Bayern beat troubled City
Manchester City's big night in the UEFA Champions League ended in failure both on and off the pitch for manager Roberto Mancini as Bayern Munich maintained their remarkable record over English teams with a 2-0 win over the Blues.
Although City looked capable of becoming only the second team to beat the German giants on their own ground in European combat for first half-hour, two Mario Gomez goals in eight minutes before the break turned the tie on its head.
"We struggled a bit in the first 25 minutes, but we managed to get the first goal at just the right time," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes. "The whole team just poured forward in the second half. Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger put in world-class performances."
Mancini introduced Nigel de Jong for Edin Dzeko ten minutes after the restart in an attempt to stem the flow of Bayern attacks, and what he had done appeared to work. De Jong's presence denied Bayern the room that they had been exploiting so effortlessly. However, the substitution was marred by the refusal of Carlos Tevez to enter the match.
Nigel de Jong had already replaced striker Edin Dzeko in a surprise substitution after which Tevez was told by Mancini he would also be thrown into the fray as City chased a two-goal deficit. However, Mancini said: "Yes, he refused to go on. I don't know, but with me he is finished."
"Yes, I am really disappointed, because he is Carlos. When one player refuses to go on to help his team-mates in a match as important as this, it is very disappointing. We will speak about this with the chairman in the next few days."
This was supposed to be the final frontier for City. Instead, they discovered just how steep the learning curve is to make the transition from Champions League qualifiers to actual contenders.
However, with Silva and Nasri scheming and Dzeko looking a threat, City were the better side for half an hour and it appeared they might emulate Norwich City, who remain the only English team to beat Bayern on their own ground in 16 attempts.
Once Franck Ribery got into his stride, City were in trouble, though. The French winger has destroyed plenty of teams down the years and now it was the turn of Mancini's men to feel the heat.
Ribery sped past Gareth Barry before setting up Thomas Muller, but his effort flew over. Muller then turned provider as City tried to play a woeful offside. Again they escaped as Bastian Schweinsteiger failed to find his range.
The Blues were in trouble, though, and it was no surprise Bayern scored on their next attack. And it was no surprise either that Ribery was the architect, lashing another fierce shot towards goal in which City goalkeeper Joe Hart could not hold.
Somehow, Hart prevented Muller tucking home the rebound, but he could not stop Gomez making it third-time lucky as he finished from close range.
Sergio Aguero was booked for a foul on Schweinsteiger as City tried to steady the ship. But worse was to come in stoppage time when Toni Kroos fizzed over a free-kick that Daniel van Buyten flicked on towards the goal. Hart saved the attemp, but Bayern again had another option as Gomez tucked home his second.
City nearly conceded a third when Muller just failed to turn home Philipp Lahm's near-post cross. Discontent was raging on the sidelines though and Gael Clichy was booked as City's bad night got worse. Kolo Toure was also booked as he gave away a free-kick which would have led to a third Bayern goal if Hart had not superbly turned Gomez's header away.
Arjen Robben replaced Ribery, his work done, in the final minute, before substitute Aleksandar Kolarov rolled the last chance wide for City in stoppage time.