Champions League: Nine-man Manchester City beaten 2-1 by CSKA Moscow
Last Updated: 06/11/14 8:14am
Fernandinho and Yaya Toure both saw red as Manchester City crashed to a damaging 2-1 defeat to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.
The pair were both dismissed in the second half as City struggled to get back into a Group E contest they were anxious to win to revive their campaign and ensure their chances of progression to the knock-out stages remained in their hands.
Seydou Doumbia was again City's nemesis, following up his influential role in last month's 2-2 draw in Moscow with both CSKA goals either side of Toure levelling the tie first with a superb free-kick - but City, uncharacteristically, lacked spark in Europe's elite competition as they have, at times, in the Premier League.
City's night could hardly have begun in worse fashion as Gael Clichy was penalised for handball and Bebras Natcho swung in a free-kick for Doumbia to head in after two minutes.
Rallied by their home support, City went in pursuit of an equaliser which they got just five minutes later, when Toure provided it with an exquisite free-kick.
Stevan Jovetic was bundled over on the edge of the area and the Ivorian stepped up to curl a shot into the top corner and level the scores.
Despite this, still the crowd remained subdued and City seemed to have little energy to feed off.
CSKA did not have the majority of possession but they made better use of it and Alan Dzagoev released Doumbia with a defence-splitting pass - but he drove wide.
The atmosphere cranked up a little as it became apparent some CSKA fans were being ejected and tempers could have flared when Pontus Wernbloom took out Toure with a poor challenge.
Still however, City's spark was lacking and the visitors were at it again when Clichy gave the ball away and Natcho teed up Doumbia for his second after 34 minutes, clinically finishing inside Joe Hart's near post.
Manuel Pellegrini made a double change at half-time to try to change the course of the game with Samir Nasri and Fernandinho entering for Jesus Navas and Jovetic.
The game's major turning points came in the second half, when half-time substitute Fernandinho picked up two yellow cards in quick succession to leave City with a mountain to climb.
The Brazilian, booked minutes earlier for a foul on Dzagoev, was penalised again for blocking Musa on the edge of the area. It seemed accidental but referee Tasos Sidiropoulos took a dim view and showed a straight red.
There was further controversy as Aguero was fouled outside the area by a combination of CSKA players. Wernbloom might easily have received a second booking but only Sergei Ignashevitch was cautioned in a bizarre case of mistaken identity.
City crumbled and their frustration was evident in Toure's sending off eight minutes from time. The Ivorian was blocked by Roman Eremenko but the City midfielder raised his hands to shove him away. He had already been booked but Sidiropoulos showed a straight red.
City now find themselves on the brink of Champions League elimination at the group stage for the third time in four seasons, and are now reliant on other results to ensure progression to the knock-out stage.