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The Ped Report - City 2-0 FC Bayern Munchen

As expected, City went with a "best available" line-up for their final Group Stage match against one of the world`s leading Clubs, Bayern Munich, last night at the Etihad Arena. The Bayern line-up raised a few Bavarian eyebrows on East Level 3, but a team that includes Ivica Olic can hardly be seen as a weak one.
When you take into account the ability of a team to play the "Bayern Way" no matter which eleven men populate their shirts, the stage was set for an enthralling encounter in front of another capacity crowd.
It was disappointing that a section of City fans saw fit to "boo" Jerome Boateng, who , although a short term servant for City, has no reason to deserve it. But it was onwards and upwards for the team with City setting off in total control, bossing possession for more or less the entire match.
Bayern`s ambitions looked a little limited as the collected men behind the ball seeking to escape on the break in a fashion that has cost City their involvement in the Champions League. And indeed, as you would expect, chances fell their way with Olic bringing an excellent save from Hart and Alaba contriving to miscue twice in the same move. Aguero also had a golden chance, slightly off cue.
Ahead of that David Silva`s free kick was nudged in by Lescott, but the celebration was cut short as he was deemed to have impeded a rather shaky looking goaltender in Butt. At this City were totally in control of the ball, although Olic was the outlet in Ribery`s role and did look dangerous.
When you bear in mind that his last two visits to Manchester and just outside, not only did he set up Hamburg`s survival in the old UEFA Cup, but he single handedly put Stretford to the Excalibur eliminating them from the Champions League two seasons ago, it was a great credit to Stefan Savic, maligned for his efforts recently against QPR, that he hardly gave him a sniff, even though he was out of position at right back. This is how you do it Mr Boateng.
Olic was however presented with a yellow card for seeking retribution, as indeed on fifteen minutes was Gustavo, a hero of the match at the Allianz Arena, for cutting down Silva.
The magician was in orchestral mood last night as he pulled all the right strings, creating fear every time he went near the ball. His free kick from the Gustavo foul generated similar panic as Bayern were happy to concede a throw-in. Savic`s throw to Barry and an exquisite pass flicked on by Dzeko to Silva who first touch set him up to drive the ball past Butt into the corner of the net after 36 minutes.
City continued to control the game and Aguero was unfortunate to see a well-worked effort beat Butt but find Boateng hovering on the line to keep it out.
If the first half was game and set to City, with six minutes of the restart it was also match. Yaya started the move into Aguero on to Dzeko and finally back to Yaya whose runaround left him clear in the box for him to finish in typical fashion.
Although after that City ceded the ball a little more, they were very much in control for all of the match. Bayern didn`t appear to be the threat we and they expected, but their fans kept going for the remainder of the match.
For once there were no scares at Joe Hart`s end of the pitch and excellent midfield work from all of Barry, Nasri, Yaya and of course Silva kept the pressure on Bayern and kept them contained more or less wherever City wanted them. Olic, a favourite of mine, as always tried his best but in the absence of much first team football since his injury nightmare faded as the game progressed and with Gomez on the bench with Ribery and Robben still at home the major threat was not present and for once Joe Hart went home with a creditable clean sheet against an albeit less than full strength Bayern.
It was impossible to see weaknesses in City last night. Hart was unemployed for most of the night. Kompany, Lescott and Clichy were commanding and Savic looked excellent at this lever even playing out of position at right back.
In midfield we kept the ball, pushed and probed and were not prepared to be muscled out of it by the Bavarians. Up top Dzeko put in a better effort than he did at the Allianz and Aguero was mobile, quick and dangerous.
Bayern simply looked like a team who had already qualified and were keen to not sustain injury and get out of Manchester unscathed. They were however very much scathed by an excellent City performance and a team who went about their business professionally even as the news filtered through from Spain that Napoli were 2-0 to the good. Contento at right back looked very incontento finding himself up against the magician for most of the night and any of his attacking intent cut out by Savic.
Man of the match was a difficult call as any one of the midfielders could have got the call. Some pundits gave us Nasri, who had one of his best matches for City and seems to have at last stepped on the gas. He moved fluidly along the line working well in tandem with Aguero who tirelessly worked the channels giving options all the time. It was a hard call between Nasri and Silva but Samir probably just edged it despite Silva`s tremendous goal.
Cynics might point to the understrength visitors going through the motions, but make no mistake, this was top quality performance from City and there is no doubt that the Champions League will be a poorer competition with their exit. But City will be back in this competition and a much stronger outfit for it, next season.
Bayern`s fans were fantastic visitors. They have great humour and tremendous passion for their team. We even heard them singing "Hark now here City sing, United ran away" in English. I`m not convinced that the Level Three scenario worked as it did not generate the atmosphere we had hoped for, I think it would have been better with the visitors in their usual place in the South Stand.
Next up is Chelsea and on this showing I think City is capable of getting a win at Stamford Bridge to keep them five point ahead at the top. United also surrendered their Champions League passport last night, losing in Basel. In their terms that amounts to humiliation, especially as they have ridiculed the idea of City playing in the Europa League. Now it`s their turn and it is a distraction they won`t enjoy with their dearth of quality playing staff. Still half a dozen one-nil wins and who knows, they might win it…. Assuming of course they don`t draw City!!




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The journalist

Writer: Tranmere Loyal Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 8 2011

Time: 9:50AM

Your Comments

Excellent stuff as always Ped. We can be proud of our debut season in the CL, just a bit of naivety cost us against the Neapolitans, but as you allude to we will come back next season the stronger for it. Ten points is a decent haul in what many dubbed the 'Group of Death' and I suppose we can take some consolation that Stretford bowed out last night too from the 'Group of Life'. Now let's win the Europa League. Forza Mancini! Forza City!
Bluedub
we can't all get to the Knockout stages in our fist season can we?
RealDanger
What's this we business pale face?
Bluedub
you what?
RealDanger
Exactly!
Bluedub
arrrrrr tell nasri that he should of stayed at arsenal if he wanted champions league football rotfl.......
muffdaddy1983
Nasri wants to win trophies Muffdaddy, that's why he left Arsenal.
Bluedub
channel 5 or itv4
mick66owl
What would you recommend Mick?
Bluedub
Nasri still has a better chance of winning a European trophy this season than he would have if he stayed at Arsenal, that's for sure.
StuMCFC
what a wonderfull wonderfull night, the city of manchester flushed down the lavatory of reallity
cornish gooner
Good lord the goons are terribly relieved they won't be meating us in the later rounds of the Champions League aren't they?
fifthcolumnblue
I've just checked my Garmin and Manchester does not exist in Europe anymore!!!!
Mix26
Last time I looked the Europa league (clue's in the name mate) was a European competition. Oh, and Cornish - a giant turd like Arsenal wouldn't fit down a standard toilet.
fifthcolumnblue
The lavatory of reality? They're getting better. Most City fans were aware that we had a very difficult group and were under no illusions that qualification was a foregone conclusion. Although it's disappointing not to qualify for the knockout stages we can take solace from the fact that we are in a very strong position to qualify for this tournament again next season, when we'll be wiser for what was experienced this time around. In the meantime we will compete for another European trophy, for which we've been installed as favourites. The reality is the majority of us are still smiling as we're excited for what the future holds for this brilliant team Mancini has built.
Bluedub
Mix, must try harder mate.
Bluedub
these ArseFans reaaly are over joyed, WHAT WITH A MANAGER THAT HAS NOT WON A CUP, for over 6 years, and considers 4th spot in the table a successful year.... oh well life goes on, and Arse to fight for 4th spot again, and not the title.... year after year, and the Emirates Mortgage kepps on getting paid, and the season tickets keep rising... oh happy days being an Arsenal fan......
cityman51
Arsenal fans were calling for Wenger's head this season, you only need to look at Arsenal Mania's archives where they had a poll and the majority said it was time for Wenger to go. That is a difference, we do not have that spitefulness in our fanbase, we accept success and failure as it comes, our Champions League exit has been met with the mildest of disappointment to say the least as we have a sense of perspective and also a strong character as a fanbase because of the roads we've traveled to get where we are.
StuMCFC
I doubt you'd find any other set of fans of a top club who, in the knowledge they're going out of the CL, would sing (paraphrased, it was coming from the South Stand), "See you on Thursday nights Fergie!". That is why hurling insults about our deemed failures at us is all a bit in vain and is met more with a roll of the eyes than the sort of bitterness you see from some of the people in this very comment area.
StuMCFC
There's a difference between 'building' and 'buying' success. The only thing your current top spot and recent success proves is that your owner has the most money and propensity to spend it. Means diddly feckin squat.
Gooner_Vin
Even when you buy you still have to build a team, build a winning mentality, build team spirit. I can assure you Vin that winning the FA Cup last year meant an awful lot to me and any future success will also.
Bluedub
What gooner vin and the rest of his bitter cohorts don't realise is that we don't care diddly-squat for the increasinly frantic and bitter rantings of their fans, players or manager. All of your disdain for City is based on the fact that your methods are clearly not working, and ours are. We are a huge threat to your perceived right to dominate English football and every time you criticise us or trot out your boring old cliches about "buying success" or your borderline racist references to arabs and oil money only confirms how scared you actually are. I too loved the FA cup, and will love whatever future success comes our way - your jibes are as irrelevant as your manager.
fifthcolumnblue
Gooner_Vin, you can continue your crusade to try and convince us our fandom and success is hollow but I'm afraid it isn't going to work - in our eyes we deserve every little bit of the success that is coming, we've earnt it as fans by suffering some of the worst times a football fan can have. And for the financial side, we're simply doing what others have done a hundred times over, albeit on a higher level, but this monster of money crazed football was caused more by you than us, when David Dein was the major player behind forcing the start of the Premier League and ending the days of football being a working class game. Is such history conveniently swept aside in North London?
StuMCFC
Gooner_Vin clearly does not know his own teams history of "building" teams, does he? Let's take a look at that "Invincibles" squad, shall we? Lehman (bought for £2m) Lauren (£7.2m) Campbell (left Spurs for more money) Toure (£150k) Cole (Academy) Ljunberg (£3m) Vieira (£3.5m) Gilberto (£4.5m) Pires (£6m) Bergkamp (£7.5m) Henry (£11m) So, one player "built" on that squad. Shall we call you the pot or the kettle?
PhillyBlueMoon
and your point is pbm
cornish gooner
The point is how can anyone from Arsenal claim that Wenger "built" squads and we "bought" squads when he did the exact same thing Mancini did in bringing in talent? The Arsenal Academy has been populated with kids from France and Africa who Wenger stole from their clubs. That's not "building" a squad, it's poaching one.
PhillyBlueMoon
Oh, but that nicer Frannny fabregas is an Islington boy, born and bred Philly. Just like Ryuichi Inamoto is from Crouch End, and that nice Terry Henry and Den Bergkamp were from Hackney marshes.
fifthcolumnblue
It's a shame that the Arsenal fans don't know what an Englishman is since they've had so few play for their team over the past 15 years.
PhillyBlueMoon
Philly - hardly astronomical fees were they? Didn't go around offering players 200k a week and distorting the market ridiculously. Did it within our means, not being 194m in debt. Built a stadium through a loan that we pay back ourself, by the money generated by the club. Thanks for illustrating my point perfectly.
Gooner_Vin
 

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