Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini(credit: Wikipedia
Manchester City were forced to settle for a goalless draw in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie with Aris Salonika.
Home goalkeeper Michalis Sifakis was called into action early on to make a diving save from David Silva, and Micah Richards had an appeal for a penalty waved away after he went to ground in the Aris area.
Edin Dzeko almost broke Aris’ resistance when an Aleksandar Kolarov cross fell to him in the box but, after Silva held the ball up for him, the Bosnian could only produce a tame finish that Sifakis comfortably dealt with.
Dzeko’s finishing betrayed him as he pulled an effort wide, while at the other end Neto’s free-kick flew just wide of the City goal in a rare chance for the hosts in the opening 45 minutes.
Ricardo Faty headed off target as Aris went on the offensive after the restart, and Joe Hart was thankful to see a Juan Carlos Toja strike from distance nestle comfortably into his arms.
Opposite number Sifakis added to Dzeko’s frustration with a save at full stretch, and Gareth Barry fired wide as the minutes ticked away as the visitors had chances of their own.
At the other end Hart pushed away a powerful long-range effort from Neto, before Mario Balotelli sent on overhead kick wide and Richards headed off target as City failed to find a way through.