Ajax v Man City: We must win our remaining group games, says Lescott
Ajax v Man City: Joleon Lescott says Manchester City must win their final group games if they want to qualify for the last-16
Joleon Lescott admits Manchester City must win their remaining Champions League group-stage games if the Citizens want to qualify for the latter stages of the competition.
The defending Premier League champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Borussia Dortmund at the Etihad Stadium in their last European outing after losing 3-2 to Real Madrid in their opening fixture.
Roberto Mancini’s side make the trip to Ajax on Wednesday night, and Lescott insisted the Eastlands outfit cannot rely on results elsewhere in the group going their way.
“People are going to say the next two games are must wins for us,” said Lescott. “But I think every game from now until the end of the group stage is a must win.
“We can’t rely on other people to get results for us like last year.”
City came from behind to win 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, and Lescott believes Mancini’s men have shown a steely side this season.
“Everyone knows we are a good footballing side,” added Lescott. “But when we need to dig in and be together we can do that. We showed that on Saturday.
“If we can take something from our neighbours and use it to benefit us then great.
“We showed a different side to us; we never know when we are beaten and have strength in depth in the squad.”
Ajax v Manchester City: Pre-match facts
• Already beaten by Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid, bottom-placed Ajax are seeking a first home victory over English opposition since 1980, when they beat Nottingham Forest 1-0 in the second leg of the 1979-80 European Champion Clubs’ Cup semi-finals.
• City’s only previous trip to the Netherlands yielded a 1-1 draw at Twente in the 1978-79 Uefa Cup first round. They beat Twente 3-2 in the ensuing home leg and won by the same score when the clubs met again in the 2008/09 Uefa Cup group stage.
• City failed to reach the knockout stages last season despite collecting ten points in the group stage, matching the record for the highest points haul without advancing.
• Ajax coach Frank de Boer made his international debut in September 1990 in the Netherlands’ 1-0 defeat in Palermo against an Italy side for whom Roberto Mancini, his City counterpart, appeared as a 55th-minute substitute.