Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta has admitted that his side’s performance against CSKA Moscow was ‘not good enough’ as their hopes of progression in Europe now balance on a knife edge.
City who are priced at 21.00 to win the Champions League travelled to Russia on Tuesday knowing that a victory was necessary to get their European campaign on track after losing to Bayern Munich in Germany and drawing with Roma at the Etihad.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men were made to play the game in front of a near empty stadium due to sanctions placed on the Russian outfit but they did manage to open up a comfortable first half lead.
Despite freezing conditions Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko got their names on the scoresheet to take a two goal lead in at the break.
However, they took their foot off the gas in the second half and were made to pay as the introduction of Seydou Doumbia turned the game on its head and both sides had to settle for a share of the points with the game ending at 2-2.
Elsewhere in the group German champions Bayern sent out a message with a 7-1 demolition of Roma and Zabaleta admitted that is the standard they need to be aiming for.
Zabaleta said: “It will be hard for us to qualify for the round of 16 with only two points from three games, and that’s not good enough.
“It was really painful for everyone to only draw. We are much better than we are showing in this competition. For us to go through now, it is very complicated.
“We still have a chance and we will do everything to qualify but if you don’t win games you can’t get through the group. It is so frustrating. It’s not the first time this has happened and it’s something we need to sort out as soon as possible.”