Champions League preview: Napoli v Manchester City

City take on Napoli in what feels like a play-off to progress from the Champions League group stages. Roberto Mancini knows Naples well and the team ought to be well prepared for a difficult game.

There has been much talk of the intimidating atmosphere, Napoli’s home record in European competition and, of course, the attacking trio of Cavani, Lavezzi and Hamsik. Yet City are full of confidence having won their last nine fixtures, while Napoli have won only two of their last eight in Serie A.

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Verdict: Manchester City 3 Newcastle United 1

City eased to a record breaking eleventh win in twelve league games courtesy of two penalties either side of a Micah Richards strike. As expected, Newcastle proved to be well organised and dangerous on the counter, yet City were once again worthy winners.

Vincent Kompany returned to the defence and aside from one careless loss of possession the captain organised the team well. Joleon Lescott, buoyed by his excellent England performance, continued to step out and break up play whenever possible.

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Player ratings: Manchester City v Newcastle United

Hart – An excellent low save from Demba Ba when the game was goalless made this a more comfortable afternoon than it might have been. 7

Richards – Great flicked finish for the second goal and won the second penalty with a typically powerful run. 61% of his passes were completed in the opposition half, illustrating how Mancini encourages Micah to attack. 8

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