A late Jerome Boateng goal was enough for Bayern Munich on Wednesday night as they saw off Manchester City in their opening Champions League group game.
The former City defender’s strike took a deflection off Mario Gotze as it flew past Joe Hart to break City hearts.
Hart, who had kept the Manchester side in the game with a string of fine saves to deny Thomas Muller, Gotze and Boateng, among others, was helpless as Bayern ensured all three points stayed in Munich.
Munich always looked the more threatening
The home side were well worthy of their three points as they controlled the majority of play at the Allianz Arena.
The Premier League champions were given an early warning, as Muller rounded Hart but could only find the side netting with his effort.
The German forward, who shone at the World Cup, came even closer after 19 minutes as his header from a Juan Bernat cross looked destined to find the net, only for the England number one to palm it over.
The 27-year-old continued to be busy, getting down well to deny Gotze and David Alaba from distance before half-time.
Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, who arrived from Borussia Dortmund, almost put the Bundesliga Champions in front. However, having rounded Hart, he could only find the side netting, much like Muller before him.
The defensive pairing of Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelles were more composed in the second half and it looked as though City would return to the Etihad with a hard-earned point.
However, with time running out, the blue side of Manchester were unable to clear a corner and were punished by Boateng in the most emphatic style, with his effort from the edge of the box finding the top corner.
City are under pressure from their owner Sheikh Mansour to claim a first European crown, however tonight served as a reminder of the difficult of achieving success in this competition.
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City had their chances
Manuel Pellegrini, who was sitting in the stands serving a two-game touchline ban, will take some positives from last night's performance however.
The pace of Jesus Navas down the right-wing was a constant outlet as City looked capable of snatching a goal on the break.
Edin Dzeko, preferred up top to Sergio Aguero, came close with a curling effort just before half-time but it went narrowly wide, much to the relief of a scrambling Manuel Neuer.
David Silva had shouts for a penalty turned down in the 84th minute with the score still level as he looked to brought down by Mehdi Benatia.
Having come on in the 74th minute, Sergio Aguero could have nicked a point for the visitors in the dying minutes as he beat Dante to the ball, but his prodded effort went wide of the post.
They should still qualify
In a group that consists of Roma and CSKA Moscow, City should still be able to work their way into the last 16.
The away trip to Russia in the next round of fixtures has now become even more important as City look to make up the ground on Roma, who beat the Russian side 5-1 last night.
With Bayern, the 2013 Champions, looking likely to take first place, it is down to the other three sides to fight it out for second.
With the wealth of international talent the Etihad outfit have at their disposal, they should be able to make it through.
However, midweek trips away to Moscow and Rome are not the easiest of fixtures.
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