German Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich beat Manchester City 2-0 at the Allianz Arena in the first of their two Champions League clashes this season.
It was Bayern Munich who came out on top in this evening’s Champions League battle between the two highest spending sides from England and Germany over the summer.
Manchester City had two legitimate penalty claims in the first half. How last season’s referee for the final, Hungarian Viktor Kassai did not give Manchester City a penalty for Jerome Boateng’s blatant slide tackle foul on David Silva is beyond me.
For the second, Micah Richards was impeded by Boateng, but perhaps the dramatic way the England full back threw himself to the ground dissuaded Mr Kassai. Jerome Boateng a lucky man.
After half hour neither team had taken control of the game or really tested either goalkeeper. Bayern Munich had conceded possession inside their own half a few too many times but not been punished.
The breakthrough came for the home side in the 39th minute. Franck Ribery, who was the best player on the pitch at this stage and for the remainder of the game cut inside Micah Richards and Joe Hart could only parry his shot from 20 yards. The England goalkeeper’s failure to palm the ball adjacent to goal saw Thomas Müller on hand for a tap in. However, Hart redeemed himself with an excellent reflex save. Redemption for less than a second as Mario Gomez put the ball in and it was 3rd time lucky for the German side.
Gomez, Bayern’s own €30 million+ signing scored the goals that made the difference in this game. As the game went into first half stoppage time, a Toni Kroos free kick from the left wing was flicked-on by Daniel van Buyten, well-saved by Joe Hart at his near post, only for Gomez to tuck home the rebound.
Hart showed his frustrations with the City defence. First, Barry beaten by the form City defender for the flick-on and then no one staying with Gomez to deny him his close-range finish.
The second half was an embarrassment all around from Manchester City. They lacked any passion, commitment or will to get back in the game. Bayern Munich were able to stroll around with the ball in little fear that Manchester City would get back into the game.
Mario Gomez missed a chance to complete his hat trick on the hour when Philipp Lahm was given space and time down the left wing to get his cross into the six yard box to the unmarked striker. Fortunately for City, the ball was too high, and Gomez’s attempt to jump and volley the ball went harmlessly wide.
Minutes before that, Roberto Mancini’s attempt to get City back in the game saw him substitute striker Edin Dzeko for holding midfielder Nigel de Jong. The former Wolfsburg hitman showed his frustrations on the sideline, as did unused substitute Carlos Tevez.
Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger were a level above the likes of Gareth Barry, David Silva and Sergio Aguero this evening. Bayern Munich even managed to keep their tenth consecutive clean sheet without first choice centre back Holger Badstuber.
Bayern Munich fans could also be heard chanting the England anthem “football’s coming home”.
Despite picking up 1 point from their opening 2 games, Manchester City are still very much in control of their own destiny. The third fixtures of this group see the top two go head-to-head, meaning Mancini’s side can get right back in contention with a victory over Villarreal.