Manchester City dropped the ball yet again in the Champions League, inexplicably relinquishing a two-goal advantage to draw 2-2 with CSKA Moscow.
The shared spoils in the Russian capital left Manuel Pellegrini’s men third in Group E with two points and no wins from their opening three games.
Odds 9/10 say the Citizens recover from this disappointment to qualify for the last-16 of the competition, though this short price is largely down to the fact that Bayern Munchen shovelled seven past Roma in the pool’s other game.
Many punters will be put off backing City to progress at odds-on by the Premier League champions’ awful form and track record in this competition, but the exploits of compatriots Newcastle and Liverpool when faced with similar adversity suggest it’s a better offering than it first seems.
Both ultimately advanced from the group-stage after ending matchday three winless, with the Tynesiders’ escape act warranting plentiful plaudits.
With zero points recorded and as many goals scored after their opening triptych of the 2002/03 campaign, Bobby Robson’s Magpies flip-reversed their fortunes with a hat-trick of wins to ensure they were in the hat for the second group-stage.
The Citizens are a far stronger faction than Newcastle, who relied on a defence containing Andy O’Brien, Aaron Hughes, Titus Bramble and Andy Griffin, were then.
It was the latter who scored the winner in their tide-turning triumph over Juventus, in a game where they amazingly managed to keep a clean sheet.
Group-stage two foes Barcelona, Inter and Bayer Leverkusen, however, prevented the unlikely lads from repeating their heroics.
Liverpool’s straits weren’t as dire in the 2007/08 instalment, but they were still worse off than City currently are.
The Reds had just one point after their first three fixtures, but responded in emphatic fashion in matchdays four, five and six.
First Besiktas were walloped 8-0 at Anfield before successive 4-0 routs were recorded at Marseille and at home to Porto.
This goal-difference salvation operation saw them advance to the knockout rounds, where they ventured as far as the semi-finals.