MANCHESTER – Manchester City came from two goals down against Ajax at the Etihad Stadium this evening to clinch a 2-2 draw and keep their slim qualifying hopes mathematically alive in the Champions League. But they missed out on a much-needed win as Sergio Aguero’s late attempt was controversially ruled offside.
Siem de Jong netted a first-half brace for the Eredivisie club, with his first coming after 10 minutes as he pounced at the near post before applying a sublime finish from a tight angle after City had failed to properly deal with a corner.
The Dutchman’s second arrived seven minutes later as he headed in again from close range after more poor marking from the reigning Premier League champions.
City pulled one back in the 22nd minute when Yaya Toure struck, doing well to control a rogue Toby Alderweireld clearance with his chest before lashing home a superb volley. Aguero then hauled Mancini’s men level with 15 minutes left on the clock, drilling home a tidy finish from a Mario Balotelli flick-on, but his last-gasp would-be goal was ruled out by the referee.
Borussia Dortmund missed a chance to seal qualification to the round of 16 in the group’s other game as they were pegged to a late 2-2 draw at Real Madrid.
Marco Reus beat Iker Casillas with a fantastic volleyed effort from Robert Lewandowski’s through ball in the 28th minute but Pepe hauled Real back in it three minutes later, heading a Mesut Ozil cross home.Mario Gotze put Dortmund back in the lead on the stroke of half-time but Los Blancos came back again through Ozil with just a minute of regular time remaining to hand Real relief as they kept the heat on the German leaders.Arsenal threw away a two-goal lead as they were pegged to a 2-2 draw by Group B leaders Schalke at the Veltins Arena to remain second in the pool.
Theo Walcott maintained his goal-scoring form for the Gunners as he netted the opener in the 18th minute in Germany, rolling the ball into an open goal after Olivier Giroud had drawn the attention of goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall with a chance moments earlier.It was Giroud that then doubled the North Londoners’ lead eight minutes later as he greeted a Lukas Podolski cross with a diving header.
But the Gunners were shaken when Schalke pulled one back on the stroke of half-time as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar drove a fine low finish past Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone after picking up an excellent Lewis Holtby pass inside the box.
Jefferson Farfan then put the Germans back on level ground, picking up the ball after a missed header from Holtby and unleashing a shot which deflected in off Thomas Vermaelen.In other matches Olympiakos beat Montpellier 3-1 in Athens; Paris St Germain defeated Dinamo Zagreb’s 4-0 victory in the French capital; Dynamo Kiev drew 0-0 with Porto; Malaga drew 1-1 with AC Milan at the San Siro; and Anderlecht beat Zenit St Petersburg 1-0.
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