MANCHESTER, United Kingdom (AFP) – English champions Manchester City face the prospect of a third Champions League group-phase exit in four years after a disastrous 2-1 loss at home to CSKA Moscow on Wednesday.
CSKA claimed a first win on English soil at the sixth attempt after Seydou Doumbia scored either side of a free-kick by Yaya Toure, who was sent off in the second half at the Etihad Stadium along with team-mate Fernandinho.
CSKA’s Pontus Wernbloom avoided a second yellow card in an apparent case of mistaken identity, but City manager Manuel Pellegrini said referee Tasos Sidiropoulos was not to blame for his side’s dismal performance.
Fernandinho, a half-time substitute, was dismissed for two bookable offences and key midfielder Toure was red-carded for pushing Roman Eremenko in the face, leaving the home side with only nine men.
Both players will miss City’s next game, at home to Bayern Munich on November 25, when if Pellegrini’s side fail to win and there is a victor in the other Group E game between CSKA and Roma, they will be out.
On a cold night in Manchester, City’s fans booed the Champions League anthem in protest after away supporters were prevented from watching the 2-2 draw between the teams in the reverse fixture two weeks ago.
That game was played behind closed doors due to a punishment imposed on CSKA for racist chanting by their supporters.
City’s fans reacted angrily when they realised that a small band of CSKA supporters had made their way inside the Etihad despite being banned, chanting for their removal until police escorted the interlopers out.