Man City 1-2 Juventus: They aren’t invincible…

Date published: Tuesday 15th September 2015 9:46

Manchester City conceded their first goals and suffered their first defeat of the season to Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

The hosts, who have won five from five and kept five clean sheets in the Premier League thus far, actually opened the scoring at the Etihad through a controversial Giorgio Chiellini own goal after 57 minutes.

Juventus, runners-up in last season’s Champions League final, took their time to respond, but did so in emphatic fashion on 70 minutes after Paul Pogba’s sumptuous delivery was met by the head of Mario Mandzukic for the equaliser.

Alvaro Morata then completed the comeback a little over 10 minutes later, the Spaniard curling an effort home from around 20 yards out to condemn City to defeat.

It was yet another example of City failing to deliver on the biggest stage, and was actually a surprise given the form of the two sides coming into the game.

Juve, Serie A champions for four successive years, had failed to win any of their opening three games.

But without star striker Sergio Aguero – who made a surprising late appearance off the bench having initially been ruled out with a knee injury – City lacked a cutting edge.

Raheem Sterling spurned an early chance after Fernandinho robbed Stefano Sturaro. The former Liverpool man opened his body and tried to place his shot inside the far post but veteran Gianluigi Buffon saved with his feet.

It was some time before City threatened again as Juventus gained a grip with £70million-rated Paul Pogba – a reported target for City last summer – strong in possession and on-loan Chelsea winger Juan Cuadrado looking dangerous.

Pogba slid the ball into the net from a Cuadrado cross but Morata was flagged offside.

City had a good spell as Fernandinho won the ball from Pogba and fired over before Aleksandar Kolarov sent a free-kick across goal.

Wilfried Bony then twice fluffed his lines by slicing horribly wide after a smart run and then failing to turn in a low Kolarov cross. Fernandinho had another good chance when a clearance fell to him and sat up nicely but his powerful drive flew wide.

The second half began slowly but changed completely after City grabbed the lead.

Kompany celebrated as if he had claimed his third goal of the season as he rose to meet a David Silva corner but the ball went in off Chiellini. Chiellini felt he had been impeded by Kompany and protested to the referee, but to no avail.

The goal energised City and moments later Silva broke free and played in Sterling. Buffon saved well and then quickly regained his footing to produce an even better stop to deny the inrushing Silva. Bony fired in another shot from a tight angle but again Buffon saved.

City were made to rue those misses as Juve responded. Joe Hart needed to save from Sturaro and City had a big let-off when Pogba miscued a volley.

But the Italians broke through when Pogba swung in a cross for Mandzukic and the Croatian timed his run to perfection to guide the ball in via the far post.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini surprisngly opted to take off the influential Kompany at this point and hand a debut to Nicolas Otamendi. The City skipper had shown no obvious signs of injury and did not look pleased.

Otamendi was caught out as Morata fired Juve ahead nine minutes from time, but it was all about the finish.

Morata broke clear on the left and curled an unstoppable shot round Hart and inside the far post.

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