For a very long period of this game it looked as if Manchester City were spiralling to their 8th successive NextGen defeat but three goals in the final 20 sent them on their way to collecting their first ever points in the competition at the octo-attempt.
On the evening of Manchester City’s unveiling of a brand new £200 million training facility and youth development centre a result was desired and despite a dismal first half they pulled themselves into contention after the break to collect all 3 points against the Turkish side. Fener Boys controlled the first half with the impressive quick passing football that garnered so much praise against Juventus in their curtain raising match-up again prevalent with the captain Beykan Simsek pulling the strings from the free-role. It was rewarded after a near miss for Kieron Kennedy, as he watched his clearing header 50p off his head and just wide of his own goal for a corner. Poor marking allowed Hakan Cinemre to head home the opening goal of the game after just 12 minutes.
At half time the Young Citizens must have received a rocket from coach Atilio Lombardo after a flat first half performance as they tightened their game together with much neater passing in a remarkably improved second-half performance, culminating in a mad two minutes after the hour mark.
Erman Taskin rashly brought down Jordi Hiwula inside the area and City were awarded the penalty kick which was then duly despatched by the Spanish playmaker Denis Suarez to level proceeding. It was not long until the Manchester side had their lead. Emyr Huws went on a rumbustious run deep and cracked off a seemingly ambiguous shot from the edge of the box, but a cruel deflection left the keeper stranded as the ball cruised into the back of the net giving Manchester City the lead.
The game, result and most importantly the result was tied up late on when again Fenerbahce gave away a penalty and Hiwula dusted himself off to score City’s third with minutes left.
Despite a poor performance for much of the game City will be pleased with the second half, where they dug deep to overcome strong opponents, the evidence on show so far suggest Paris Saint-Germain might be the team to beat in this group so Man City will hope for results against Juve and away to Fener in order to progress.
In the other games Tottenham lost at White Hart Lane to Barcelona 0-2 while Molde went down, also at home, to the increasingly impressive CSKA Moscow by one-goal to nil.
image: © Gene Hunt