Friday, 4 October 2013

Manchester City 1 - 3 Bayern Munich: Thoughts and Ratings

By Aaron Leggott

My thoughts

I'll start this off by saying that I wasn't too surprised with the result on Wednesday. A lot of City fans went into the game thinking we could at least match the quality of Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich - but the match proved their superiority - not only over City, but the rest of Europe as well.

The front six of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben, Toni Kroos, Franck Ribéry and Thomas Müller was used to devastating effect, with Micah Richards describing the game as playing against an extra man. 

Photo: Official MCFC Facebook
Their movement was intoxicating at times, and it will take something special for anyone to stop them in Europe this season. 

One point I will touch on though is a point discussed probably too much over the past few days, and that is a certain Joe Hart. As a goalkeeper, you can either become a hero or a villain within an instant. Unfortunately for Hart, his performance merited him with the latter tag after being at fault for two of Bayern's goals.

The worrying thing was that Hart easily has the ability to deny the shots executed by Ribéry and Robben for the first and third goals respectively, but he just doesn't seem to be at the races recently. These errors are added to a growing list and at 26, this is a crucial year for the England Number One - not only with the World Cup looming next summer, but also his future at Manchester City.

Does he deserve to be axed? Currently, no. But Manuel Pellegrini will be becoming increasingly alarmed at his dipping form and will have a big decision to make if this continues by the end of the season. 

Regarding Pellegrini, I am still rather concerned at the start he has made as manager. Taking away his victory against Manchester United, and it has been an average start to the season at best. This attacking football that we were promised isn't on full show yet, and it was worrying to see that he got his tactics so wrong on Wednesday night.

I don't claim to be an expert in football management, but the game was crying out for changes at half time against Bayern. At the game, I was one of many who believed that the only way we'd get something out of the game was to put five in the middle and take one of Edin Džeko or Sergio Agüero. It was therefore a surprise to everyone when Pellegrini decided to change nothing, and we ended up conceding two goals and effectively losing any chance of a positive result. 

It is no surprise that as soon as we did go to five in the middle, we started to look more threatening, as well as more secure in the middle. Of course, Bayern were probably content with the scoreline and weren't in first gear, but I am of the firm opinion that if we had played with one striker from the start - Bayern wouldn't have scored three.

Player ratings

HART: A very poor performance and people are rightly questioning his place as number one for both England and City. Should have done better to prevent Ribéry and Robben from scoring. 

TSBV rating: 4/10

RICHARDS: He was a surprise inclusion considering the opposition and his lack of match fitness, and struggled for that reason. It was never going to be easy against Ribéry and Alaba, though.  

TSBV rating: 6/10

KOMPANY: Even our talisman looked all over the place at the back. Just couldn't seem to handle the movement of Müller at all. 

TSBV rating: 5/10

NASTASIC: Not the best start to the season for him and it wouldn't surprise me to see him replaced by Joleon Lescott for the Everton game. Was exposed for his lack of pace for the third goal by Robben which was quite worrying. 

TSBV rating: 5/10

CLICHY: Like Richards, it was always going to be a difficult evening after just recovering from his injury. Had a nightmare up against Robben, who had one of his best games in his career. 

TSBV rating: 4/10

YAYA TOURE: He was one of the "spine" that needed to turn up if City were to get a good result, but he looked lost from the start. Was worrying to see him being outmuscled by the likes of Schweinsteiger and Lahm. 

TSBV rating: 4/10

FERNANDINHO: Awful showing and still has a long way to go to convince a lot of Blues that he's the real deal. Gave the ball away which led to the third goal, and just couldn't deal with wave after wave of Bayern attacks. 

TSBV rating: 4/10

NAVAS: A frustrating performance but rarely got any support from Richards at full back. He'll have better games, but was up against the world's best left back in David Alaba. 

TSBV rating: 6/10

NASRI: I felt Nasri was one of the better performers of the evening - although that is not saying much. He tried getting stuck in but was outclassed in the end by Bayern's brilliant holding midfielders and their solid defence. 

TSBV rating: 6/10

AGUERO: This wasn't the sort of game for Agüero to start in. Poor performance but he was rarely supported by the midfield and just couldn't work any space to get clear of Dante or Jérôme Boateng. 

TSBV rating: 4/10

DZEKO: In truth, this was the type of game where we needed Álvaro Negredo starting as the lone man. I rate Dzeko highly, but felt like Agüero, this was the wrong game for him. Needed to be the perfect target man but just can't seem to perfect that role. 

TSBV rating: 5/10


NEGREDO: The bright spark in a very lacklustre performance. Proved why he needs to start every game and took his goal brilliantly. Also unlucky not to grab a second in injury time. 

TSBV rating: 7/10

MILNER: Pellegrini should have started him in the middle with Toure and Fernandinho as he came on with a new found energy. 

TSBV rating: 6/10

SILVA: Great to see him back from his injury. Bayern seemed afraid to go anywhere near him when he came on and he's hopefully ready to get back to his best. 

TSBV rating: 6/10

Note: All pictures above from MCFC Official Facebook page

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

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