Champions League verdict: Napoli 2 Manchester City 1

City crashed to defeat in Naples courtesy of two Edinson Cavani goals to only one from Mario Balotelli. With our hopes of qualifying now reliant on a favour from Villarreal this is likely to prove a costly result.

Roberto Mancini’s side were always unlikely to win the Champions League but getting beyond the group stages would have been good for building the brand, and for the money with Financial Fair Play in mind.

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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 1 Napoli 1

So this is the Champions League. An exhilerating game where City went for the win, ran out of steam, then came back to claim a draw thanks to a perfectly executed Kolarov free-kick.

If City were the team in the third pot whom everyone wanted to avoid, then Napoli were surely the fourth pot equivalent. Both sides were victims of their poor UEFA co-efficients and consequently Group A is looking to be of a particularly high standard.

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