Cruel blow as late goal from Boateng seals Bayern win
The Champions League is back, and Wednesday's game against Bayern was a chance for City to lay down a marker; an opportunity to show they mean business on the European stage, and to perhaps even convince themselves that they are ready to stand tall alongside Europe's elite.
The Allianz Arena is never an easy place to go, but with Bayern's growing injury list it was a golden opportunity for City to get something from the gamequality. In the end, however, it was a familiar story for City fans as the Blues succumbed to a late goal from former City defender Jerome Boateng.
In truth, Bayern were by far the better side, dominating possession and keeping City pinned back deep into their half. They could have been ahead after 45 minutes when Thomas Müller rounded Joe Hart, but fortunately for City the German star saw his shot hit the side netting.
Hart, City's much maligned goalkeeper, produced a stunning performance to keep City in the game. The England international produced arguably his most complete peformance since Dortmund in the Champions League two years earlier, making save after save, and seemingly helping City to earn what would have been a fantastic point.
Hart wasn't the only standout performer for the Blues. Fernandinho had an exceptional game, often doing the work of two men due to the ineffective and completely off the pace Yaya Toure. The Ivorian, often City's main man for the big occasion, simply failed to turn up. Whether it was down to fatigue or just generally poor form is debatable, but the midfield powerhouse failed to showcase his wonderful ability.
City did, however, create chances. Edin Dzeko curled an excellent effort wide, and David Silva had a great chance with a diving header, but City were punished right at the death. A Bayern Munich corner was cleared to the edge of the box, and Boateng hit a sweetly struck volley which gave Hart no hope, albeit via a slight deflection off Mario Götze. The City players were rightfully devastated, but it was another painful lesson learned.