Milner frustrated by City stalemate

Roma's Francesco Totti scores his side's goal
Roma's Francesco Totti scores his side's goal
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James Milner felt Manchester City were simply too sluggish to put Roma away at Eastlands last night.

The English champions took a fourth-minute lead against the Serie A giants after Maicon’s foul led to a Sergio Aguero penalty, but Roma hit back to level in the 23rd minute thanks to veteran Francesco Totti.

The 38-year-old’s fine goal was enough to ensure a 1-1 draw in Champions League Group E and City midfielder Milner admitted he was frustrated by some of the slow play he witnessed across 90 minutes in Manchester.

“Maybe we could have won it but I don’t think we played at our best,” he said.

“We didn’t really have that much tempo in the game but I thought we created a few chances and probably could have nicked it.

“We never got up to our speed. That’s one of our strengths, when we get the ball moving quickly, teams find it difficult to deal with.

“Well-organised teams come here and we know we have to move the ball quickly to get past them, and obviously they’re an organised team so we didn’t do enough to win the game.”

Roma left-back Ashley Cole hailed his team’s determination to recover from the early setback and level the match through Totti, who became the oldest ever player to score in the competition.

The former Chelsea defender said: “I think it was a good performance from the boys after going one-nil down so early in the game and we showed a lot of character, determination and belief in the team.

“Maybe we should have won but the boys can be proud of themselves for going up against the champions, a great team.”

But with four games remaining, the recently-retired England international believes it is too early to consider Roma one of the favourites to progress from a group which also features Bayern Munich and CSKA Moscow.

“It’s still early, but we came here to win,” he added. “We’re probably a bit disappointed we didn’t win but it’s a good point for us.”

Elsewhere, Chelsea top Group G after Nemanja Matic’s first-half header was enough for the Blues to topple Sporting Lisbon. But the Stamford Bridge outfit spurned a number of chances throughout the game, notably through Oscar and Diego Costa.