Manchester City 1 – Dynamo Kiev 0
Manchester City were able to beat Dynamo Kiev 1-0 but it was not enough to overturn the 2-0 loss of the first leg. Mario Balotelli had chances to score to but was unable to convert any of the chances he got. He was then unable to have any chance to score when he was sent off for his high tackle on Popov. The sending off was the last thing that City needed especially with 60 minutes left. City rallied round and found themselves in the lead when Kolarov scored. Kolarov hit the free-kick with relish and low and hard and it went through the crowded penalty leaving the goalkeeper Oleksandr Shovkovskyi unable to save. Richards powered a header over after climbing to reach Silva’s free-kick, before the Spain star attempted to check back onto his left foot after an opening had been created that invited an effort with his right. City fought hard to try and score again, but also not to concede and thanks to Joleon Lescott who headed Denys Garmash’s effort off the line, they didn’t. Adam Johnson and Edin Dzeko were brought on to try and cause some trouble upfront and grab a goal, but as much as they tried they were unable to score and the game ended 1-0 seeing Dynamo Kiev through. People will look back at Mario Balotelli and his sending off and blame that for their exit. Roberto Mancini certainly does.
Liverpool 0 – Braga 0
Liverpool had even less luck than City and were unable to score at all. After losing 1-0 to Braga away, everyone hoped that at Anfield that Liverpool would go through, scoring 2 or 3, but that hope turned into wishful thinking. Andy Carroll started but was clearly still not yet match fit, but unfortunately they had all their hopes pinned on him, playing long ball after long ball for him to win in the air. It was clear that they were missing the magic of cup tied Suarez. Hat-trick hero Dirk Kuyt didn’t have the chances he had against Manchester United and Raul Meireles’s goal scoring form seems to have dried up. Joe Cole played but was unable to create enough or score. As the game went on the desperation could be felt, and the balls were belted forward with more urgency but less accuracy and Braga held strong. The Liverpool kept the rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” going through the last minutes of the match, but that will be the only highlight for Kenny Dalglish, who now along with Roberto Mancini, has to focus on qualifying for Europe again next season.