Football: Manchester City Down Schalke To Progress In UEFA Cup
Posted November 28, 2008on:
GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany: Big-spending English Premier League side Manchester City booked their place in the knockout phase of the UEFA Cup after an assured 2-0 victory over Germany’s Schalke 04 on Thursday.
The win followed their opening 3-2 victory against FC Twente, while Racing Santander’s 2-2 draw at Paris St Germain in the other Group A game ensured City’s progress with two games to spare.
Goals from Benjani Mwaruwari and the impressive Stephen Ireland secured the win for City and coach Mark Hughes was delighted by the extent to which his side controlled the game.
“It couldn’t have gone any better for us,” he said. “We had a game plan and the players executed it perfectly. It was a very accomplished performance.
“We were really comfortable out of possession, got our shape back very quickly and looked to break with pace and that’s what we did on many occasions, causing them some real problems.”
The result follows City’s convincing 3-0 victory at home to Arsenal at the weekend, and Hughes feels his side are in fine fettle ahead of Sunday’s derby meeting with city rivals Manchester United.
“It’s been a great week,” he said. “It started off very well, beating Arsenal, and we’ve carried on with a great performance here and that leads us very nicely into a certain game at the weekend.”
The home side threatened first when Germany midfielder Jermaine Jones forced Joe Hart to tip his shot around the post and City defender Micah Richards was then called into action to clear a goalbound effort from Heiko Westermann.
City took the lead shortly after the half-hour mark when Daniel Sturridge’s low cross from the left was sidefooted home at the far post by Zimbabwean striker Benjani.
Summer signing Shaun Wright-Phillips almost extended the visitors’ lead with a stinging drive on 55 minutes that drew a full-stretch save from Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
And 10 minutes later it was 2-0, with Ireland coolly tucking the ball underneath the on-rushing Neuer after Benjani sent the ball spinning into the air in a challenge on the edge of the Schalke penalty area.
Schalke 04 (GER) 0 Manchester City (ENG) 2
Paris Saint Germain (FRA) 2 Racing Santander (ESP) 2
Galatasaray (TUR) 0 Metalist Kharkov (UKR) 1
Olympiacos (GRE) 5 Benfica (POR) 1
Sampdoria (ITA) 1 VfB Stuttgart (GER) 1
Partizan Belgrade (SRB) 0 Standard Liege (BEL) 1
NEC Nijmegen (NED) 0 Tottenham (ENG) 1
Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 0 Spartak Moscow (RUS) 1
Portsmouth (ENG) 2 AC Milan (ITA) 2
MSK Zilina (SVK) 0 Slavia Prague (CZE) 0
Hamburg (GER) 0 Ajax (NED) 1
Bruges (BEL) 1 Saint Etienne (FRA) 1
Rosenborg (NOR) 0 Valencia (ESP) 4
CSKA Moscow (RUS) 2 Lech Poznan (POL) 1
Deportivo La Coruna (ESP) 3 Feyenoord (NED) 0
Channel News Asia