MAN CITY 1, REAL MADRID 1
Manchester City’s exit from the Champions League was sealed with their failure to beat Real Madrid in their final home game in Group D.
And City manager Roberto Mancini admitted they were punished for earlier mistakes and they must learn from them.
He said: “We didn’t lose tonight. We lost in the first games against Madrid, Dortmund and Ajax.
“We were 2-1 ahead in Madrid with five minutes to go while away to Ajax we were 1-0 ahead and had two chances to close out the game which we lost 3-1.
“Mistakes happen and hopefully we will have more experience next year.”
Mancini added that Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund deserved to go through as they were better than City.
He also believes his team is still evolving and still needs to improve and cut out the mistakes which proved their undoing.
“If you think we can win the Champions League in two years, it is crazy. Chelsea took 10 years,” he continued.
Though City gave a gutsy display against the Spanish giants, it was a case of too little, too late as their Euro campaign ended in failure on the night Jose Mourinho managed his 100th match in the competition.
Karim Benzema’s early goal was effectively the knockout blow as Madrid produced a footballing masterclass in the opening period.
City gave themselves hope with a Sergio Aguero penalty 17 minutes from time, though they needed victory to stand any chance of finishing in the top two.
And despite having an extra man in the latter stages after Alvaro Arbeloa’s sending off, City were unable to make their numerical advantage pay as they have managed a measly three draws from their five games.
City, whose hopes of reaching the knockout phase were slim before kick off, saw them become even more remote after falling behind in the ninth minute.
Their defence was unlocked by a cross from Angel Di Maria and which was finished with aplomb at the far post by Benzema.
That was to be the prelude to a dazzling display from the Spaniards who ought to have increased their lead in the opening period.
Cristiano Ronaldo was a constant threat on his return to Manchester and twice he set up Sami Khedira who sliced one effort wide and headed the second into the side netting.
Ronaldo then breached the City offside trap and lobbed keeper Joe Hart only for Aleksandar Kolarov to save the day with a goallline clearance. The rebound fell to Ronaldo whose follow-up shot was deflected for a corner.
It was not until midway through the half that City created their first clear-cut chance, a 25-yard drive from Sergio Aguerro which was tipped over the crossbar by Iker Casillas.
Khedira weaved his way through the City defence only for Hart to make a crucial block.
City had a couple of further decent efforts as Maicon fired narrowly wide while Kolarov’s free kick wasn’t far off target but, in truth, Madrid were rarely threatened after an impressive display in the opening period.
Javier Garcia replaced Kolarov at the restart while Carlos Tevez came on for Samir Nasri on the hour as City looked for a way back into the match.
City thought they had equalised midway through the second period when Aguero got on to the end of a Maicon cross, but Casillas made a brilliant point-blank save with Pepe clearing the danger.
They eventually levelled the scores after winning a penalty 17 minutes from time when Aguero was bundled over in the box and was handed his second yellow card.
Aguero stepped forward to send Casillas the wrong way from 12 yards as he netted his seventh goal of the campaign.
Despite exerting considerable pressure, City were unable to conjure the goal needed to keep their Champions League campaign alive.