Manchester City came within a few minutes of claiming a goalless draw at Bayern Munich on match day one of the Champions League.
However, a deflected goal from the unlikely source of former-City defender Jerome Boateng in the 89th minute was enough to consign the Citizens to defeat.
The defeat was tough on City, who had defended manfully, but it would have been hard to claim that they deserved the point considering the amount of efforts and possession the home side had during the 90 minutes.
The fact that they were so close to claiming a very good point at the Allianz Arena must have hurt Manuel Pellegrini’s players.
Bayern Munich may have claimed maximum points, but they did not play at their best. For some reason the Bavarian giants seem to slightly lack a spark in their attacking play, which is strange to say because of the amount of efforts they had on goal.
No doubt the German side missed French winger Franck Ribery and Dutch winger Arjen Robben until he made a cameo appearance off the bench. Bayern boss Pep Guardiola will know that his team will have to improve their performance if they are to have a major effect on the competition this season.
The other major contenders are unlikely to be scared of Bayern on this performance though. Their performances will no doubt improve as the season progresses and the players get into form. They should be a major threat in this competition this season.
A bit like Bayern, City was not at their best going forward. The Citizens play their best football when attacking opposition teams.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini knew his side could not play their usually attacking style against the Bavarians, as he has learnt from past experience of games against the Germans.
The Premier League champions started the game with Edin Dzeko as the lone striker with Spanish playmaker David Silva playing behind the Bosnian international. That meant Sergio Aguero starting the game on the bench.
The Argentinian is City’s most dangerous striker and his explosive pace was missed against Bayern. Aguero has proven in big games he can deliver, but Pellegrini knew that Dzeko’s attributes would be more suitable for the lone striker role in this clash.
The ploy nearly paid-off for Pellegrini and it would have been considered a good tactical move had his team held on for a point.
This was arguably City’s toughest game of the group and it was not a terrible performance. Not many teams in Europe would go to the Allianz Arena and come so close to picking-up a result. The Citizens have easier games to come against familiar foes CSKA Moscow and Italian side Roma.
The Italian side trounced CSKA 5-1 in their opening Champions League clash at the Stadio Olimpico, so could prove a threat on home soil. That result also underlined the fact that the Russian side are by far the weakest of the four teams in the group.
City’s next European assignment is against Roma at home, which could be a tough fixture. However if City are to be genuine contenders for the trophy then it is the sort of game that they simply have to win.
The fixture is far easier than the trip to Munich though and City will be expected to take maximum points against the Giallorossi.
Manchester City will still be confident of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition. The trip to Munich was always going to be a difficult one. Defeat against Bayern is not the end of the world for City, as they will produce better performances in future Champions League games.
However whether they can produce good enough performances in this seasons competition to progress to the latter stages remains to be seen.
Will Manchester City still qualify for the knockout stages?
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!