Manchester City knocked from Champions League, Arsenal advances

Manchester City have crashed out of the Champions League after an early error from Maicon meant the Premier League champions could only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Real Madrid.

City needed to beat Jose Mourinho’s Madrid to stand any chance of making it out of Group D but had the worst possible start when they went a goal down after just 10 minutes.

Maicon, who started as part of Roberto Mancini’s controversial 3-5-2 formation, failed to pick up Karim Benzema in the box and allowed the Frenchman to drift in at the far post and tap in the simplest of chances.

The early setback was a sign of things to come for the hosts as City suffered an onslaught of Madrid chances throughout the first-half.

Manchester City, after regaining their composure, began to have a few efforts of their own. Sergio Aguero forced Iker Casillas into a fine save after attempting to curl one in from 25 yards, before Roberto Mancini admitted defeat in his tactical experimentation and switched back to a 4-2-3-1. The results were instant, as Maicon took advantage of the cover on the wing to drive infield and narrowly send a shot wide of the goal. City's defence also improved, as they managed to halt the Real attacks until the end of the half.

Maicon stepped up his game in the second-half and worked very well down the right wing, playing numerous dangerous crosses into the area.

One attack in particular almost resulted in an equaliser just after the hour mark, when the Brazilian sent a cross towards the far post but a great save from Iker Casillas denied Sergio Aguero from two yards out.

City secured a lifeline in the 74th when Alvaro Arbeloa was sent off for fouling Sergio Aguero inside the box, who subsequently equalized from the penalty spot.

But in Jose Mourinho’s 100th match managing in the Champions League, Madrid held on for the draw to qualify behind leader Borussia Dortmund with a game to spare. "The only two times I finished second in the group, I won the Champions League," said Mourinho, who won the competition with FC Porto and Inter Milan. "It means something (to finish top), but my experience is, it doesn’t mean so much."

City remain at the bottom with just three points from five matches.

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Arsenal 2-0 Montpellier

Jack Wilshere's first goal in two years and a sumptuous volley by Lukas Podolski earned Arsenal a 2-0 win over Montpellier in the Champions League on Wednesday, clinching the English team's passage to the knockout stage for the 13th straight year.

Montpellier was knocked out of Europe by two fine second-half strikes that maintained the host's proud record in the competition, although Arsenal still has work to do to finish top of the group, above Schalke.

Arsenal's record in the Champions League - advancing from the group every year since 2000 - is something Wenger uses against critics who slate him for the team's lack of trophies.

The Frenchman's side has maintained that record, adding to the confidence that had been boosted by a 5-2 win over Tottenham in the north London derby in the Premier League on Saturday.


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