Juventus expose Manchester City flaws while Joe Hart suffers injury blow

Manchester City’s hopes of winning the group and obtaining an attractive last-16 draw are remote following this reverse. They must defeat Borussia Mönchengladbach and hope Sevilla beat Juventus in the final round to do so.

A disappointing evening was summed up by the excellent Joe Hart having to be replaced near the end by Willy Caballero. “It is impossible to know how serious. He has a problem with his hamstring,” said Manuel Pellegrini – although the Englishman indicated after the game that it was nothing serious. “He has been carrying a problem in his back. If for some reason he cannot play I have trust in Willy. It is impossible to know at the moment.”

Of the result the manager said: “Both teams played well and we were unlucky to lose. The group is not finished. We have to wait on Juve playing Sevilla away from home. That is a difficult game.”
Before kick-off, the fare was pure theatre. To the sound of a booming PA, thetifosi waved black and white flags and one stand of the soberly named Juventus Stadium spelled out Juve in a bout of Broadway-standard stage management.
A first opening emerged when Mario Mandzukic was found but his header was misdirected. Paul Pogba produced a drag-back and pass with his heel but Felix Brych blew for offside, and then City had the best chance thus far.

Kevin De Bruyne crossed and Yaya Touré tangled with Giorgio Chiellini. The ball broke to Fernandinho who should have scored but he blasted over.
Immediately, City paid. Juve moved up the other end, Alex Sandro curved the ball in from his left corridor, and Mandzukic volleyed beyond Hart. Nicolás Otamendi appealed to Brych for a foul but he had allowed the striker to move the wrong side so had himself to blame for the tumble that followed the pair’s grapple.

The ease with which City had fallen for a sucker punch was similar to Saturday’s debacle at the Etihad Stadium, where Liverpool were 2-0 ahead inside 23 minutes and City ended up on the wrong end of a 4-1 drubbing. At least they were only one behind after 24 minutes here.

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