Man City ease into last eight after Kiev stalemate

Reuters , Tuesday 15 Mar 2016

Manchester City
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, left, runs after the ball following a tackle by Kiev's Yevhen Khacheridi, right, during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between Manchester City and Dynamo Kiev at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, Tuesday, March. 15, 2016 (AP)

Manchester City kept a lifeless Dynamo Kiev in check to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time on Tuesday with a 0-0 draw that came at an injury cost for Manuel Pellegrini's men.

City captain Vincent Kompany limped off after five minutes with a muscle problem and fellow defender Nicolas Otamendi followed soon after as the hosts moved into the last eight with a 3-1 aggregate success that was entirely due to their first-leg victory.

There was little in terms of goalmouth action throughout the return leg at the Etihad Stadium, with City having the game's best chance when Jesus Navas hit the post midway through the second half.

Pellegrini's team, who were knocked out in the last 16 by Barcelona in each of the last two seasons and face local rivals Manchester United in a domestic derby on Sunday, only looked like conceding at the end when keeper Joe Hart saved well from Vitaliy Buyalskiy.

City, whose Premier League title hopes were dented with a 0-0 draw at Norwich City on Saturday, suffered a further blow when Kompany was forced off with what looked like a calf problem.

Their injury woes were compounded when Otamendi was also substituted with barely 20 minutes on the clock in what was a soporific start to the encounter.

With City under no pressure to attack having secured a comfortable first-leg advantage, and Kiev seemingly impotent up front, the first half was played like a testimonial.

The Ukrainian domestic champions caused a few uneasy moments for the makeshift City centre back partnership of Martin Demichelis and Eliaquim Mangala but created no clear-cut chances.

It took 58 minutes for the home side to make any sort of incision into the Kiev defence as Yaya Toure exchanged quick passes with Sergio Aguero before the Argentine striker flashed his shot wide from a tight angle.

Navas then crashed an effort against the foot of the post three minutes later as the game showed signs of life while Toure fired straight at Kiev keeper Olexandr Shovkovskiy with 20 minutes to play.

Hart was forced into action in the final few moments with a good block to deny Buyalskiy on an otherwise easy night for the City keeper.

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