City Blogger: This Is How It Feels To Be City
- 13 December 2013 16:07
- Posted by @Danny11M
The clock had not yet turned 90 when Thomas Muller kept the ball by the corner flag, attempting to wind down the minutes and ensure his side were defeated 2-3 at home.
Even if a table-topping fourth goal proved just to be out of reach for the Blues, the manner and performance of victory should not be overlooked; it was the first time that Bayern had lost at home after taking a 2-0 lead since Kickers Offenbach staged a comeback in January 1975.
Although was originally sung with tongues firmly in cheek as the scores drew level, by the end of the night it didn’t seem quite so outlandish a notion: “Football’s coming home.”
The day began with a trip on the U-Bahn to the Städtisches Stadion an der Grünwalder Straße for the U19s Champions League game, where the Blues could seal qualification to the knockout round with just a point against the Bayern youngsters. A couple of hundred City fans scattered across the stadium and took the opportunity to enjoy the terracing behind the goals with ample gluwein and beer from the concession stand.
A tense 0-0 saw Patrick Vieira’s men through, in a game lit up mainly by both goalkeepers in sparkling form. Although the Blues edged the game overall, Bayern nearly snatched a stoppage time winner, with the opposition goalkeeper narrowly missing his connection from an in-swinging corner after tangling with Angus Gunn. The day was Gunn’s and City’s and set the tone for the day ahead.
For many of us, it was the second trip to the Allianz Arena in just over as many years, but the match experience could not have differed more, even if it did not feel like that shortly after kick off. After falling two goals behind after just 12 minutes, it was easy to feel like the following 78 could be particularly painful at the home of the European Champions. What followed was a footballing masterclass, conducted by Fernandinho and performed by James Milner.
The winter fixture list is notoriously hectic, with squad rotation an important part of a modern winning team. With qualification already guaranteed, pre-game talk in Munich was mainly dominated by how many changes would be made from the previous weekend’s starting XI. The fact that Manuel Pellegrini was able to make seven changes and still win at the home of the European champions should give the Club great hope for the future, with the true depth of the squad in full view as the players adapt to the new manager’s methods. Recent league performances may have raised eyebrows and expectations in the Premier League, but this was a marker laid down in front of the world’s best clubs.
Make no mistake, this was the night Europe took notice of City in the Champions League, and while many fans may have preferred to not face Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, BVB or PSG in the first knockout stage, every one of those clubs will be hoping they do not draw MCFC.
Dan Morehead writes for the matchday programme and is a Search Campaign Manager at Tecmark.