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The Champions League – How Have Manchester Fared In Previous Opening Games?

A Look Back At Other Encounters In Europe’s ‘Elite’ Competition

Real Madrid v Manchester City FC - UEFA Champions League
Edin Dzeko celebrates after scoring City’s opening goal in Madrid 2012
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester City face Lyon in the opening match of the Champions League group stages, and is the first meeting between the two sides. With no history to look back on, we take a look at City’s previous opening matches in the Champions League.

2011

City’s debut season in the Champions League saw the blues paired with Napoli for their first game. After a goalless first half, Edison Cavani gave Napoli the lead on 69 minutes. The lead lasted just six minutes as Aleksander Kolarov equalised in the 75 minute.

Neither team could find a winner in the last fifteen minutes, and City’s first match ended 1-1

2012

The blues went into the Champions League season as Premier League champions for the first time, and were pitched in a group of league champions. The first of which was Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. No one gave the blues a chance, but after a goalless first half, Edin Dzeko ran clear in the 69th minute to give the blues the lead.

Seven minutes later, Madrid were level, but 9 minutes after that the blues were ahead again. Aleksander Kolarov curled in a magnificent free kick and the blues were five minutes away from a famous victory. But again they failed to hold a lead and Benzema levelled two minutes later. Cristiano Ronaldo then hammered home a winner in the last minute as City grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory.

2013

City finally won their opening Champions League game in 2013 against Czech Republic side Viktoria Plzen at the third time of asking. Edin Dzeko put City in front three minutes after half time, which was added to by Yaya Toure five minutes later. Five minutes after that, Sergio Aguero sealed a 3-0 win to ensure City got off to a flying start

2014

In 2014, the blues faced Bayern Munich in the group stage for the third time in four season, and faced the German giants in the first game at the Allianz Arena. City held Bayern until the 90th minute, when former blue Jerome Boateng scored a last minute goal to give Bayern the win.

2015

The English champions welcome Juventus to the Etihad Stadium for the first match in 2015. For the fifth season in succession, the match was goalless at half time, but the blues took the lead in the 57th minute when Chiellini put through his own goal.

The lead lasted 13 minutes when Mario Mandzukic levelled for the visitors, before Alvaro Morata won the match for Juve with nine minutes remaining.

2016

The blues made it to the group stage via the play-offs when the beat Steaua Bucuresti 6-0 on aggregate. City faced Borussia Monchengladbach at the Etihad Stadium and their league form continued in the Champions League as the blues put four past their German opponents.

Sergio Aguero scored on 8 and 28 minutes to send the blues 2-0 up at half time. In the second half, the Argentine completed his hat-trick in the 77th minute, before Kelechi Iheanacho made it 4-0 in injury time as the blues recorded their biggest win in the group stage.

2017

Feyenoord were City’s first opponents last season and they were the first to fall as the blues winning streak, and goal scoring exploits, continued. John Stones set the blues rolling with a goal in the second minute, which was doubled eight minutes later by Aguero.

Gabriel Jesus got in on the act when he made it 3-0 on 25 minutes and the blues threatened to record a huge scoreline. Stones added his second and City’s fourth on 63 minutes to give the blues a thumping opening victory.

So the blues have won and lost three of their opening matches, drawing just the one against Napoli. Which way will it go tomorrow night? Check back here to find out.