Manchester: Francesco Totti became the oldest goal-scorer in Champions League history as Roma held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw in an entertaining Group E encounter on Tuesday.
Roma's Italian forward Francesco Totti celebrates scoring the equalising goal during the Champions League Group E football match between Manchester City and Roma in Manchester. Pic/AFP
The Roma talisman, who turned 38 on Saturday, struck mid-way through the first half to earn Rudi Garcia's Serie A high-fliers a point after Sergio Aguero had put City ahead with a fourth-minute penalty. Totti's goal broke a record previously held by former Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs and saw him end a run of nine matches without scoring in club games on English soil.
"We've shown we're up to the level of this group," said Roma coach Garcia, whose side visit Italian title rivals Juventus on Sunday. "We were playing against the champions of England, one of the world's richest clubs. "It wasn't easy to be one goal down, but we have a good team and we took advantage of our good moments."
It was the first time in seven games that Roma had not won this season, but they left the Etihad Stadium the more satisfied team following a result that left them two points below group leaders Bayern Munich. City, beaten 1-0 by Bayern in their first game, could not make their dominance of possession count and may need maximum points from their forthcoming double-header with CSKA Moscow if they are to avoid a third group-stage exit in four years.
"It was a very important game, but not decisive," said City manager Manuel Pellegrini. "Maybe playing at home it is never good just to draw, but also we played against a very strong team in a very good moment. "We must continue fighting for the next 12 points and we'll see which team will qualify." - Eventful start for Maicon - A hamstring injury to Morgan De Sanctis obliged Roma to hand a competition debut to 23-year-old Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski and his first duty was to pick the ball out of the net.
City old boy Maicon blatantly hauled Aguero back by the shoulder as he looked to latch onto David Silva's chipped pass and the Argentine got up to send Skorupski the wrong way from the spot. It was an unfortunate return to the Etihad for Maicon, a City player from 2012 to 2013, but he almost atoned within a minute by slamming a shot against Joe Hart's crossbar from Totti's feathered pass. Roma continued to press, unsettling City with their pace in wide areas, and after Hart was called into action by Gervinho and then Radja Nainggolan, the visitors equalised in the 23rd minute.
Totti's milestone finish from Nainggolan's pass was delightful -- a stabbed effort with the outside of his right foot that sailed inside the right-hand post -- but Vincent Kompany had lost track of him in the build-up and Hart slipped as he came out to meet him. City had a penalty shout turned down after Jesus Navas's cross appeared to strike Kostas Manolas on the hand, but it took a near-post stop from Hart to prevent Gervinho from firing Roma ahead before the break.
Pellegrini stiffened his midfield by introducing James Milner for Navas at half-time, but Roma continued to threaten. Totti and Miralem Pjanic both shot narrowly wide from outside the area, while Hart had to spread himself to smother an effort from Pjanic after City failed to clear Alessandro Florenzi's cross.
After Pellegrini sent on Frank Lampard, City rallied, with Milner dragging a shot wide after a driving run and Fernandinho charging into the box, only to be crowded out by Seydou Keita and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. The chances continued to come at both ends, with Pjanic blazing over and Skorupski saving a dipping Lampard effort. City penned Roma back in the closing stages, but they could not find a way through, with Silva touching fractionally wide from Pablo Zabaleta's cross in stoppage time.