Roma held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw in the Champions League Group E encounter at a half packed Etihad Stadium last night. The home side went ahead after a controversial penalty awarded by the referee from which Sergio Aguero made no mistake. Roma captain Francesco Totti, 38, then restored parity becoming Champions League’s oldest goalscorer, eclipsing Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs.
The Italian outfit were very much the better side over the course of 90 minutes and were unlucky not to grab three points despite stretching the City defense on every counter attack.
Totti later claimed, “It was an important point today, and we even had the chance to win after we had five or six opportunities to take the lead. We did not succeed because City is a very strong team and well organized.”
Totti made his presence felt when Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan released him en route to goal, the captain who made no mistake to chip the ball into the back of the net past the onrushing Joe Hart.
Roma’s best player on the field however was former Chelsea man Ashley Cole. The 33 year old left back reminded why he is still regarded as England’s best left despite having retired. Cole used his experience to negate Jesus Navas, the quickest player on the pitch who was rightly replaced at half time by Manuel Pellegrini. Cole advanced on the left wing whenever he had time and space, capping up a brilliant display.
33 year old Maicon also hit the bar moments after conceding the penalty while Seydou Keita, 34, did well to contain Yaya Toure in the middle of the park. Roma remain favourites to qualify from the group stages behind leaders Bayern Munich with 4 points from 2 games at present. The way they controlled the game against the reigning Premier LeAgue Champions will have manager Rudi Garcia in good spirits ahead of the key class against Juventus in the weekend. The ageing Roma side certainly taught City a lesson, “Sometimes Football isn’t a young man’s game.”