Bayern Munich vs. Manchester City, Final Score 2-3: Bayern top Group D

Alexander Hassenstein

After Bayern scored two before the first 15 minutes were out, Manchester City fought back to come close to taking the top spot in Group D -- but ultimately, it was last year's winners that claimed the final honors.

With Bayern Munich on 15 points and Manchester City on 12, the only way this match would be relevant would be if the visitors got a comprehensive win. Considering the hosts scored within the first five minutes, it seemed like much of the match would, in fact, be irrelevant. However, City did their best to come back in the second half, getting to within a goal of the top spot. But in the end, Bayern Munich went on to take the top spot in Group D while Manchester City will face tougher competition in the next round.

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The hosts' first goal revealed just how ill prepared the City defense was to take on Germany's treble-winning side. A long ball from Dante sailed across the pitch and Thomas Müller met it perfectly. Müller made quick work of Aleksandar Kolarov and then had no trouble putting the ball past Joe Hart.

Barely five minutes later, Bayern doubled their lead. This time the goal came from a corner. Mario Mandzukić was left totally unmarked by the City defense and was able to easily slot on to Mario Götze, whose shot caused a comical split from Hart and Bayern's second goal.

However, Manchester City were able to recover, and by about 20 minutes in, started looking like a side worthy of moving on to the next phase of the Champions League. Before 30 minutes were out, City had pulled one back. James Milner, lurking on the left side of the area, sent over a smart header for David Silva, who shot on past Manuel Neuer.

Then came the second half -- and the visitors decided to make a real game of it. The ref called what many might consider a harsh penalty, barely nudging Milner, who crashed down on the edge of the area. It was Kolarov that stepped up to take the kick, and his low shot defeated a diving Neuer.

So, let's just make this clear: Milner sent in a brilliant headed pass for the first goal. He went down to earn the penalty that led to the second. And for the third, well, he scored one of the most impressive goals of his career. Off the end of a cross from Jesús Navas, Milner sent his sharp shot in from the left side to the bottom right corner, a pinpoint shot that split through the Bayern defense.

Bayern Munich: Neuer, Dante, Thiago, Ribéry, Mandzukić (Shaqiri), Boateng, Götze (Martínez 55), Lahm, Müller, Alaba, Kroos

Manchester City: Hart, Kolarov, Lescott, Demichelis, Richards (Zabaleta 16), Fernandinho, Garcia, Milner, Silva (Negredo 73), Navas, Dzeko (Rodwell 88)

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