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Manchester City beaten in Champions League opener

first_img1 Manchester City suffered another disappointing night in the Champions League after they were beaten by last season’s runners-up Juventus.A Giorgio Chiellini own goal, assisted by a climbing Vincent Kompany, gave Manuel Pellegrini’s side the lead in the second half but Juve hit back through Mario Mandzukic with 20 minutes remaining  before Alvaro Morata curled in a winner late on.?Having made a flawless start to their Premier League campaign, City were hot favourites to lay down a marker in this heavyweight Group D opener but were stifled and then punished by a typically disciplined Juve side.Massimiliano Allegri’s team won so many admirers after their run to last season’s final, but with the likes of Carlos Tevez, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal all departed, many fancied City to turn over the out-of-form Italians.In front of an expectant Etihad crowd, Pellegrini’s men started on the front foot and should have been ahead inside two minutes. Fernandinho robbed Stefano Sturaro of possession and fed Raheem Sterling but the winger’s steered effort was easily read by Gianluigi Buffon.Paul Pogba, linked with a big-money move to City in the summer, had the ball in the net in the 12th minute but his effort was rightly disallowed after Morata had interfered with play.City have rarely looked comfortable playing at home in Europe and a sense of nervousness crept into their play at times in a first half where Juventus quashed their tempo.But City did have more chances before the break. Fernandinho and Aleksandar Kolarov both saw efforts go wide, while Wilfried Bony squandered the best chance of the half when he maneuvered room for himself on the edge of the area before losing his composure and blazing over.Juventus’ resistance was broken 12 minutes into the second half when Kompany clambered above Giorgio Chiellini, forcing the Italian defender to divert into his own net. Replays suggested Kompany may have used excessive force in the aerial challenge but referee Damir Skomina ignored Chiellini’s avid protests.Sterling was then handed the chance to make amends for his earlier miss but Buffon again denied him with a low save before Silva’s rebound was blocked on the line. At the other end, Hart made a smart block from Sturaro. City were left to rue their wastefulness in front of goal on 70 minutes. Pogba drifted out to the left wing and floated a pass into Mandzukic’s path and the forward made no mistake with his finish, volleying home via the post.City’s frustration was compounded 10 minutes from time when Morata latched on to a loose ball after some hesitant defending from Bacary Sagna and bent a sublime left-foot shot past Joe Hart.Pellegrini sent on Sergio Aguero with five minutes to go but the Argentine couldn’t inspire a comeback and City ended yet another European night with more questions lingering over them. In the other Group D clash, last season’s Europa League winners Sevilla cruised to a 3-0 win at home to Borussia Monchengladbach. Manchester City 1-2 Juventus last_img

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