Manchester City went out of the Champions league at the first hurdle for the second year running as they could only draw with Real Madrid at the Eithad stadium last night.
City had come from behind when Sergio Aguero had equalised from the spot after Arbeloa fouled and was sent off for his second booking, but they couldn't find a winner which would have at least kept their hopes of qualification alive until the last group game against Dortmund, who qualified along with Madrid after thrashing Ajax.
However, it was City's performances earlier in the campaign that sealed their fate long before this match according to Roberto Mancini, who told Sky Sports-
"I don't think we lost this tonight, we lost it in the first games- Madrid, Dortmund at home and against Ajax we did some mistakes".
"I am disappointed as normal, like everyone here, but when we started this group we knew it was a difficult group."
When asked if he was worried about his position after being eliminated from Europe's top comeptition at the earliest stage, he said'
"No, I do not fear this."
He will perhaps have been buoyed by the fans support, who chanted his name towards the end of the match.
Meanwhile, Arsenal made sure of qualification with a 2-0 win against Montpellier, with goals from a returning Jack Wilshere and Lukas Podolski.
Ironically, Arsenal sit several places below City in the Premier League, but given they have qualified for the knockout stages for the 13th year running, it shows that it is experience that can sustain a meaningful challenge in the Champion's League, experience that, although individual players have, as a team, Manchester City are desperately seeking.