Created on 07-12-2011 at 00:00 AM
An untried Bayern side packed with squad players did credit to the club for long spells in Wednesday’s final Champions League Group A fixture away to Manchester City, although two inspired moments from the star-studded home side sealed an ultimately deserved win for the Premier League leaders. It was a Pyrrhic victory for the Blues though, as Napoli beat Villarreal in the parallel fixture to claim the runners-up spot in the group behind Bayern.
The 46,002 crowd at Etihad Stadium, including a boisterous 2,600 travelling contingent, saw the disciplined visitors adapt well to the unfamiliar role of ceding possession to their opponents for the most part and turn in a hard-working and well-organised first-half-display, blemished only by David Silva’s excellent finish after 37 minutes.
Yaya Touré doubled the lead seven minutes into the second half from a slick passing move, but attention at the ground now wandered to events in Spain and the game in Manchester became a low-key affair for a long period, before meandering to a close with City matching the score achieved by FCB in the meeting in Munich.
The men from Munich were already confirmed as group winners prior to kick-off, and duly finish on 13 points from their six matches, two ahead of Napoli and three clear of third-placed City, with Villarreal stranded on no points at the foot of the table. Bayern and now go into the draw for the last sixteen, and into the Europa League, with the Bavarians returning to the bread and butter of the Bundesliga away to VfB Stuttgart next Sunday.