MX23RW : Wednesday, September 19 09:36:12

Live Commentary: Ajax 3-1 Manchester City - as it happened

Live Commentary: Ajax 3-1 Manchester City - as it happened
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live text commentary of the Champions League encounter between Ajax and Manchester City.

Manchester City needed to find their first victory in the Champions League this season against Ajax, while the Dutch club were searching for their first point of the campaign.

Despite Samir Nasri giving Roberto Mancini's side an early lead, the home side responded superbly to send City closer to the exit door of this season's competition.

Read how the contest unfolded below.

6.41pmHello everyone, the Ajax team has not been revealed as yet but do we have the Manchester City side for tonight's match.

6.42pmMan City: Hart; Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; Milner, Barry, Nasri, Y. Toure; Aguero, Dzeko

6.44pmSo, Edin Dzeko is rewarded by Roberto Mancini for his recent form as a substitute. Carlos Tevez makes way for the Bosnian.

6.45pmJoleon Lescott keeps his place in defence for City, despite Mancini preferring to select Matija Nastasic in the competition's first two games.

6.48pmMancini knew how difficult this group would be for his side but a disappointing result tonight could open the competition's exit door a little wider.

6.51pmWins home and away against Ajax will kick start City's European campaign but Frank de Boer's side will be out to keep their slim qualification hopes alive.

6.56pmAjax have not beaten an English team on home soil since 1980. That's a statistic that should encourage City fans tonight.

7.00pmAway from matters on the pitch, Dutch police have arrested 25 people in the City's capital tonight. It is unclear how many Man City fans were involved but the majority of the arrested are believed to be Ajax supporters.

7.04pmDavid Silva's absence puts a lot of pressure on Samir Nasri this evening. The Frenchman will be the main creative force for the visitors.

7.05pmIt looks like a typical selection for an away trip from Mancini, so expect Yaya Toure to be given a more attacking role as the game progresses.

7.06pmAjax: Vermeer; Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind, Van Rhijn; C Poulsen, Eriksen, S De Jong, Schone, Sana; Babel

7.07pmFollowing on from Mancini's selection, Toure playing behind the strikers could also be a possibility with City desperate for a victory.

7.10pmIt's a common statement ahead of Ajax matches but Christian Eriksen will be vital for the hosts tonight. The playmaker was poor against Real Madrid on earlier this month but his ability is unquestionable.

7.15pmAjax lack a world class striker these days and that showed against Madrid too. They lacked an outlet that evening and the same could be possible tonight.

7.21pmElsewhere on Sports Mole tonight, there will be coverage of Arsenal vs. Schalke and Borussia Dortmund vs. Real Madrid.

7.27pmWe're 20 minutes away from kick-off, it's a big, big night for City.

7.31pmMancini has just told BBC Sport: "We spent a lot of energy on Saturday playing for 70 minutes with 10 men so we need some fresh players tonight. We could have a chance at set-pieces. Pablo Zabaleta is not fit, he played two games for Argentina but he should be fit for the weekend. Ajax have a young team and play football very well but it is important we take three points."

7.35pmEarlier this week De Boer said he wanted 70% of his to have graduated from the club's youth academy. It's an admirable philosophy but I think financial problems are probably the main factor in that decision.

7.40pmI'll be sure to keep you updated with events in the other Group D match tonight, between Dortmund and Madrid.

7.43pmDzeko needs to justify his recent praise with another big performance tonight. The players are out on the pitch now, the Champions League anthem has been played and we're almost ready to begin.

1 minThe match has begun and Barry gives away an early foul for a challenge on De Jong.

2 minKompany concedes a corner but Eriksen's delivery is headed away by Barry.

4 minCity settle well with some nice possession but Ajax look well organised in the early stages.

6 minBlind and Eriksen exchange passes but Lescott does well to clear the danger. It's a promising start from De Boer's side.

8 minCity very deep in the opening minutes and Richards has to react well to head away another attack. Neither Aguero or Dzeko have been in the game yet.

9 minChance! A good move from Ajax ends with the ball at Eriksen's feet on the edge of the area. The playmaker makes some move for himself but his half volley is just wide of Hart's post.

11 minBetter possession from City now, Aguero begins an encouraging move but his pass for Milner is too short and Ajax recover well.

13 minAjax, on the counter attack, threaten to slice open City's defence but a last ditch tackle from Kompany halts Babel's progress.

15 minBad news for the visitors. Toure is down in a heap on the ground. it looks like De Jong stepped on the midfielder's toe. He should be fine to continue.

16 minThere's blood trickling down Toure's foot but he's being strapped up as a City attack is easily dealt with by Ajax.

18 minToure's back but he doesn't look very comfortable. Ajax are still the better side and look very good in possession.

20 minDe Jong makes a good run from deep and Eriksen finds his captain but the ball is too high and he can't make good contact.

21 minEriksen is one of the most talked about players in Europe and he's just shown us why. The Dane starts yet another Ajax attack and when he receives the ball again, his trickery is too much for Barry but his effort is just wide from 20 yards.

22 minGoal! Ajax 0-1 Man City (Nasri)

22 minIt's completely against the run of play but City are ahead. Richards picks out Milner with a beautiful pass and the England international has the awareness to find Nasri, who proceeds to open the scoring with a superb curling shot from the corner of the box.

25 minThat goal has certainly changed things. Nasri cuts in from the left before exhcanging passes with Aguero but Moisander is present to block the Frenchman's run.

27 minCity are beginning to find space in midfield and threaten to double their lead but Aguero's weaving run ends with a disappointing cross.

28 minDzeko back heels the ball into the path of Richards. The defender debates whether to pass to a teammate but he chooses to shoot and Vermeer blocks easily. Blind is then shown a yellow card for a poor challenge on Dzeko.

30 minDzeko's eagerness to beat the offside trap counts against him as the assistant referee raises his flag while the Bosnian advances towards goal.

33 minDe Jong launches a 50 yard pass into the path of Van Rhijn and despite going past Clichy, the full back's effort is safely over Hart's crossbar.

34 minCity are starting to look much more comfortable in defence as a cross from Sana is cleared away. The visitors begin an attack but Nasri's effort is easily blocked by Moisander.

39 minAjax still enjoying good possession but their lack of an attacking threat is clear. Milner does give away a foul and the hosts have a free-kick 30 yards away from goal. It's taken short but Schone's delivery is easily collected by Hart.

40 minGoal update: Robert Lewandowski has given Borussia Dortmund the lead against Real Madrid.

41 minGoal update: Dortmund's lead didn't last long and Cristiano Ronaldo has equalised for Madrid.

42 minIn Amsterdam, the hosts look like they're are running out of ideas. De Jong's long range strike is no trouble to Hart.

44 minBabel creates space but his 35 yard effort is easily collected by Hart as we approach half-time.

45 minGoal! Ajax 1-1 Man City (De Jong)

45 minRunning out of ideas? Don't worry, my words have been eaten. A flowing Ajax move is ends with Van Rhijn finding De Jong and the home side's skipper levels the scores with a superb finish from just inside the area.

HTHalf-time: That goal will completely change Mancini's team talk. Ajax have passed the ball well all night and probably deserve to be level but the goal didn't look likely while City were in control. City cannot afford to draw tonight in Amsterdam but the match is level and it's a big 45 minutes coming up.

HTBoth games in this group are currently 1-1 so every team's hopes of qualification will be altered in a big way by the end of tonight's play.

HTHaving watched De Jong's goal again, I have to say it's bad defending from City. The captain started the move in midfield and a weak attempt at marking from Milner was the only obstacle in his path to level the scores.

HTTevez and Balotelli are both on the bench for City, Toure hasn't looked comfortable since that early knock. Aguero and Dzeko havent really been involved too often.

46 minThe players are back out on the pitch now, City fans are in full voice. It's a big half for the Premier League Champions. Ajax get the game back underway.

46 minCity nearly force an early goal in the second half. Aguero is picked out by Milner but the forward can't find an opening in a congested penalty area.

48 minThere's a lot more urgency in City's play now, Aguero finds space on the wing and Moisander does well to head the ball away from Nasri.

50 minAjax need to settle down. Eriksen looks to be the most advanced player in their team, leaving Lescott and Kompany without men to mark. Richards kicks the ball against his own face and it's a corner but Hart does well to collect the cross.

52 minNasri wins the ball well in midfield but when Toure then tries to find Dzeko, the Bosnian is stopped for offside.

54 minAjax are not very happy when Nasri chops down Van Rhijn and the referee quickly gives the attacking midfielder a deserved yellow card.

55 minWe're treated to some beautiful passing from Ajax but Sana ends the move abruptly when his shot goes out for a throw-in.

57 minSana is dangerous on the ball though and he wins a corner from Clichy.

57 minGoal! Ajax 2-1 Man City (Moisander)

58 minThere will be more criticism for zonal marking following this goal. Eriksen takes a corner that is superbly directed towards the defender and his glancing header leaves Hart with no chance. Brilliant goal and City are in big trouble now.

60 minLescott didn't react well enough to Moisander's run. City are threatening immediately but a win is a must tonight.

61 minNasri loops a cross into the area but Dzeko fouls Vermeer, apparently. Plenty of City players warming up but it's Kolarov who looks ready to come on.

63 minIt's Lescott who comes off for Kolarov. City look like they're going to play three at the back. Clichy looks confused but this is how Mancini will try to find a goal.

65 minClichy is still asking questions and it looks a strange decision. Ajax aren't really playing a striker but Mancini is regarded as a world class tactician.

66 minCity attack down the left wing and Kolarov's cross looks dangerous but Milner can't hit the target with his header.

68 minGoal! Ajax 3-1 Man City (Eriksen)

68 minThe ball drops to Eriksen in midfield and he's allowed to travel with the ball, beating Kompany easily before shooting into the bottom corner courtesy of a deflection from Clichy.

70 minIt could so easily have been 4-1! City's defence are all over the place as Sana burst through on goal. Hart does superbly to block the shot and City then attack themselves but Vermeer does well to save a Dzeko strike.

72 minTevez is now on as a replacement for Barry. City are searching for a way back into this match and nearly find one when Dzeko creates some space for himself but Vermeer once again frustrates the Bosnian.

73 minIt's end to end stuff in Amsterdam now. Ajax break but Babel only has eyes for goal and his low drive is held by Hart.

75 minSana has played well for the hosts tonight but he is replaced by Eyong Enoh, who hasn't played this season.

76 minKolarov is shown a yellow card for a blatant foul on Schone, 15 minutes left for City.

77 minNasri is close to finding his second goal of the night when he brilliantly brings the ball down in the box, he can't get his shot on target. There are appeals for a penalty following Moisander's challenge but the referee isn't interested. Last roll of the dice for Mancini as he sends on Balotelli to replace Milner.

78 minMore frustration for City as Toure is yellow carded for a pull on the impressive De Jong.

80 minAjax are starting to drop deep and that's limiting the space available to City. However, the visitors have a free kick when Balotelli is fouled in the corner by Blind.

80 minAjax are starting to drop deep and that's limiting the space available to City. However, the visitors have a free kick when Balotelli is fouled in the corner by Blind.

81 minKolarov whips the ball in but Vermeer does well to punch the ball to safety.

83 minTime is running out for Mancini's men but they're well known for their comebacks this year.

85 minPlenty of attacking talent on the pitch but Ajax are defending stubbornly. The hosts win a free kick on the halfway line to earn a moment of relief.

86 minAguero evades a couple of Ajax defenders but his attempt from 20 yards is wayward and it's a goal kick.

88 minCity have a corner but Dzeko's header is straight at Vermeer and it's no problem for the Ajax goalkeeper.

89 minMore pressure leads to another corner but Kolarov's delivery is poor at a crucial time. Schone is replaced by Boerrigter for the final moments.

90 minTevez takes the next corner but he doesn't beat the first Ajax defender either. Four minutes of added time to be played.

92 minCity have a free kick 25 yards from goal but Balotelli strikes the ball against the wall. Ajax looking comfortable now.

94 minBabel happy to take the ball into the corner, only a few seconds left for Ajax to complete victory.

FTFull-time: Ajax beat an English team on home soil for the first time since 1980. Man City's chances of qualification are quickly fading and the inquest into this defeat begins immediately.

FTTough questions for Mancini to answer as his side look set for a group stage exit in the Champions League for the second season in a row.

FTAjax deserved their win tonight, De Boer's men passed the ball superbly and looked comfortable in defence during the second half.

FTThat's all from Sports Mole for this evening. We hope you've enjoyed our coverage of yet another exciting night in Europe's elite club competition.

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Preview: Ajax vs. Manchester City

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