Published on November 26th, 2014 | by Daniel Cheeseman3
Manchester City 3-2 Bayern Munich | The City Nitty Gritty
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Where the hell would we be without Sergio Aguero?
The Argentine has now scored 5 goals in 5 Champions League games and 12 in 12 in the Premier League this season, and he’s on course to break all kinds of goal scoring records for City.
However, as great as it is to see one of our own players performing at the top of his game, should we really have to rely on him so much at this sort of level?
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think we played badly yesterday, but under the circumstances we made it a lot harder than it needed to be. Bayern went into the game knowing that they could lose both their remaining fixtures 10-0 and still qualify at the top of the group, so even though most of their “big guns” were playing, should it have still really needed to go down to the wire?
As much as I’d love to see City progress to the next stage of the Champions League, I still can’t help but think that we don’t quite have what it takes to win this competition. I mean, if a Bayern side who had nothing to play for can last for more than an hour with 10 men and still only just miss out out on beating the Champions of England away from home, then what chance do we have of beating them under normal circumstances?
The reason why I didn’t get over-excited when Bayern went down to 10 men was because United were in virtually exact same situation earlier this month, and even they were close to forging a comeback against us. That’s why it didn’t surprise me when Bayern took the lead before half time, as they are a much better team than United and have far too much pride to just roll over and give us the victory.
You have to give a lot of respect to Pep Guardiola for taking the game as seriously as he did. A lot of teams (including us) under those circumstances probably would have dropped their best players and saved them for a more “important” game, and while this can be a valid argument, I think it’s important to keep the players’ morale up by winning as many games as possible. Even though it was a meaningless game for Bayern, you could tell that the team was heartbroken when Sergio scored that last minute winner, and I’d absolutely love it if more teams played with the same mentality as they did last night.
I thought that Stevan Jovetic made a huge difference when he came on in the second half, as he gave Aguero a lot more to work with up front. We were lacking the final killer pass until the Montenegrin came on, mainly due to the abscence of David Silva and Yaya Toure, and so it must have been music to Aguero’s ears when he heard he was coming on.
There were also several other good performances around the pitch last night; Navas, Nasri, Fernando and Clichy all put in a good shift and were the ones putting in that extra 10% when we needed it most. Above all, I think the main reason we managed to win the game in the end was because those individuals (as well as Stevan and Sergio) took matters to their own hands when the rest of the team needed a boost. Whether it was just something as simple as Clichy intercepting the ball on the half way line, or Nasri producing a great bit of skill in the box, I believe that each one of those little lifts gave the rest of the team the passion to fight until the end.
At the end of the day, even though it was a game you’d have expected us to win, you still have to remember that Bayern Munich are arguably the best team in the world right now. Their strength in depth is scarily good, and so for us to score 3 goals against the German #1 Manuel Neuer and beat a team that are undefeated in their domestic league this season is an impressive achievement in itself!
And finally – is it fate that Aguero should score a hattrick on the same night that Lionel Messi gets one too, and becomes the all-time top scorer in Champions League history? Maybe it’s just coincidence, but there’s no doubt that Sergio is going to go down as one of City’s (and possibly the world’s) greatest ever players.
Next up is Southampton, and I’m sure we’re all expecting it to be another huge test for City in terms of seeing if they’ve got what it takes to defend their Premier League title.
But the way that I look at it – as long as you’ve got Aguero in the team, you’ll always have a much better chance of winning the game, no matter who you’re playing!