Manchester City FC got the win they had to deliver but it was not enough to save their inaugural UEFA Champions League campaign.
Although David Silva and Yaya Touré scored to earn the Premier League leaders a 2-0 success against Group A winners FC Bayern München, the celebratory mood turned flat when news filtered through in the second half that SSC Napoli, who started the night a point above City, had the goal they needed at Villarreal CF, which soon became two. So City were forced to settle for a place in the UEFA Europa League last 32 on a night when the UEFA Champions League lost both its Manchester clubs.
City went into the game knowing their fate was only partly in their own hands but the sight of an under-strength Bayern team was an immediate boost. With Bayern already assured top spot, coach Jupp Heynckes made seven changes from their weekend victory against SV Werder Bremen, with flu victims Mario Gomez and Thomas Müller among those dropping to the bench.
Roberto Mancini's side are scoring for fun in the Premier League but they threatened little in a nervy first half-hour. Sergio Agüero put a header over the bar from Samir Nasri's cross in the sixth minute while at the other end, Ivica Olić gave City a scare when he broke on to a headed flick by Nils Pietersen but the Croatian's near-post drive was pushed behind by Joe Hart.
The subdued home crowd burst into life when Silva put City in front with a spectacular strike after 37 minutes. Edin Džeko touched on Stefan Savić's infield pass and Silva still had plenty to do but, cutting across the edge of the box, he took one touch before lashing a fierce shot into the bottom left-hand corner.
Silva's strike means City have scored against all 19 teams they have faced this season and they could have had a second before half-time. Agüero rounded Butt but was denied by Boateng's sliding clearance, then the 37-year-old keeper parried a Silva drive, with Gareth Barry unable to keep his follow-up down.
No fear, the hosts had their second soon after the restart. A sweet flurry of passes meant Džeko's final pass left Touré free to roll the ball past Butt. Barry and Agüero kept Butt's hands warm but events in Spain ensured only the Bayern fans up in the East Stand were singing with any real relish.