Encouraging display from City despite defeat to European Champions
By Adam BaileyThere was spirit, there was creativity and there was a goal from a new signing - but Manuel Pellegrini will have to wait for his second trophy at Manchester City after seeing his side lose 2-1 to Bayern Munich in the Audi Cup Final.
The Blues approached the tie with all the energy of an aging Nissan Micra. The European Champions boasted an impressive 72% possession rate at the end of the first half and City were struggling to piece together any meaningful pieces of play.
Stevan Jovetić and Álvaro Negredo did have chances to put their new club ahead at the break but honestly, a furocious defensive display from Vincent Kompany at the heart of the defence ensured City went into the break on level terms.
|Negredo celebrating after grabbing the opener for City|
Photo: Official MCFC Facebook
Pellegrini’s men began the second half brightly with substitutes Yaya Toure and Jesús Navas entering the fray and making an impact. Samir Nasri even put the ball in Manuel Neuer’s net, but was disheartened to see his goal ruled out for offside. City were pressing and on 61 minutes, after a number of clear cut chances, Negredo finally grabbed his first goal for the club. The Spaniard showed supreme strength and pace to leave his international compatriot Javi Martinez for dead and the Blues found themselves with surprise lead.
The game was plagued by a number of questionable refereeing decisions and five minutes later, the German referee awarded a penalty to Bayern after Pablo Zabaleta accidentally handled the ball in the box. Thomas Müller stepped up and stroked the ball past Costel Pantillimon. 1-1.
Bayern continued to batter City’s back line; Franck Ribery ripping Zabaleta along with Mandžukić mauling Boyata. Guardiola’s men had broken down the wall and on 73 minutes, Mandžukić converted from a sublime Muller cross.
City looked tired and not even goal machine Edin Džeko could make a difference from the bench, despite having a golden chance with just minutes left.
Despite the loss, the fans can certainly take heart from the performance. We created and prevented chances effectively and once the squad has fully gelled, I expect us to see something exciting next season.
Below are highlights from the 2-1 defeat, as well as reaction from Manuel Pellegrini.