Bayern Munich scored in the 90th minute to break Manchester City’s hearts at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, winning 1-0 in the opening game of UEFA Champions League Group E.
Former Man City defender Jerome Boateng bagged the winner, as his volley from the edge of the box deflected off Mario Gotze’s back and flew into the top corner.
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City’s ‘keeper Joe Hart kept them in the game with three fine stops in the first half, while the closest City came to a goal was late on as Sergio Aguero prodded just wide of the post.
Bayern dominated most of the play but striker Thomas Muller had an off-day in front of goal. Eventually Bayern broke through in the last minute of normal time to hand the Citizens a huge blow.
Bayern should have been 1-0 up inside the first minute as Mario Gotze ran at City’s defense, then Robert Lewandowski found Muller with a clever flick but after rounding Hart the German international clipped his shot into the side-netting as an open goal beckoned. Muller and Bayern claimed he was tripped and wanted a penalty kick but the referee waved way the protests as City were let off the hook early on.
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The reigning Premier League champions settled down after that shaky start and Edin Dzeko forced Manuel Neuer into making a smart save at his near post inside the first 15 minutes. Manuel Pellegrini, watching on from the stands due to his ban for an outburst during City’s defeat to FC Barcelona in the UCL last season, will have been pleased with the way his team started as they controlled the tempo.
In the 19th minute Hart pulled off a terrific save as Bernat whipped in a cross from the left which Muller headed towards goal but the England No. 1 tipped the ball over in acrobatic fashion. Moments later Hart was again called into action as Muller’s cross from the right was deflected goalwards but City’s ‘keeper palmed the ball away.
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Dzeko then came close to giving City the lead as David Silva found him at the back post, as the big Bosnian shifted the ball onto his left foot but curled his effort just wide of the far post. Just after the half mark David Alaba stuck a fierce shot from the edge of the box which Hart beat away and City cleared as Bayern cranked up the pressure but failed to break through before half time.
After the break City took the sting out of Bayern’s attack but Bernat’s cross was tipped over the crossbar by Hart as the home side continued to push hard. In the 60th minute Bayern’s fans and players appealed for a handball against Fernandinho after a corner from the right bounced off his legs onto his arm.
Sergio Aguero came off the bench to replace Dzeko, then Arjen Robben was introduced by Guardiola in the closing stages. Both teams had penalty shouts in the final 10 minutes as Robben went down under pressure from Fernandinho and then Silva was taken out by Benatia at the other end. Spanish referee Alberto Mallenco waved away both appeals. Then came the game-winning moment in Munich as City failed to clear the ball from a corner and it dropped to defender Boateng who hammered a volley towards goal which took a deflection off Gotze and went in.
Heartbreak for City, delight for Bayern.
Bayern Munich: Neuer, Alonso, Benatia (Dante, 85′), Lewandowski, Rafinha (Pizarro, 84′), Boateng, Bernat, Gotze, Lahm, Muller (Robben, 76′), Alaba
Goal: Boateng (90′)
Manchester City: Hart, Sagna, Demichelis, Kompany, Clichy, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Navas (Kolarov, 88′), Silva, Nasri (Milner, 58′), Dzeko (Aguero, 74′)