Borussia Dortmund vs. Manchester City  1 - 0

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Schieber stoked with first European goal

5 December 2012 00:12

Borussia Dortmund striker Julian Schieber was thrilled to score his first Champions League goal in Tuesday's 1-0 win over Manchester City.

Schieber's 57th-minute strike was enough to secure three points for the German giants, who progress to the knockout stages of the competition unbeaten.

Dortmund's victory resigned the Sky Blues to a season without European football, as the Premier League champions bowed out with a new record for the lowest Champions League points tally from an English side.

But Schieber was simply delighted to find the back of the net in Europe's prestigious club competition, as he slid in to tap home Jakub Blaszczykowski's low cross.

"I'm very happy that I managed to score my first Champions League goal," Schieber. told reporters.

"Our squad consists of 21 players and we can all contribute to the success.

"We are very satisfied with this victory."

Article

UEFA Champions League Group D wrap: Lacklustre City bow out

4 December 2012 23:26

Manchester City's underwhelming Champions League campaign ended with a lacklustre 1-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund.

Julian Schieber's second-half finish from close range was enough to see off the visitors, with the German side enjoying the better of the scoring chances.

The result means Roberto Mancini's side finish bottom of Group D without a win, the first time a Premier League side has ever failed to win a group match.

It took until the 12th minute for the first shot on target as Oliver Kirch drove straight at Joe Hart from 20 yards.

The visitors eventually fashioned an opening of their own, as Edin Dzeko slid the ball across the six-yard box looking for Carlos Tevez, but Marcel Schmelzer was able to snuff out the danger.

Dortmund were on top and perhaps should have scored when, first, Marco Reus cut into the area and blasted a left-footed effort towards Hart’s near post, which the England international managed to tip on to the woodwork and behind.

City nearly went in front straight after the restart when Dzeko met Samir Nasri's cross, heading straight at the goalkeeper when he looked odds-on to score.

Perisic then, again, forced a save from Hart, meeting Kirch's cross with a rasping volley from the left-hand side of the area, which the City goalkeeper had to palm over the bar before being called into action by denying Kevin Grosskreutz with an excellent one-handed stop low at his near post.

Just after Aguero was introduced by Mancini, the deadlock was finally broken in the 57th minute as the hosts took a deserved lead. Substitute Jakub Blazczykowski burst down the right and slid an excellent cross into the path of Schieber, who arrived at the far post to poke the ball into the net.

City switched to a back three with the introduction of Mario Balotelli and Pablo Zabaleta, as Tevez forced a save from Weidenfeller.

Moritz Leitner then had a superb chance to make it two after the impressive Blazczykowski pulled back, but the midfielder could only steer his effort wide.

Substitute Robert Lewandowski then brought out the best in Hart after shooting from a tight angle, before Weidenfeller saved a left-footed Aguero strike at the other end.

Meanwhile, at the Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid thrashed Ajax 4-1.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 13th minute after some good work from Karim Benzema, before Jose Callejon doubled the hosts' lead at the half-hour mark.

Kaka then made it three after the break, only for Derk Boerrigter to peg one back after 60 minutes. However, Callejon restored Madrid's three-goal lead in the closing minutes.

Article

Mancini fears fixture congestion

4 December 2012 09:33

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini fears qualification for the Europa League could ruin his side's Premier League defence.

City sit bottom of Champions League Group D, but know victory away against already qualified Borussia Dortmund will see them up to third, should Ajax lose to Real Madrid.

But Mancini admits the lack of recovery time between Europa League matches on Thursdays and Premier League fixtures on the weekend would likely see him rotate his squad heavily between the two.

"When you play in the Champions League, you can play Tuesday or Wednesday, then Saturday or Sunday in the Premier League," the Italian told reporters.

"But with the Europa League, this is impossible. If you don't get any help from the FA, then this is the problem with the Europa League.

"When you play in the Europa League, you don’t have a lot of days to recover for the games in the Premier League.

"If we get into the Europa League, we will play different teams, one on Thursday and one Sunday."

However, the 48-year-old insists his club would take the competition very seriously should they qualify, presenting it as a good opportunity to add to their trophy collection.

"But we want to play in the Europa League. We want to stay in it," he added.

"Even though we can’t go through to the second stage of the Champions League, it's important we try to stay in the Europa League.

"If in the New Year we could win the Europa League, it could be an important trophy for the club. It's important that we win a trophy this season.

"The Champions League is difficult every year and we had the toughest group this year. But now we can do nothing.

"We can’t get to the next stage, so we’ll try to do our best to get into the Europa League."

Mancini also took issue with the notion that City should be embarrassed at their early Champions League exit, though he admits they were deserving of their fate.

"Embarrassment? For what I don't know,” said the Italian. "We are ­disappointed but sometimes other teams play better than you and deserve to go through."

Article

UEFA Champions League Group D preview: Europa League spot available

3 December 2012 08:22

The top two positions may have already been decided but there is still plenty to play for during matchday six in Group D on Tuesday.

Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund progressed to the knockout rounds as group winners, while Spanish champions Real Madrid have also qualified albeit as runners-up, however, the Europa League position is yet to be decided.

The third-placed team across every Champions League group earn a spot in the knockout phase of the Europa League.

Dutch giants Ajax occupy that position by a solitary point ahead of English Premier League champions Manchester City, who have failed to make it out of the group stage for a second successive year.

Ajax travel to the Bernabeu to face Real and will qualify if they beat the Madrid-based club.

Frank de Boer's men were on the receiving end of a 4-1 drubbing in Dortmund last time out but know defeat in Spain may not end their European journey.

Given they have a superior head-to-head record against City, Ajax would still advance even if the Premier League club managed a draw in Germany.

Ajax goes into their final fixture on the back of an impressive 3-1 win at home to Eredivisie rivals PSV. Saturday's result moved them within four points of league leaders FC Twente.

Ajax also boasts a strong away record in Europe, with just one defeat in their last five games, while they have triumphed twice from five visits to Madrid.

As for Real, Jose Mourinho is expected to give a number of fringe players much-needed game time with qualification already assured and a La Liga campaign to think about.

In the other fixture, Dortmund host City knowing they are guaranteed to finish atop of Group D.

Juergen Klopp's side, who played out a 1-1 draw with Bundesliga pacesetters Bayern Munich on Saturday, have never lost a UEFA competition fixture when hosting English opposition.

And while they have conceded six goals in the last five minutes of their past seven Champions League games, Dortmund head into the game confident of maintaining their unbeaten run in Group D.

It has been a campaign to forget for Roberto Mancini and his City players with just three draws and two defeats thus far.

They are, however, unbeaten in eight league and cup games since losing 3-1 at Ajax and could yet salvage something from a dismal European campaign if results go their way.

Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
14 12 -3 12
15 12 -8 12
16 12 -5 11
17 12 -12 10
18 12 -12 9

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 12 +19 32
2 12 +18 26
3 12 +11 24
4 12 +4 19
5 12 -1 19