Manchester City vs. Real Madrid: Grading Key Players from Champions League Clash

Tim KeeneyContributor INovember 21, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21:  Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates scoring his team's first goal, from a penalty, to make the score 1-1 during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City FC and Real Madrid CF at the Etihad Stadium on November 21, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Ho-hum. Another Champions League match and another disappointing result for Manchester City.

The Blues, after securing just two points through the first four matches, desperately needed a win against Real Madrid at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, but escaped with just a 1-1 draw. As a result, they are officially eliminated from group play for the second season in a row. 

I'm not exactly sure what it is about the defending champions—and current leaders—of the Premier League, but this team continues to prove it isn't up to the European task. 

Note: All following stats come from whoscored.com.

 

Samir Nasri, Manchester City: D

Might as well start with the negative for Manchester City, as that will surely be the theme of the day.

Every match, Nasri is starting to look more and more like a waste of money for Roberto Mancini and this squad. The talented Frenchman got the start, but once again was completely inconsistent on the attack. He never really got involved or put his footprint on this match—or for that matter, the ball.

That might be OK if he was willing to track back and defend, but Nasri made no use of himself in that aspect of the game, either.

Once again, it was a completely underwhelming and frustrating performance from the midfielder, who was taken off in the 60th minute.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid: A

Just like City fans are starting to get used to expecting Nasri's inconsistencies, the world is getting used to expecting Ronaldo's brilliance.

Some people may point to Benzema as Madrid's man of the match, but other than his goal, he was pretty irrelevant. Ronaldo, meanwhile, was the complete opposite. 

He didn't net a goal, but he made multiple threatening runs, looked accurate with his passing and more often that not, made City's back four look downright silly. In the end, Ronaldo finished with an absurd three shots on target, five key passes, five completed dribbles, six fouls drawn and 39 total passes.

All of those stats were easily most on the squad, with the exception of total passes, which was second to Xabi Alonso.

Ronaldo, the King of the Unbelievable, of course messed up his most simple opportunity of the game when he couldn't score on a one-on-one with Joe Hart, but it was a minor blip on an otherwise fantastic showing.

 

Sergio Aguero, Manchester City: A-

After an up-and-down first 45 minutes, the Citizens looked like the much more dangerous squad in the second half, and that was thanks to Aguero. 

Not only did he force both yellow cards from Arbeloa, but he forced a penalty with the second one, which he finished off himself. 

In addition to making a fool out of the Real defender, the Argentine was in constant attack mode, consistently turning himself into a dangerous threat. He piled up three shots on target, a key pass, a successful dribble and completed 91 percent of his passes.

He's my man of the match for Man City, although it was pretty much splitting hairs between him and David Silva. 

Unfortunately for the Blues, it wasn't enough to keep their Champions League dreams alive. Again.