EL: Manchester City - Poli 2:0 (1:0)

The score does not say much at all about how the match went on, as Manchester City have dominated it in a most thorough fashion, even though they left many of their amazing transfers on the bench. With three central defenders, 2 defensive midfielders, there was no chance at all for Poli. Axente was hopeless at 40 yards with City's full line of defense in front of him.

Just like in the 1st leg, there were not many opportunities, and nothing spectacular, but Manchester was controlling the match even more, and it looked more like a training session for them than an actual Europa League play-off. The first goal came in the 42nd minute, after Vieira saw a breach down the middle, and Shaun-Wright Phillips swiftly left behind his man to score at the far post. Adebayor also had a good opportunity after receiving the ball from Sepsi (who was either making mistakes like that, or excellent last minute blocks), but the shot was wide. Axente came with Poli's biggest chance when he dashed down the right, into the box, but with a defender blocking his way, he cold only blow it into the side net.

And just like in the second leg, Poli's game went even lower in the second half, not counting much at all. City seemed to be exercising different passing schemes, but the goal came in the 60th minute, after a free kick from the right, executed to the far post. Burcă couldn't even get off the ground, as his man, Boyata, headed the ball into the goal, left empty by a wandering Pantilimon. The same Burcă, transfered from Cottbus, seemed to have lost his mind when he fumbled a ball inside our box, which he should have either blown away, or pass to our keeper from the very beginning. Luckily, Pantilimon was there to block Adebayor. Bourceanu tried a long distance effort. The ball was going well enough, to the corner of the posts, but Hart stopped it in its tracks, just like Pantilimon stopped Tevez's free kick last week. Apart from that, another opportunity that should be noted, is that Axente received a very good long ball, and was one on one with a defender, who brought him dowm. The referee, however, was reluctant to give the free kick.

And with that, we put a stop to our short European adventure this year. Let it be said that we achieved as much as it was possible for us. We should have won both legs against MyPa, but in the end we managed to pull ourselves to the next stage, against this colossus. We can regret not achieving at least a draw in either matches against Manchester City, but I think it's more important for the team to draw the line, ask themselves what is to be learned from this experience, and concentrate on the championship.

Poli: Pantilimon - Burcă, Mera, Luchin, Sepsi - Contra, Bourceanu, Alexa - Magera, Axente, Curtean


Zicu for Magera (min 45)
Goga for Curtean (min 57)
Chiacu for Contra (min 83)

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