MANCHESTER – Roberto Mancini does not fear for his job despite his latest Champions League flop.
Report by Reuters
But Jose Mourinho says he would not have survived a similar disaster at Real Madrid.
City suffered a second straight group exit. Yet boss Mancini said: “I don’t have fear for this. Everyone here knows football.
“The season is long. You have the Champions League, FA Cup and Premier League. If we think we can win the Champions League after only two years we are crazy.
“Chelsea tried to win it for 10 years and in their best moment they didn’t win. We need to be patient for this, we need to improve our team.”
But Real chief Mourinho said: “It’s good that it was City who went out because Roberto can work without any kind of problems, I believe.
“If it was Real, I think the Press wouldn’t let me return to Madrid.”
Unmarked Karim Benzema put Madrid in front on 10 minutes.
On 74 minutes, Sergio Aguero was felled in the box by Alvaro Arbeloa — who was sent off — and the Argentinian levelled from the spot.
But it was not enough and Mancini added: “We didn’t lose it tonight, we lost it in the first games — Madrid, Dortmund at home and in Amsterdam.
“We made mistakes. In Madrid we were 2-1 up with minutes to go. I hope we can advance with more experience next year.”
Real Madrid and AC Milan led a procession of six teams into the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday while big-spending Manchester City failed again on the European stage to further dent English football’s standing.
Milan qualified with a 3-1 win at Anderlecht, their goals including a spectacular overhead kick by Philippe Mexes which was a near carbon copy of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s extraordinary effort for Sweden against England last week.
Paris St Germain, Arsenal and Bundesliga pair Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 were the other teams to qualify with a match to spare as the competition continued on its predictable course.
It was the 13th consecutive occasion that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has led his side into the last 16.
Seven other sides – Malaga, Barcelona, Porto, Manchester United, Valencia, Bayern Munich and Shakhtar Donetsk – are already through, turning the final round of matches on December 4-5 into a damp squib with only three places up for grabs.
Bundesliga champions Dortmund gave the evening’s most impressive display as they trounced four-time European champions Ajax Amsterdam 4-1 away in the same group despite allowing their opponents much of the possession.
Mario Goetze scored one goal and was involved in two others scored by Marco Reus and Roberto Lewandowski as Juergen Klopp’s ruthlessly efficient side raced to a 3-0 halftime lead in Amsterdam.
Lewandowski added the fourth before Daniel Hoesen pulled one back as once mighty Ajax, no longer able to compete with the financial clout of clubs from bigger leagues, fell at the group stage for the third season in a row.
Seven-time champions AC Milan put their Serie A problems behind them as Stephan El Shaarawy, Mexes and Alexandre Pato scored in the second half at Anderlecht in Group C.
The highlight came when Frenchman Mexes chested up the ball on the edge of the area and sent a dipping bicycle kick into the far corner of the net to surprise even Milan’s unflappable coach Massimiliano Allegri.
Zenit’s elimination followed a miserable group stage for themselves and fellow Russians Spartak Moscow, who have mustered only two wins between them.
Ezequiel Lavezzi scored his first goals for Paris St Germain to help the big-spending Qatari-owned French side win 2-0 at Dynamo Kiev and qualify from Group A, joining Porto who were already though.
The Portuguese side enjoyed a 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb with Lucho Gonzalez, Joao Moutinho and Silvestre Varela sharing the goals.