Ajax v Man City: Roberto Mancini says his side must win in Amsterdam

Ajax v Man City: Roberto Mancini says the Citizens must win if they hope to qualify for the last-16 of the Champions League

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
roberto mancini
Roberto Mancini's side are winless in the Champions League this season Photo: Back Page Images

roberto mancini

Roberto Mancini admits Manchester City must beat Ajax if the Citizens harbour any hopes of reaching the last-16 of the Champions League.

The Premier League winners are without a win in Europe this season after an opening loss to Real Madrid before rescuing a 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund.

Mancini is braced for a tough test against Ajax but the Italian acknowledged that nothing less than a victory will suffice at the Amsterdam Arena.

“We can’t think about not winning before the game,” Mancini said. “We have to think about winning this game.

“People think it will be easy but Ajax have a good young team and will play well. It will be a difficult game.”

Mancini also conceded City’s inexperience in the competition could be partly to blame for a disappointing start, but the Italian also feels his side were unfortunate to be drawn in such a tough group.

“Maybe as a club we need more experience, but we have good players and that’s why we should be in the second stage,” Mancini added.

“It is not easy because you need luck in this competition when you have the draw for the group.

“We want to play for a better seeding. We started the group so-so, but we still have a chance to go through – but we must take our chance.”

Ajax v Man 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.

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

Laureus Awards 2019
Novak Djokovic
Laureus Awards 2019: Djokovic, Halep, Kerber headline big tennis showing for sporting Oscars
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Meet Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s girlfriend Amine Gulse
Meet Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s girlfriend Amine Gulse
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
Meet Chelsea FC star Andreas Christensen’s girlfriend Katrine Friis
Meet Chelsea FC star Andreas Christensen’s girlfriend Katrine Friis
Australian Open 2019: Novak Djokovic seals No1 ranking as campaign for title No7 gathers pace
Australian Open 2019: Novak Djokovic seals No1 ranking as campaign for title No7 gathers pace
Andy Robertson
Jurgen Klopp explains why Andy Robertson deserves new Liverpool FC deal
Marcus Rashford
Man United ready to offer striker deal worth £150,000 a week – report