by Darren Walsh

Adrian Chiles says “We just had to be here for this game.”  You just got lucky with the scheduling my friend.  He also states that the men beside him are delighted to be there, as we move to a wide shot of a glowering Roy Keane and a nervous looking Gareth Southgate.  Meanwhile, this is all new for Lee Dixon; looks a bit more excited about it than them.

Just remembered that Dixon is a City fan; no wonder he’s happy.  Seventeen years ago tonight, City were getting stuffed by Lincoln in the League Cup.  It’s quite the step up from Sincil Bank to the Bernabeu.

Arsenal are the other English team competing tonight, should have been Spurs.  Although would that have worked out with the seedings….anyway, the point is they should not be playing!

I’m joking of course; they earned it, while Spurs blew it.

Gloriously cocky interview with Jose, will be interesting to see how the players react after he threw them under the bus after the Sevilla game.

Nothing said about Roberto Mancini, but I think it may be this season or never for him to prove his worth in European competition.  He had all the advantages with Inter in his time there, never even reached a CL semi-final.

The managers shake hands; Mourinho’s tie is almost as wide as himself.

Clive Tyldesley starts off by talking down our knowledge of the two team’s centre backs; way to get everyone on your side Clive.

Gael Clichy really needs to sort his hair out, it’s like he’s got too much of a thatch on top and nothing on the back or sides.

Michael Essien looks way off the pace.  This season will tell if it’s just taking time to get back to his usual level after his injuries or whether he’ll never get back to that again.

A few chances for Madrid in first 20 minutes, Joe Hart is keeping the scoresheet blank.

Tevez looks a bit ponderous, with some wayward passes too.  Having said that, it’s still better than what he produced this time last year.

City are maybe settling a bit now, making a few nice passing moves in the Madrid half.  At least it’s a better performance than what I remember of Spurs at the Bernabeu two years ago.

Nasri walking off injured and shows Kolarov warming up, who would be a natural replacement.  We then see a shot of Aguero, who would be a slightly more thrilling proposition.

Madrid players are bouncing off Yaya Toure all game, just made a nice run too but didn’t make the right pass, leading to an audible groan from Andy Townsend.

Higuain is missing chances here, doesn’t look too confident.  No wonder Ronaldo keeps shooting.


Madrid players waiting in the tunnel before the start of the second half.  It looked like they were waiting for someone to start a fight with.

Maicon goes over to the Madrid dugout too to hug Mourinho.  Normally things like that are done before or after the game.

Talking of the full back, what’s Micah Richards thinking after that signing?  He’ll surely leave now.

Townsend wondering if Tevez, being a small striker, can deliver on his own up front.  Hey, it worked for Spurs and Jermain Defoe on Sunday.  Admittedly, that was against Reading, but I will argue that Alex Pearce is a better centre back than Pepe.

Ozil is on for Madrid.  Gareth Barry is probably having World Cup flashbacks.

Yaya Toure goes off on another lung bursting run, but makes the right pass this time and Dzeko slides it past a sprawling Casillas.  Considering the run of play, it’s totally unexpected, although there were a few counter attacks in the first half that showed what might happen.

Luka Modric is on, and I get to boo him for 15 minutes.

Wow, it’s really picking up now.  First, Marcelo equalises with a right foot curler.  Then Zabaleta finds himself at the near post for a cross but doesn’t get enough on the ball.  Might have been his first touch after coming from the bench.

Kolarov finds the Corridor Of Uncertainty with his free kick, don’t think anyone got a touch.

Benzema with the instant reply, shot perfectly into the bottom corner.

Madrid really surging now, camped in the City half.

Ronaldo with a speculative shot that Kompany ducks, leaving Hart unsighted until too late.  Mourinho tries a knee slide to celebrate but sticks in the ground.  He has done a lot better before.  As for the game, this might be the best CL group contest I’ve ever seen.

City don’t have a response in stoppage time, and it’s a pretty cruel game to lose.  Plenty of tough games to come in this group too.

Joe Hart ain’t messing around in the interview afterwards, makes a change from the usual platitudes of post-match interviews.

Jose is on top form in his interview, even referring to himself in the third person.  Stupid question put to him asking if he feels sorry for Man City losing the game so late.

While I enjoyed that match, it’s a shame that not many of the other group games will compare to that.  In fact, many will be dead rubber games near the end.  City really need a win in the next game though, especially with Dortmund winning tonight.