Belfast Telegraph

Champions League: Manchester City's stroll is tempered by Vicent Kompany's injury blow

Manchester City 0-0 Dynamo Kiev (Manchester City won 3-1 on aggregate)

By Andy Hampson

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini revealed that his captain Vincent Kompany had suffered a recurrence of the calf injury which has blighted his campaign as their qualification for the quarter-finals of the Champions League came at a cost.

City should have been celebrating securing a place in the last eight for the first time but by full-time at the Etihad Stadium the mood seemed rather sombre, after they lost Kompany and his defensive partner Nicolas Otamendi to injury inside the first 25 minutes in a dull goalless draw against Dynamo Kiev.

The Blues went through courtesy of last-month's 3-1 win in Ukraine, but as the implications of the injuries sank in, Pellegrini said: "Unfortunately for Kompany he has another calf problem, so we'll see how important it is tomorrow - it's the same injury.

"It's difficult for him because he came back very well, he played six games in a row.

"Otamendi has an important kick so I hope he will recover in a couple of days."

The Chilean was surprised that the visitors had not chased the game more given their first-leg deficit.

"They knew before the game that they had to score three goals, so it's not easy, but they didn't do it," he added.

"We didn't have too many chances because we didn't force the game."

The loss of Kompany, with a tricky run-in ahead, could be particularly galling - although on this occasion his team-mates coped well enough without him to ensure progress.

It was a largely dreary encounter that only spluttered into life when Yaya Toure attempted to force the issue in the second-half, but the closest City came was when Jesus Navas hit the post.

Their night could hardly have got off to a worse start as Kompany pulled up yet again attempting an early clearance.

The Belgian's body language suggested the problem was serious and with just six minutes of the game gone he was limping off. It is the 13th time since the start of the 2011-12 campaign he has suffered a calf injury and his fourth this season.

The problem was compounded by an injury to Otamendi, who was hurt in a challenge from Vitaliy Buyalskiy. His attempts to run off the knock proved unsuccessful and when he was removed with just 23 minutes gone, City had an all-changed centre-back partnership of Eliaquim Mangala and Martin Demichelis.

The disruption robbed City of any vitality and their first-half performance was one of the worst served up. Their best moment came when Navas burst through the Kiev defence, brilliantly skipping one challenge, but the Spaniard then over-hit his pass for Pablo Zabaleta and the crowd groaned again. Sergio Aguero did get in a shot, but slipped in doing so and it curled well wide.

City were fortunate Kiev weren't at their most potent either, although nerves were hardly eased when a poor Demichelis pass played Mangala into trouble and Andriy Yarmolenko almost pounced. Joe Hart also had to punch clear from a flicked header from Denys Garmash.

City woke up a bit after the break with Toure coming to the fore. He curled a free-kick over and then teed up Aguero and Navas, who shot across goal and hit the foot of the post respectively while, at the other end, Yarmolenko shot straight at Hart.

Yarmolenko had a penalty appeal turned down and Hart saved from Olexandr Yakovenko as Kiev rallied but it hardly made the game much of a contest.

MANCHESTER CITY: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (Mangala 7), Otamendi (Demichelis 24), Clichy, Fernando, Fernandinho, Navas, Touré, Silva (Sterling 79), Aguero.

Subs not used: Kolarov, Caballero, Bony, Garcia Alonso.

DYNAMO KIEV: Shovkovskiy, Vida, Khacheridi, Dragovic, Antunes, Garmash (Sydorchuk 64), Miguel Veloso, Yarmolenko, Buyalskiy, Gusev (Iakovenko 62), Teodorczyk (González 45).

Subs not used: Da Silva, Korzun, Makarenko, Rudko.

Man of the match: Yaya Toure

Match rating: 6/10

Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (Romania)

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