Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Brilliant Bayern Munich in a different class

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: David Silva of Manchester City hits a free kick during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and FC Bayern Muenchen at Etihad Stadium on October 2, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: David Silva of Manchester City hits a free kick during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and FC Bayern Muenchen at Etihad Stadium on October 2, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Goalkeeper Joe Hart of Manchester City holds his head as he walks off after the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and FC Bayern Muenchen at Etihad Stadium on October 2, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller (left) and Philip Lahm celebrate victory after the final whistle during the UEFA Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Thomas Muller of FC Bayern Muenchen scores the second goal past Joe Hart of Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and FC Bayern Muenchen at Etihad Stadium on October 2, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng (on floor) is shown the red card by referee Bjorn Kuipers during the UEFA Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.
Manchester City's Micah Richards (centre) attempts a overhead kick at goal during the UEFA Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Joe Hart of Manchester City shows his disappointment during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and FC Bayern Munchen at Etihad Stadium on October 2, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Arjen Robben of FC Bayern Munchen scores the third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and Bayern Munchen at Etihad Stadium on October 2, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Franck Ribery (R) of Muenchen celebrates scoring the opening goal with David Alaba of Muenchen during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and FC Bayern Muenchen at Etihad Stadium on October 2, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (right) is shown a yellow card by referee Bjorn Kuipers (left) for a foul on Marcio Rafinha (out of picture) during the UEFA Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini (right) stands as Bayern Munich manager Josep Guardiola (left) gestures on the touchline during the UEFA Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Edin Dzeko of Manchester City is challenged by Dante of Muenchen during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and FC Bayern Muenchen at Etihad Stadium on October 2, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Thomas Muller of FC Bayern Munchen celebrates scoring the second goal with Bastian Schweinsteiger during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and FC Bayern Munchen at Etihad Stadium on October 2, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Arjen Robben of Muenchen scores his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and FC Bayern Muenchen at Etihad Stadium on October 2, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Thomas Muller of FC Bayern Munchen scores the second goal past Joe Hart of Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and FC Bayern Munchen at Etihad Stadium on October 2, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Thomas Muller of FC Bayern Munchen celebrates scoring the second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and FC Bayern Munchen at Etihad Stadium on October 2, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Goalkeeper Joe Hart of Manchester City shouts instructions during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Manchester City and FC Bayern Muenchen at Etihad Stadium on October 2, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Remember what Manchester City did to Manchester United in the Premier League earlier in the season when the Blues outclassed the Reds in the demolition derby?

Well, triple it and you'll come close to the beating the brilliant, breathtaking Bayern Munich dished out to Manuel Pellegrini's side in the Champions League at the Etihad Stadium.

United may have been hammered 4-1 in the domestic clash, but in European competition last night it was 3-1 to Munich going on 13.

Make no mistake the scoreline flattered the home side, who had a late flurry in a contest that was as one sided as it gets.

Seriously, if City v United was men against boys, this was Supermen v Tiny Tots still learning to walk in this tough football school, where only the best survive.

Yaya Toure, that man mountain of a midfielder, was overpowered with ease, Sergio Aguero that gifted goalscoring striker looked as threatening as a stuffed panda toy and Vincent Kompany, widely regarded as the best defender in English football, wandered around like a lost soul searching in vain for some comfort.

As for the rest of City's players, they played as if they knew they didn't deserve to be on the same pitch as the aristocrats from the Bundesliga.

Only second half substitutes Alvaro Negredo and David Silva, who entered the fray with the battle well and truly over, appeared comfortable in this company with the latter passing to the former for a smartly taken goal with 10 minutes left.

Silva hit the crossbar with an excellent free-kick a few moments later after Bayern's outstanding centre-back Jerome Boateng was red carded for hauling down Toure, but it had that all too little, too late feel about it with Munich already thinking about their flight home.

Bayern's football en route to winning the Champions League last season was magnificent. They also won the league and cup in Germany in an exhilirating final campaign for manager Jupp Heynckes.

On this showing Pep Guardiola, back in management following his sabbatical, is inspiring them to become even better.

They were awesome from front to back. Comparing them to Guardiola's former side Barcelona, who narrowly overcame Celtic on Tuesday night, both enjoyed vast amounts of possession in their respective matches, but it was Bayern who had by far the sharper cutting edge.

Always supremely confident and full of swagger, the success of last season and the arrival of Pep has given the likes of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Thomas Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos and Philipp Lahm greater self belief.

And you though that wasn't possible.

They feel they can't lose and were a joy to watch as they ripped City to shreds, although Joe Hart must accept the blame for his pitiful efforts to stop shots in either half from Ribery and Robben that hit the net.

In between Muller, such a quality player, made the City defence look shambolic as the visitors threatened to run riot took before they took their foot off the Porsche accelerator.

Some telling statistics: In the first half Bayern had 75% of the ball. They played 690 passes to 332 for the home team and Munich had 20 attempts on goal, twice as much as the opposition, and 13 of them were on target.

City, for all their new found money, have yet to take one notable scalp in Champions League football.

Perhaps this was the harshest lesson of all.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre