Man City close in on last eight berth
MANCHESTER, England (AP):
Eight years after an influx of money from Abu Dhabi transformed Manchester City's fortunes, the team is closing in on another landmark: a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
With a 3-1 lead over Dynamo Kiev, even an erratic City should be able to protect the advantage in today's second leg.
"(The quarter-finals) is a target we've had for a number of years now, and we've got ourselves in a good position," City goalkeeper Joe Hart said yesterday. "We've got 90 minutes now to try to make history."
City have failed to win back-to-back Premier League games since October and slipped to fourth, the final Champions League qualification place. With West Ham only two points behind, City are in danger of failing to return to Europe's elite competition next season when Pep Guardiola succeeds Manuel Pellegrini as manager.
Winning the Champions League is one way of securing qualification for next season, but City have never won the European Cup.
Dynamo Kiev have exceeded expectations just by qualifying for the knockout stage for the first time in 16 years. But realistically, Dynamo's hopes of advancing rested on winning at home, where cold weather and loud fans can intimidate opponents.
Instead, City scored three valuable away goals, including a curling shot by Yaya TourE.