Brilliant Bayern down City with ease
By Rebecca Halliwell
Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City were given a cruel lesson in European football after current Champions League holders Bayern Munich annihilated the Blues in their own back yard.
Goals from Franck Ribéry, Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben gave Munich an initial 3-0 advantage before Álvaro Negredo came off the bench to grab City a consolation goal on 79 minutes.
In truth, City had a good first five minutes. They kept possession despite the pressure and Micah Richards tested Manuel Neuer with a decent header from a corner. But one defensive lapse led to Bayern’s first goal on seven minutes. Joe Hart’s attempted save was poor and Ribéry's strike from outside the box deflected in off his arm.
The next 20 minutes or so left City fans feeling frustrated with the Blues obtaining little possession. Bayern Munich had a few attempts on goal, and City’s best goal scoring opportunity was a shot by Sergio Agüero in the 33rd minute that curled wide.
Jesús Navas was one of many who looked out of sorts in the first half, with three players swarming him and every other City player when they had possession, giving them little time on the ball.
City were frustrated by a lack of possession as Bayern played at a high tempo. This left City chasing shadows for much of the half with every attempt to advance seemingly thwarted by Bayern’s high defensive line catching City offside on numerous occasions.
Munich had another scoring opportunity on 31 minutes with Robben crossing the ball across the goal to Müller, but the German couldn’t convert. There was another chance just a minute later, but David Alaba's shot fell fortunately into the hands of Hart.
Shortly before the end of the first half, Agüero was harshly booked for a challenge while Kroos was handed a yellow card for a cynical challenge on Navas.
The first half ended 1-0 to Bayern Munich with the half time stats showing that Bayern had three times the amount of possession compared to City.
Pellegrini must have had harsh words with his players at half time as the Blues looked more on the ball, forcing Bayern into conceding corners and closing the ball better during the first five minutes, resulting in Richards attempting a bicycle kick that went wide just two minutes into the second half.
|Photo: Official MCFC Facebook|
Pellegrini made his first substitution of the evening with Edin Džeko making way for Negredo after 57 minutes and shortly after, Robben converted to give Bayern a 3-0 lead.
A lapse in concentration by Fernandinho in the centre of midfield provided Bayern with the opportunity to counter attack, as Robben made a fool of Matija Nastasić before firing past Hart. There could be questions raised over Hart's attempt to deny Robben a goal, with many pointing out that a goalkeeper should always protect his near post.
Samir Nasri was shown a yellow card after 70 minutes but was substituted for Milner, whilst David Silva made his 2013 Champions League debut with Agüero taking his seat on the bench.
Silva and Negredo seemed to make an impact on City, and despite Pep Guardiola's men looking increasingly threatening on the counter, City were keeping the ball much better and eventually gained a consolation through Negredo after the Spaniard turned Jérôme Boateng before curling the ball past Neuer.
The Blues continued to press and after Yaya Touré was released onto goal, Boateng made a last ditch challenge to give the referee no choice but to send him off with just three minutes remaining. Silva stepped up to take the free kick which hit the crossbar and just minutes later Negredo found himself heading just wide of the post.
The match finished with Bayern Munich as the victors in a richly deserved win. Below you can see highlights of the defeat:
City Bayern Munich
34% Possession 66%
9 (3) Shots (on target) 21 (8)
6 Corners 4
15 Fouls 13