City need a miracle after defeat to Ajax

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini admitted it will take a miracle for his side to reach the Champions League knockout stage after losing out to Ajax.

A 3-1 defeat to Ajax on Wednesday has left the Premier League champions bottom of Group D on one point from three games and staring group stage elimination in the face for the second successive year.

Blaming himself for Wednesday’s defeat Mancini said: “It’s my fault because I prepared badly for this game,”

“There’s one team with seven points, one team with six and one with three. It will be a miracle.”

City were slow out of the blocks against Ajax and the opening goal of the evening came against the run of play, as Samir Nasri curled home, however the Dutch side hit back on the stroke of half-time, with Ricardo van Rhijn sending over a cross and Siem de Jong getting in front of his marker to rifle a fine strike past Joe Hart.

Niklas Moisander then headed Ajax in front from corner just before the hour mark and Christian Eriksen’s deflected shot wrong-footed Joe Hart to leave City with a mountain to climb in the final 20 minutes.

Both goalkeepers pulled off fine saves as City pushed forward in an attempt to get back into the game, but Ajax held on to pick up their first points of the campaign and move off the bottom of the group.

City will now host Ajax on 6 November and Real on 21 November before finishing with a trip to Dortmund on 4 December.