Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Wesley Sneijder's late, late show has Roberto Mancini dreaming

Roberto Mancini
Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini succeeded in taking Galatasaray through to the knockout stages of the Champions League yesterday – a feat he never managed with Manchester City.

On an extremely heavy pitch in Istanbul, Juventus were five minutes away from getting the draw they needed to progress before Wesley Sneijder raced on to Didier Drogba's flick to score from a tight angle and clinch Gala's 1-0 win.

The game had been abandoned on Tuesday because of snow and restarted yesterday at the point play had ended – 32 minutes.

However, Mancini complained: "It was impossible – or almost – to play and it wasn't a game of football."

One Italian team did reach the last 16, Milan surviving the sending-off of Riccardo Montolivo after just 22 minutes to draw 0-0 at home to Ajax to scrape through.

Porto will have to settle for a place in Europe's second-tier club competition after their Champions League campaign ended with a 2-0 defeat at the Group G winners Atletico Madrid.

Zenit St Petersburg lost 4-1 at Austria Vienna in the other match in the group but the Russians went through to the last 16 in second place behind Atletico.

The Portuguese side's luck deserted them at the Calderon as Josue had a penalty saved after Raul García's 14th-minute opener and four efforts bounced away off the frame of the goal during the match. Diego Costa made it 2-0 to Atletico in the 37th minute when he sped clear on to an Oliver Torres pass, rounded the Porto goalkeeper, Helton, and clipped the ball into the net.

Atletico have 16 points from six matches, with Zenit on seven, and Porto and Austria Vienna on five. Porto qualified for the Europa League ahead of the Austrian side due to a superior head-to-head record.

The draw for the last 16 is on Monday and this is who the English teams may play:

Manchester United will play either: Galatasaray, Olympiakos, Schalke, Zenit St Petersburg or Milan

Chelsea will play either: Bayer Leverkusen, Galatasaray, Olympiakos, Zenit St Petersburg or Milan

Manchester City will play either: Real Madrid, PSG, Dortmund, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona

Arsenal will play either: Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre