Man City could not break Aris defense

Aris held Manchester City to a 0-0 draw at Thessaloniki on February 15, in the first leg of the round of 32 in the Europa League to maintain its 43-year-long unbeaten home record in Europe.

The result was probably the best that the Greeks could hope for against one of the most expensive sides in Europe and they weathered the pressure that could otherwise have seen them crumble, though this was definitely not City’s night.

The match took place in front of a capacity crowd that created a fantastic atmosphere at the Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium. City was the better team throughout the match but could not quite get its finishing touches right, and was twice denied by Aris and Greece goalkeeper Michalis Sifakis.

The first time Sifakis was called to the task was at the 15th minute when David Silva fed the ball to Edin Dzeko, but he could not beat the Greek keeper from a close distance.

The best moment for Aris in the first half came at the 44th as a Darcy Neto free-kick from the edge of the box, screaming a few centimetres past the right post of a stranded Joe Hart.

Aris, who have the elimination of Europa League holder Atletico Madrid already under their belt this season, tried some shots from outside the box by Neto and Juan Carlos Toja in the second half but could not catch Hart off guard; the English keeper was not to be beaten.

Sifakis produced the save of the evening as he stretched to palm away the powerful header by Edin Dzeko on the 63rd minute.

The Bosnian could not find the target with his strong shot eight minutes later, either.

Aris gave some ground in the last 10 minutes but City could not capitalize on the pressure to break the deadlock.

The second leg will take place at the City of Manchester on February 24.

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