Real Madrid dump Mancini's City out of Champions League
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Manchester City's second flirtation with the Champions League ended as the first in a deeply frustrating group stage elimination after they could only draw 1-1 at home to Real Madrid.
After finding Bayern Munich and Napoli too hot to handle 12 months ago, City at least had the consolation of winning the Premier League title.
But in European terms, Roberto Mancini's men have yet to make the grade after Sergio Aguero's second-half penalty yesterday garnered only their third point from five outings, leaving nine-times continental kings Real to cruise into the last 16.
The Spanish were joined by Schalke and Borussia Dortmund of Germany, England's Arsenal, Paris Saint Germain of France, and Italian giants AC Milan.
Two-times champions Porto, 3-0 winners over Dinamo Zagreb, and debutants Malaga, who drew 2-2 at Zenit St Petersburg, had already qualified before the fifth round of group action.
Had City managed to hold onto a 2-1 lead in Madrid in the opening match in Group D it could all have been so different - but Real fought back to win 3-2 and two dropped home points against Dortmund and four more spurned against Ajax closed the door firmly shut on the English side's ambitions.
City's England keeper Joe Hart was brutally frank in his assessment.
"All the games cost us - we've lost our two away games and not won at home. It's been a bad campaign for us. It's incredibly frustrating," Hart told Sky Sports.
"Unfortunately, we weren't able to do the business when it mattered."
Real all but bolted the gate by taking the lead on ten minutes.
Luka Modric found Angel Di Maria and he swept a high ball into the danger zone for French striker Karim Benzema to leave marker Maicon for dead and sweep home from close range.