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Champions League fall-out; Man City in trouble, Chelsea and Arsenal face vital return legs

Football News 24/7
Given the relative financial positions between the Premier League and its counterparts across Europe it's a bit of a surprise to see the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City being turned over by clubs from leagues with far less resource.

The Dutch for example have fallen well behind the best in Europe and no Dutch side has won the Champions Legaue in its current format. Yet Ajax made Manchester City look pretty ordinary on Tuesday night.

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has defended his tactical switches after Micah Richards raised concerns about playing with three centre-backs.

Richards claimed Mancini's decision to switch from 4-4-2 during the Champions League defeat at Ajax killed City's chances of claiming victory.

But Mancini said: "If you are a top player it is not important what system you use.

"If you don't understand a system like that, you cannot play for a top team."

That may be so, but it puts City in a perilous position with just one point from three games in the toughest group in the competituion.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo says the Champions League is "very competitive" this year and they must now win at home against Ukranian side, Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Champions League title-holders lost 2-1 on Tuesday night, after goals from Brazilians Alex Teixeira and Fernandinho put the Ukrainian club ahead.

Oscar thumped in a late consolation for Chelsea, but the defeat leaves the Blues below leaders Shakhtar Donetsk in group E and whilst still able to qualify many would have expected them to top their group by now.

Arsenal, despite a home defeat should still qualify. But, they too can't afford any more slip ups. They had won their first two games, so with 6 points from a possible nine have time to put things right.

In Contrast, Manchester United, who in fairness have what looks like the easiest group to get through have three from three, but Portugese side, Braga made them fight all the way. The return leg in Portugal is no walk over.

KJ

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