeeding only in turning the ball into Dzeko's path as he fell.

The finish was excellent, the ball nestling in the far corner, which Dzeko found with a precise low shot that gave Michail Sifakis no chance.

Dzeko's second was equally eye-catching from the striker's point of view.

Collecting Carlos Tevez's short pass, Dzeko cut inside Michel, then went for the same corner, only this time with his left foot, with exactly the same result.

He really should have had an authentic hat-trick too.

Sent clear by Silva's brilliant through ball in the final minutes of the half, Dzeko galloped on.

But in trying to round Sifakis, Dzeko got too close to the keeper, who stuck out a hand to block the ball.

The City man's momentum was stopped and before he could regain it, the Aris defence had closed ranks.

It was a first half that justified Roberto Mancini's bold decision to play his big-name strikers, even if Mario Balotelli was a peripheral figure.

With Silva on the field as well, the Blues were committed to attack, although predictably, it was in defence where the price was paid.

As he trudged off, Vincent Kompany was clearly troubled by his hip.

The impressive Belgian has been such a key figure in the Blues' defence this term and it would be a major setback for Mancini if Kompany was forced to miss a few games after taking a seemingly innocuous blow.

Tellingly, Mancini opted to bring on Pablo Zabaleta and move Jerome Boateng into central defence rather than introducing Kolo Toure as a direct replacement.

Zabaleta was his usual industrious self. And it was the Argentinian who combined with Tevez to set up Balotelli midway through the second half.

The youngster went for goal with a well-struck first-time effort that came crashing back off the base of a post.

It was Toure who bagged the third after Kolarov's corner had been cleared into his path.

The Ivorian's shot was powerful enough but it probably would not have gone it without the deflection that took it away from Sifakis.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Thursday, 02 October 2014
20:05
Asteras Tripoli 2-0 Partizan  
Celtic 1-0 Din Zagreb Report
Estoril 2-0 Panathinaikos  
FC Astra Ploiesti 1-2 Salzburg  
FC Zurich 1-1 M'gladbach  
HJK Helsinki 0-3 Club Brugge  
Inter 2-0 Karabakh-Azersu  
St Etienne 0-0 Dnipro  
Torino 1-0 FC Cop'hagen  
Tottenham 1-1 Besiktas Report

Footer 365

Chelsea: Eden Hazard one of the best attacking players around, says Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman says Chelsea's Eden Hazard is becoming one of the best attacking players in Europe.

Shakhtar Donetsk striker Luiz Adriano claims he was racially abused during win over BATE Borisov

Luiz Adriano claims he was racially abused during Shakhtar Donestk’s 7-0 Champions League win at BATE Borisov.

Sky Bet League One: Bristol City held, by Bradford City Peterborough lose at Crewe

Bristol City were held by Bradford, but the 2-2 draw saw the Robins set a new club record for league games unbeaten.

Mail Box

City: Like A Deer Caught In The Headlights

...while Chelsea just live for Champions League nights. That's one view in a mailbox that also includes several happy football fans and looks forward to Michael Carrick's return...

Are There Any Happy Fans Out There?

It seems as if Chelsea, West Ham and Southampton are the only content supporters right now. We have more doom and gloom for you. Who wants good news, eh..?

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property