FC Bayern München stunned Manchester City FC with a 3-1 victory that underlined it will take something special to wrest the UEFA Champions League trophy from their grasp.
City entered this Group D fixture unbeaten in 20 home games in Europe yet Bayern dominated from start to finish, taking an early lead through Franck Ribéry before two quickfire strikes around the hour from Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben. Substitute Álvaro Negredo pulled a late goal back and Jérôme Boateng saw red for a foul on Yaya Touré, but for City it was a sobering night.
After winning handsomely at FC Viktoria Plzeň, Manuel Pellegrini's men would have hoped to confirm the impression they are a different proposition in Europe this season. Yet they could not handle an irresistible Bayern side who controlled the play, starving City of the ball and exposing them repeatedly down the flanks.
Robben had already directed an early header over the crossbar when Ribéry struck on seven minutes. The Frenchman picked up possession on the left, stepped inside and arrowed in a low shot that somehow evaded the diving Joe Hart at his near post.
Very soon the question for City was not if they could equalise but whether they could keep the deficit down to one. Robben collected a loose ball and drove it across the face of goal with Müller just unable to connect, before Ribéry set up David Alaba but he failed to get the better of Hart.
City's only threat in the first half was a header from Micah Richards – a surprise starter in place of Pablo Zabaleta – which Manuel Neuer saved beneath his crossbar. The second period brought no respite and by the 56th minute, Josep Guardiola's visitors had their second goal.
Gaël Clichy let Müller break free onto Dante's crossfield pass and the forward rounded Hart and scored. Within three minutes Fernandino lost the ball in midfield and Bayern countered, Robben running at Matija Nastasić before beating Hart with a near-post drive that the keeper could only palm into his net.
Bayern could have had more – Hart saved well from Toni Kroos and Müller smashed an effort against the post – but City's late rally restored a touch of pride. Substitute James Milner forced a fingertip save from Neuer before another replacement, Negredo, scored with a fine shot on the turn. David Silva might have given us a grandstand finish had the crossbar not kept out his free-kick, but Bayern were worthy winners and moved three points clear of their two victims so far, City and PFC CSKA Moskva.
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