Real, City among big guns left reeling by defeats

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Real, City among big guns left reeling by defeats

LONDON - Real Madrid, Manchester City, Arsenal and AC Milan suffered painful Champions League defeats on Wednesday which complicated their chances of progressing from an increasingly intriguing group stage.

German sides shone the brightest as Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund downed nine-time European Cup winners Real 2-1 at home while local rivals Schalke 04 pulled off a 2-0 win at Arsenal after Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s second-half opener.

His ex-side Milan, seven-time winners, continued its poor form with a 1-0 loss at a Malaga outfit who suffered similar financial constraints to the Italians but is coping much better and top Group C with maximum points.

English champions Manchester City, who failed to get out of the group phase last term, is risking the same ignominious exit this time after losing 3-1 at Ajax Amsterdam.

Big-spending City is bottom of Group D on one point from three of the six pool matches.

“I think that they played better than us, they played better football, probably it is my fault because probably I prepared badly this game,” City boss Roberto Mancini told Sky Sports amid media criticism over switching defensive systems.

“I think that it is very difficult [to qualify].”

In Dortmund’s Westfalen Stadium, Jose Mourinho’s Real was largely outclassed as the Germans went top of Group D.

Poland striker Robert Lewandowski fired the hosts into a deserved 36th-minute lead after a poor pass from defender Pepe but Real hit back two minutes later with a cute lob by Cristiano Ronaldo from the edge of the box.

Defender Marcel Schmelzer then put Dortmund back in front with a first-time shot in the 64th minute after a weak punch by Real keeper Iker Casillas, who otherwise kept his team in the game in easily the competition’s toughest group.

“We could not use our chances up front,” Mourinho said. “We could have scored a goal but it was Dortmund who scored.”

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