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Manchester sides draw in openers

Roberto Mancini

Manchester United and City failed to win in their opening matches of the Champions League – with the pair coming from behind to both draw 1-1.

A goal from the evergreen Ryan Giggs earned a point for the Reds in Benfica while an Aleksandar Kolarov’s free kick saw the Blues also secure a point.

But City boss Roberto Mancini admitted his side suffered from being “too nervous” before their first Champions League match. Those nerves were not evident during a one-sided first half but the City manager said he was glad to get the game out of the way.

“We can do a lot better in the next game,” he said, looking ahead to the match against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on 27 September. “We will do better because it is the second game and we will not be so nervous. This game, we were so nervous – all the players. It surprised me. Maybe it was simply desire, or the pressure to play well, but they need to understand how important it is to play simply and that putting seven or eight players forward doesn’t work.”

United manager Alex Ferguson seemed pleased enough with the result.

“All in all, it was a good European night, good to watch. I thought the two goals were terrific,” he said.

“I thought our possession in the first half of the game was too cautious. Once Ryan scored we played much better.”

Elsewhere Inter Milan were shocked at home losing 1-0 to small Turkish side Trabzonspor.

Sir Alex Ferguson

Real Madrid began the quest to win their 10th title in Europe’s premier club competition with a 1-0 victory at Dinamo Zagreb in Champions League Group D.

The Argentinian winger Angel di María scored in the 53rd minute as Madrid, playing in an unfamiliar all-red kit, finally beat the inspired Ivan Kelava, who produced a string of fine saves in Dinamo’s goal.

Goals from Toni Kroos and Rafinha in either half present former Bundesliga kings, Bayern Munich a comprehensive 2 – 0 win at Villarreal to mark a good start in the UEFA Champions League.



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