Kompany backs City to recover


Published: Wednesday 1st October 2014 by The News Editor

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Captain Vincent Kompany insists Manchester City have not been derailed in their latest Champions League quest.

The Barclays Premier League winners are facing a familiar battle to qualify for the knockout stages of Europe’s elite competition after an unimpressive 1-1 draw with Roma on Tuesday.

The result left Manuel Pellegrini’s men with just one point from their opening two Group E games and already trailing leaders Bayern Munich by five points.

They must now make some headway in their next two fixtures, back-to-back away and home games against CSKA Moscow, to put pressure on the Germans and Italians.

This is City’s fourth season in a competition they are still to make a genuine impact in, but Kompany is confident in the team’s quality.

The Belgian defender said: “It won’t set us back. It won’t affect us. We will deal with it. It gives you a feeling to get back out there and show everyone how good we are.

“I don’t think it affects it (the group) too much. Roma have still got to play twice against Bayern Munich.

“We will go out there and play as we always do, to win. It doesn’t change much for us. We will play every game from here to the end to win, thinking we can get three points out of it.”

City failed to get out of their group in both 2011-12 and 2012-13, performances which contributed to the departure of former manager Roberto Mancini.

Some progress was made last season as Pellegrini took City to the last-16 stage for the first time but they were unable to get past Barcelona.

This season, with the Premier League title reclaimed, the expectations on City to perform in Europe, from inside and outside the club, were greater.

Kompany accepts the team have not yet done themselves justice.

The 28-year-old said: “At the moment we all acknowledge that we could play better.

“But we are absolutely convinced that with Roma away, Bayern Munich at home, and the two Moscow games, if we play as well as we can, we should be looking for three points.”

City were outplayed for large spells of their opening game at Bayern but were unfortunate to lose to a deflected 89th-minute goal from Jerome Boateng.

But back at the Etihad Stadium, fortune perhaps helped them against Roma as the Serie A side dominated.

Sergio Aguero did give City the lead with a fourth-minute penalty but a Roma side boasting former England defender Ashley Cole then pegged them back with slick, incisive attacking play.

Their 23rd-minute equaliser through Francesco Totti, after Maicon had earlier hit the bar, was not only brilliantly taken but thoroughly deserved.

Roma had numerous other chances, notably through the impressive Miralem Pjanic, but could not force their way in front. City did finish well but David Silva was caught narrowly offside and Stevan Jovetic twice missed the target.

Kompany said: “We didn’t play as well as we could, definitely. You just have to look at these games sometimes and say, ‘It’s a point’.

“But this is the Champions League, and if you don’t perform, you shouldn’t expect more from it.

“It wasn’t our best performance apart from the spell towards the end.

“We couldn’t even hold on to the lead – it was just not our best performance. But there is still a lot to play for. I think we can get a good share of those 12 remaining points.”

Published: Wednesday 1st October 2014 by The News Editor

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