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Page last updated at 21:54 GMT, Thursday, 24 February 2011

Man City   3 - 0   Aris Salonika (agg 3 - 0)

Edin Dzeko scores Manchester City's opener
Dzeko opened his European account for City with two early strikes

By David Ornstein

Edin Dzeko scored two early goals and Yaya Toure added a third to ease Manchester City past Aris Salonika and into the Europa League last 16.

City were held to a 0-0 draw in the first leg but £27m January signing Dzeko slotted the hosts in front before curling in a second soon after.

After Mario Balotelli's shot hit a post, Toure fired home via a deflection to seal a 3-0 aggregate win.

City will next play Dynamo Kiev after they beat Besiktas 8-1 on aggregate.

And if they can maintain the level of performance that put Aris out of contention inside 13 minutes, Manchester City should be confident of reaching the quarter-finals.

Manager Roberto Mancini believes a strong run in the Europa League can provide ideal preparation for a crack at next season's Champions League if City qualify.

His side can certainly expect tougher examinations along the way but at times against Aris they played with the swagger of a team that already belong at Europe's top table.

Mancini deserves his share of the credit for a positive formation which featured just one holding midfielder instead of the usual two and a three-pronged attack of Dzeko, Balotelli and Carlos Tevez.

When City were on the front foot, that turned into a four-strong forward line including World Cup winner David Silva - and their Greek opponents simply had no answer.

The visitors may have been roared on by around 5,000 boisterous supporters but, with only one win in their previous eight games, they arrived low on confidence and it showed from the first whistle.

Two clumsy challenges gave Aleksandar Kolarov a couple of early free-kick chances and although he was wasteful on both occasions, it was a case of third time lucky for City when the Serbian left-back sent a booming pass upfield.

Aris centre-back Nikos Lazaridis made a complete hash of his attempted clearance and then fell to the ground, allowing Dzeko to go clean through and plant a precise right-foot finish into the bottom corner.

City have suffered only one European defeat at home since moving to Eastlands in 2003 and they were already looking good value to maintain that proud record.

The competition favourites had Aris on the ropes and it was not long before they were two goals to the good, yet this time it was slick passing rather than poor defending that exposed the visitors' back four.

Silva drove down the left before feeding Tevez inside and the Argentine in turn shifted possession to Dzeko on the edge of the box. The Bosnian stepped inside before curling home another superb strike - this time with his left foot.

Aris were offering little to no threat of their own and that encouraged City to push for a third.

Balotelli stung the palms of Michalis Sifakis with a thumping free-kick, Tevez saw a drive squirm narrowly wide and Pablo Zabaleta - on for the injured Vincent Kompany - also drilled a shot off target.

City were working hard to extend their lead and they should have done so shortly before half-time, only for Dzeko to hesitate when one-on-one with Sifakis after being put clear by Silva.

Aris coach Giannis Michalitsios introduced Kostas Mendrinos for Daisuke Sakata at the break - replacing an attacker with a defensively-minded midfielder - and the move seemed to pay off.

City were not able to enjoy the same freedom in the final third and, content with their advantage, reverted to a more conservative approach.

That invited Aris to launch several forays forward - but Michalitsios's men, desperately short of a cutting edge, were easily rebuffed by City's disciplined and well-organised rearguard.

Knowing a third strike would completely kill off the tie, Mancini urged his players to push up and it eventually paid dividends.

Balotelli ended a drab period of play by collecting a clever Tevez pass and lashing against the post before Toure wrapped the game up.

A corner found its way out to the Ivorian a good 30 yards from goal and his powerful low effort deflected off Ricardo Faty to leave Sifakis stranded.

Live text and stats

 

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Europa League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Man City 3-0 Aris Salonika FT
(HT 2-0)(agg 3-0)
  • Dzeko 7
  • Dzeko 12
  • Y Toure 75

    Man City

    Substitutes

    Aris Salonika

    • 13 Michail Sifakis
    • 02 Neto yellow card (Kaznaferis 79)
    • 05 Guiaro
    • 16 Michel
    • 24 Lazaridis
    • 32 Vangeli yellow card
    • 08 Toja
    • 14 Faty
    • 55 Prittas yellow card
    • 22 Bobadilla (Koke 61)
    • 88 Sakata (Mendrinos 46)

    Substitutes

    • 25 Juanma,
    • 03 Oriol,
    • 17 Kaznaferis,
    • 19 Mendrinos,
    • 09 Cesarec,
    • 10 Koke
    Ref: KralovecAtt: 36,748
    MAN CITY
    ARIS SALONIKA

    Possession

    • Man City 49%
    • Aris Salonika 51%

    Attempts on target

    • Man City 9
    • Aris Salonika 4

    Attempts off target

    • Man City 8
    • Aris Salonika 4

    Corners

    • Man City 6
    • Aris Salonika 3

    Fouls

    • Man City 17
    • Aris Salonika 12
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+2:31 The final whistle is blown by the referee.
    • 90:00+1:49 Aleksandar Kolarov takes a shot. Ronaldo Guiaro gets a block in.
    • 90:00+1:25 Sergio Koke challenges Pablo Zabaleta unfairly and gives away a free kick. Patrick Vieira takes the free kick.
    • 90:00+0:42 Free kick taken by Kristi Vangeli.
    • 90:00+0:42 Booking Aleksandar Kolarov goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
    • 90:00+0:38 Aleksandar Kolarov concedes a free kick for a foul on Konstatinos Kaznaferis.
    • 89:59 Effort from the edge of the area by Ricardo Faty goes wide of the right-hand post.
    • 86:54 Juan Carlos Toja is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.
    • 84:50 Unfair challenge on Kristi Vangeli by Gareth Barry results in a free kick. Costas Mendrinos restarts play with the free kick.
    • 82:16 Sergio Koke challenges Jerome Boateng unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Joleon Lescott.
    • 81:35 Mario Balotelli concedes a free kick for a foul on Ronaldo Guiaro. Kristi Vangeli takes the free kick.
    • 81:08 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jerome Boateng by Konstatinos Kaznaferis. Joe Hart takes the direct free kick.
    • 79:59 The referee gives a free kick against Patrick Vieira for handball. Garbini Michel takes the free kick. Costas Mendrinos takes a shot. Blocked by Shaun Wright-Phillips.
    • 79:13 Substitution Shaun Wright-Phillips joins the action as a substitute, replacing David Silva.
    • 78:55 Substitution Konstatinos Kaznaferis comes on in place of Darcy Neto.
    • 78:29 Substitution Patrick Vieira joins the action as a substitute, replacing Carlos Tevez.
    • 76:37 Pablo Zabaleta gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Sergio Koke. Free kick taken by Juan Carlos Toja.
    • 74:47 GOAL - Gnegneri Toure YayaMan City 3 - 0 Aris Salonika Gnegneri Toure Yaya finds the net with a goal from long distance to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man City 3 (3)-(0) 0 Aris Salonika.
    • 74:14 Corner from left by-line taken by Aleksandar Kolarov.
    • 74:09 Centre by Mario Balotelli, blocked by Ronaldo Guiaro.
    • 73:43 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ricardo Faty by Gareth Barry. Direct free kick taken by Kristi Vangeli.
    • 73:07 Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Blocked by Ronaldo Guiaro.
    • 72:24 The ball is crossed by Aleksandar Kolarov, save by Michail Sifakis.
    • 71:48 Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes the direct free kick.
    • 71:48 Booking Thanasis Prittas receives a yellow card.
    • 71:43 Unfair challenge on Pablo Zabaleta by Juan Carlos Toja results in a free kick.
    • 70:28 Corner taken short by Costas Mendrinos.
    • 69:57 Edin Dzeko gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nikos Lazaridis. Free kick taken by Garbini Michel.
    • 68:15 Garbini Michel challenges Carlos Tevez unfairly and gives away a free kick. Carlos Tevez takes the direct free kick.
    • 65:16 Effort from deep inside the box by Mario Balotelli hits the post.
    • 64:03 Aleksandar Kolarov is ruled offside. Michail Sifakis restarts play with the free kick.
    • 63:13 Thanasis Prittas challenges David Silva unfairly and gives away a free kick. Gnegneri Toure Yaya takes the direct free kick.
    • 61:59 Aleksandar Kolarov takes a shot from long range which goes wide of the right-hand post.
    • 60:13 Substitution Sergio Koke joins the action as a substitute, replacing Raul Marcelo Bobadilla.
    • 59:43 Shot by Raul Marcelo Bobadilla from just outside the area goes over the net.
    • 59:19 Pablo Zabaleta gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Juan Carlos Toja. Garbini Michel restarts play with the free kick.
    • 58:39 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Raul Marcelo Bobadilla by Jerome Boateng. Free kick taken by Juan Carlos Toja.
    • 57:09 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Costas Mendrinos by Gareth Barry. Thanasis Prittas takes the free kick.
    • 56:14 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kristi Vangeli on Mario Balotelli. Carlos Tevez takes the direct free kick.
    • 55:21 Garbini Michel decides to take a short corner.
    • 53:31 Raul Marcelo Bobadilla takes a shot. Save made by Joe Hart.
    • 52:50 The referee gives a free kick against Thanasis Prittas for handball. Direct free kick taken by Joleon Lescott.
    • 52:41 Kristi Vangeli takes a shot. Blocked by Gareth Barry.
    • 50:17 Edin Dzeko takes a shot. Save by Michail Sifakis.
    • 49:08 Mario Balotelli concedes a free kick for a foul on Darcy Neto. Juan Carlos Toja takes the direct free kick.
    • 48:40 The assistant referee flags for offside against David Silva. Indirect free kick taken by Nikos Lazaridis.
    • 45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
    • 45:01 Substitution Costas Mendrinos joins the action as a substitute, replacing Daisuke Sakata.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:05 The first half comes to an end.
    • 45:00+0:48 David Silva takes the outswinging corner, Raul Marcelo Bobadilla manages to make a clearance.
    • 43:27 Shot from outside the penalty box by Pablo Zabaleta goes wide right of the goal.
    • 42:11 Aleksandar Kolarov takes the direct free kick.
    • 42:11 Booking The referee books Darcy Neto for unsporting behaviour.
    • 41:53 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Carlos Tevez by Darcy Neto.
    • 39:39 The assistant referee signals for offside against Mario Balotelli. Free kick taken by Michail Sifakis.
    • 37:48 Corner taken short by David Silva.
    • 37:48 Booking The referee cautions Kristi Vangeli for unsporting behaviour.
    • 37:30 Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Ronaldo Guiaro gets a block in.
    • 36:24 Darcy Neto fouled by Mario Balotelli, the ref awards a free kick. Kristi Vangeli restarts play with the free kick.
    • 35:39 Free kick awarded for a foul by Aleksandar Kolarov on Darcy Neto. Garbini Michel crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, save by Joe Hart.
    • 34:28 Substitution Pablo Zabaleta comes on in place of Vincent Kompany.
    • 33:34 Darcy Neto takes a outswinging corner to the near post.
    • 32:31 Unfair challenge on Nikos Lazaridis by Edin Dzeko results in a free kick. Nikos Lazaridis takes the direct free kick.
    • 31:37 Handball decision goes against David Silva. Juan Carlos Toja takes the direct free kick.
    • 30:10 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by David Silva from the left by-line to the near post, Raul Marcelo Bobadilla manages to make a clearance.
    • 29:54 Kristi Vangeli challenges Carlos Tevez unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Gnegneri Toure Yaya.
    • 26:52 Kristi Vangeli has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 26:33 Raul Marcelo Bobadilla fouled by Jerome Boateng, the ref awards a free kick. Raul Marcelo Bobadilla restarts play with the free kick.
    • 23:15 The offside flag is raised against Carlos Tevez. Ronaldo Guiaro restarts play with the free kick.
    • 22:12 Garbini Michel takes a shot. Blocked by Gareth Barry.
    • 18:31 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Carlos Tevez by Ricardo Faty. Mario Balotelli shoots direct from the free kick, save by Michail Sifakis.
    • 15:45 Mario Balotelli concedes a free kick for a foul on Ronaldo Guiaro. Juan Carlos Toja restarts play with the free kick. Unfair challenge on Ronaldo Guiaro by Mario Balotelli results in a free kick. Thanasis Prittas takes the free kick.
    • 15:14 Aleksandar Kolarov has an effort at goal from a long way out that goes wide left.
    • 15:04 Inswinging corner taken by David Silva.
    • 11:03 Assist on the goal came from Carlos Tevez.
    • 11:03 GOAL - Edin DzekoMan City 2 - 0 Aris Salonika Edin Dzeko finds the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man City 2 (2)-(0) 0 Aris Salonika.
    • 9:43 Mario Balotelli takes a shot. Save by Michail Sifakis.
    • 8:32 Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save by Michail Sifakis.
    • 7:50 The official flags Daisuke Sakata offside. Vincent Kompany takes the indirect free kick.
    • 6:48 GOAL - Edin DzekoMan City 1 - 0 Aris Salonika Edin Dzeko finds the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man City 1 (1)-(0) 0 Aris Salonika.
    • 5:23 Free kick awarded for a foul by Nikos Lazaridis on Carlos Tevez. Aleksandar Kolarov shoots direct from the free kick.
    • 3:14 Corner taken left-footed by Aleksandar Kolarov to the near post, Edin Dzeko has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide left of the target.
    • 2:12 Garbini Michel takes a shot and went wide right of the net.
    • 1:37 Gareth Barry gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Thanasis Prittas. Free kick taken by Thanasis Prittas.
    • 0:18 Garbini Michel challenges Mario Balotelli unfairly and gives away a free kick. Aleksandar Kolarov produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.
    • 0:00 The game begins.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    24 Feb 2011 23:59 UK

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    see also
    Boss Mancini warns of Kiev threat
    25 Feb 11 |  Man City
    British trio set for testing ties
    24 Feb 11 |  Europe
    Europa League as it happened
    24 Feb 11 |  Football
    Thursday's football photos
    24 Feb 11 |  Football
    Given out for up to three months
    23 Feb 11 |  Man City
    Aris Salonika 0-0 Man City
    15 Feb 11 |  Europe


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