1, 2, 3…it’s all elementary for sizzling Sergio – Man City 3 Bayern Munich 2

Cometh the hour cometh the man or, in the case of Manchester City’s Argentine super striker, cometh the added time cometh those unbelievable ‘AGUERRRRROOOOO’ moments!

On the count of ein, zwei, drei, Sergio Aguero bagged a stunning Champions League hat-trick to complete City’s version of the Great Escape and an improbable victory over German oppressors.

Bit between his teeth - Sergio gobbled up a Champions League hat-trick. Courtesy@MCFC

Bit between his teeth – Sergio gobbled up a Champions League hat-trick. Courtesy@MCFC

Classy Bayern Munich were dispatched in added time as Aguero inspired City to a 3-2 come from behind win in this crucial Group E clash.

The parallels with May 13th 2012 were plain to see as City, at 2-1 down, were drifting to disaster and an embarrassingly early exit from the competition, one in which they are so desperate to leave their mark.

Rather like the re-workings of Band Aid, the chorus of ‘We’ll Fight Till the End’ gets an airing in times of need, and sure enough the Blue Mooners finally drowned out the tunes of the well drilled timpani tapping Teutonic masses from Bavaria.

Entering the fray - Champions League gladiators - next stop Rome. Courtesy@MCFC

Entering the fray – Champions League gladiators – next stop Rome. Courtesy@MCFC

It’s a triumph that gives Manuel Pellegrini’s side real hope as they hit the road to Rome next month for a potential winner takes all showdown with AS Roma.

Level on just five points from five games with the Romans and CSKA Moscow, City can scramble through to the last 16 knockout stages if they beat the Italians or manage a score draw, provided they better the result of CSKA who take on Bayern in Munich.

There’s no doubting the size of the challenge at the Stadio Olimpico on December 10th, but City can take huge heart and encouragement from beating Germany’s finest without the likes of David Silva, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Edin Dzeko and Aleksander Kolarov.

Sweet revenge - Sergio scored three whereas Boateng 'bombed'. Courtesy@MCFC

Sweet revenge – Sergio scored three whereas Boateng ‘bombed’. Courtesy@MCFC

City detractors will point to the fact Bayern were reduced to 10 men when Benatia was sent off after bundling Sergio over in the Munich penalty box, setting up Aguero’s converted 21st minute spot kick.

It’s a measure of Munich’s pedigree that the Moroccan international’s red card did little to disrupt Pep Guardiola’s team, who continued their sharp, incisive and penetrating version of Tiki-taka football.

Xabi Alonso’s free kick equaliser in the 40th minute was a tame affair where Joe Hart was culpable in poor positioning and a slow reaction, as the low shot meandered into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Paying the penalty - Sergio was spot on. Courtesy@MCFC

Paying the penalty – Sergio was spot on. Courtesy@MCFC

Worse was to follow on the stroke of half-time as the hugely talented, but equally irritating Robert Lewandowski, shouldered a long midfield punt from Jerome Boateng punt past Hart.

Kompany and Sagna failed to react to the danger and the Pole looked to have polished off City’s hopes of progression.

Oozing arrogance from the likes of Ribery, Robben, Alonso and ex-City defender Boateng, Bayern proved masters of possession and must have thought they were home and hosed…until they proved as sloppy as overcooked sauerkraut.

Bad Kompany - Captain Fantastic Vinny and Sagna failed to stop Lewandowski's 45th minute goal. Courtesy@MCFC

Bad Kompany – Captain Fantastic Vinny and Sagna failed to stop Lewandowski’s 45th minute goal. Courtesy@MCFC

Normally the epitomy of professionalism, Alonso played an uncharacteristically loose ball for livewire sub Stevan Jovetic to intercept and lay into Aguero’s path. Surging upfield, Sergio went one-on-one with the best goalkeeper in the world and fired past Manuel Neuer.

2-2 – City were back in the game and back in Champions League contention.

The ultra-efficient Germans with the educated palate for sumptuous play, suddenly found the evening as distasteful as a rancid Müncher Weiβwurst.

Goal 'Serg' - Aguero has scored 92 goals in 140 appearances for City. Courtesy@MCFC

Goal ‘Serg’ – Aguero has scored 92 goals in 140 appearances for City. Courtesy@MCFC

Pleasingly it was Boateng – scorer of the last gasp winner as City went down 1-0 in the Allianz Arena in September – who coughed the ball up to a predatory Aguero, still keen to feed his ravenous appetite for goals, goals and more goals.

For the third time he went ‘mano a mano’ with Manuel the ‘Sweeper Keeper’… with the same outcome each time – magnifico Sergio!

Rapidly establishing himself as the finest player to ever wear a City shirt – rivalled only by David Silva – Aguero has now scored 92 goals in 140 appearances, an astonishingly prolific rate.

Abs Fab - Sergio wheels away in delight! Courtesy@MCFC

Abs Fab – Sergio wheels away in delight! Courtesy@MCFC

In the eyes of the jaundiced jerks in the media this make Manuel Pellegrini’s side a one-man team, incurring disdain and ridicule from the City haters.

Funny how Barcelona (Messi), Real Madrid (Ronaldo) and closer to home, Chelsea (Costa), aren’t detrimentally labelled as one man affairs.

God help the likes of that chump lump Chiles and his Ginger Minger sidekick scrote Scholes on ITV Football, if City triumphed in Rome and reached the knockout stages. They’d drown in their own pool of vile bile…with any luck.

Pellegrini had sprung some surprises with is team selection and, instead of going with Zabaleta and Demichelis, City’s trusted MP drafted in Sagna and Mangala.

Solid Sagna - Bacary gave his best showing in sky blue on City's right flank. Courtesy@MCFC

Solid Sagna – Bacary gave his best showing in sky blue on City’s right flank. Courtesy@MCFC

Jovetic – eventually a 66th minute sub for the industrious Milner, and finishing the game with two assists – was sacrificed as the Chilean boss opted for a 4-5-1 formation with Milner, Nasri, Fernando, Navas and Lampard in midfield.

Bayern dominate possession and played a more electrifying ‘pressing’ game when City had the ball, but the men in sky blue stuck to their task to capitalise on any Bayern botch ups.

Hart who had won wave reviews and Man of the Match honours in Munich in September, and who had previously defied Borussia Dortmund almost single handed in a previous CL campaign, had an off night by his standards. Being leaden-footed on both Bayern goals.

Team spirit - Nasri, Kompany and Demichelis savour the moment...Bayern beaten for a 3rd time in 6 games with City. Courtesy@MCFC

Team spirit – Nasri, Kompany and Demichelis savour the moment…Bayern beaten for a 3rd time in 6 games with City. Courtesy@MCFC

In contrast Mangala gave a pleasingly efficient display and Sagna looked solid at right back, albeit lacking Zabaleta’s flair for overlapping and posing an attacking threat.

Zaba’s introduction, two minutes after Jovetic, saw the pair inject much needed options and pace pushing forward.

Lampard lasted the full 90 minutes, his football brain and experience compensating for legs that can’t do what Super Frankie used to do three or four years ago.

The 36-year winner of the Champions League more than played his part. His looping through ball to Aguero was the catalyst for the penalty, and his rasping 20-yard second half drive – forcing Neuer to show why he is the best keeper on the planet – fired up the 44,502 crowd.

Champion guile - Super Frankie Lampard has proved an immediate hit with the City fans. Courtesy@MCFC

Champion guile – Super Frankie Lampard has proved an immediate hit with the City fans. Courtesy@MCFC

Considering the Etihad capacity is presently restricted to the 45,000 mark due to the expansion of the South Stand, can pathetic punters like the pudgy adolescent Chiles, stop taking pops at City about empty seats.

The proverb about empty vessels making the most noise seems somewhat apt at this juncture.

Wide on the right, Navas was his normal busy bee self, trying to make things happen for Sergio. It’s impossible to criticise his intensity – if only his decision-making and final pass were of the same calibre.

Blitzed - Sergio terrorized Manuel Neuer - the best keeper in the world. Courtesy@MCFC

Blitzed – Sergio terrorized Manuel Neuer – the best keeper in the world. Courtesy@MCFC

Nasri was strangely subdued on a stage set for him to shine in Silva’s absence, while the Frenchman’s corners, well five of the six he took, were as threatening as a vanilla blancmange.

Time after time the set pieces wobbled into oblivion. Bayern didn’t muster a single corner kick all night and those non-existent corners were more threatening than City’s half dozen – SORT IT OUT MANUEL FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!

Running riot - Aguero is a phenomenon. Courtesy@MCFC

Running riot – Aguero is a phenomenon. Courtesy@MCFC

Talking of savours, the Etihad faithful had watched on in disbelief and incredulity as that man, Aguero had once again answered their prayers and come to City’s rescue.

He is a football phenomenon and City are truly blessed to have him in their ranks.

#TrustOurMP

City pride themselves on fighting till the end. This report is dedicated to another of life’s fighters, a brave and selfless lady who has battled, and thus far overcome, the biggest challenge to her health & well-being. Happy Birthday Sally Ann Janes…you so deserve to enjoy it x

 

By David Walker

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

 

24 Comments

  1. November 26, 2014  11:24 pm by Fifthcolumnblue Reply

    Didn't hear all the "one man team" detractors mentioning the fact that Dzeko is injured, or that UEFA more or less forced us to sell Negredo!

    Screw the detractors, let's go and beat Roma and prove everyone wrong - with Silva, Yaya, Fernandinho, Kolarov, Dzeko (and possibly a new face or two in January) we'll be an altogether different prospect if we can make the knockout stages.

    Bring it on

    • November 27, 2014  12:06 am by David Walker Reply

      We march on Rome - NO PRISONERS!

  2. November 26, 2014  11:38 pm by Eileen Fullen Reply

    To say im over the Moon is an understatement-still throat sore after all the excitement.Media are the Devils own lets continue into Rome-fingers crossed we shall with a little luck proceed we deserve to. Sergio well he just gets better and so do you.

    • November 27, 2014  12:05 am by David Walker Reply

      All Roads lead to Rome and City go into the arena as gladiators against their hosts. Spartacus used to reek havoc with Imperial Rome - let's hope another warrior whose name begins with 'S' can put the Romans to the sword.

  3. November 27, 2014  12:56 am by Toby Teasdale Reply

    I love the positive spin you put on everything David.

    Phew, we got out of jail last night.

    We didn't receive Nelsons message and the flag for 'Close Action’ never flew, not surprising given the infusion of so many Frenchmen. It was a timid display. I could understand City playing cagey with YaYa and Merlin absent (the Lummock Dzeko wasn't missed), but tactics should have changed after Bayern went down to 10 men. From then on City should have pressed and harried. They did neither and Bayern's pocket battleship sailed majestically until they were sunk by a late late Aguero broadside.

    So now to Rome with all to play for. I hope this bit of Latin works "Superbia in Proelio"

    PS. Don't forget to take your abacus Manuel.

    • November 27, 2014  8:16 am by David Walker Reply

      The TracianSkyBlueArmy led by Sergio, as opposed to a certain Spartacus, know what needs to be done. These are the battles in which they must triumph, their opponents vanquished, every ounce of effort and rivulet of sweat left on the field. Rome is a very fitting arena where City's gladiators must tread fearlessly and emerge with the spoils. Hope and conviction in equal measure will spring forth in the Eternal City, but our City are up to the task. There are no illusions - the challenge is crystal clear and as for that abacus let's make it really simple...Al Davis owner of the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders used to say 'Just win baby'.

      • November 27, 2014  8:05 pm by Toby Teasdale Reply

        My name is Maximus Decimus Peligrinius, commander of the Armies of the North. At my signal, unleash hell!

        With apologies to Russell Crowe.

  4. November 27, 2014  7:26 am by KiwiBlue Reply

    A great game and result. Couldn't agree more about our corners, though. They have been fairly poor for weeks now and the delivery needs to improve.

    • November 27, 2014  8:19 am by David Walker Reply

      We were fortunate in many ways but we didn't and consistently don't capitalize on corners. It's unprofessional and needs to be rectified immediately. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. November 27, 2014  9:24 am by David Kelly Reply

    Another Great read Mr Walker. but the words are getting bigger and your sounding like Mr Stuart Hall lately, it is a compliment because he was a talented reporter. Lets hope we take the effort into Southampton, then on to Rome. CTWD.

    • November 27, 2014  9:57 am by David Walker Reply

      Cheers Guv - are you referring to my MUNICH WHITE SAUSAGE? On second thoughts don't answer that

  6. November 27, 2014  10:27 am by David Kelly Reply

    No the comments like: "City’s version of the Great Escape and an improbable victory over German oppressors" and "pathetic punters like the pudgy adolescent Chiles, stop taking pops at City about empty seats" Nice comments, but for us secondary modern kids, keep the words smaller Ta

    • November 27, 2014  10:45 am by David Walker Reply

      Daft bugger

  7. November 27, 2014  11:14 am by carole Reply

    I think Joe Hart needs another spell on the sidelines....I'd like to see Willy getting another run. That is all.

    • November 27, 2014  12:03 pm by David Walker Reply

      Joe wasn't at his best but I'd stick with him for now and see how he goes in the PL. Thanks Carole.

  8. November 27, 2014  12:16 pm by Richard Cooper Reply

    Having come back to earth after a night that MP got his substitutions correct and perhaps Pep got his substitutions incorrect it still hurts a bit that we went into Wednesday night in that do or die situation.
    That apart - I won't add any more superlatives about Sergio, he is superb.
    Against the always accomplished Bayern who have the ability to get the ball and keep it whether they have 10 or 11 eleven players it seemed the game was slipping away, but City being City (and would we have it any other way ) capitiised on unlikely Bayern errors and now we go to Rome not just for sightseeing but for another must win game.
    Apart from Sergio, Super Frankie Lampard was outstanding, The Mangler after a nervy start looks to be getting over his nightmare at Hull and Clichy along with Sagna coped well with the renowned Bayern wingers.
    No need to "go on" about the errors of Hart, Sagna probably Kompany and Mangala in the Bayern goals though most worrying is the performance of Hart on the Bayern goals - thought he had overcome his early season wobbles.
    I mentioned corners last week - Nothing changes, so sort it out MP and players.
    For all the folk who started to make an "early dart" on abot 80 minutes I can only say :-
    "When will they ever learn"

    • November 27, 2014  1:28 pm by David Walker Reply

      The 80-minute brigade must be sooooo in love with the interior of their cars, the earlier tram or want the best seat on the bus. Bizarre - never ever understood it, especially when the game hangs in the balance. I had three tickets at £120 and a three-and-a-half journey to drive home but was I leaving early....errrrr NO! Each to their own but perhaps not THE best way to get full value for money.

      Corners are God awful and why they haven't been sorted is a mystery known only to MP, his staff and the players. We showed invention on a first half corner kick with Super Frankie almost beating Neuer, so why not something innovative - or at least different - on the corners?

      I'm sticking with Hart for now but he can't have too many of those games. That said he has been brilliant at times this season, not least in the Allianz Arena. Thanks RC.

  9. November 27, 2014  12:29 pm by Doug Henshaw Reply

    Well David true to my word i come on here to admit i was wrong it isn't to little to late & im glad to be able to say so. what can we say about Agureo that hasn't been said the guy is out there on his own & if he played for the likes of Madrid or Barcelona the media would be saying so. Plus what about super Frankie i thought he was brilliant in the number 10 role i would play him instead of Toure. On to Rome & hopefully 3 pts we can do it yes we can. Another great read David your getting good at this & i agree about the corners i could do better that's how bad they are.

    • November 27, 2014  1:21 pm by David Walker Reply

      Nonsense - my sources tell me you're an excellent corner taker - always cutting them ;-)

      It would be such a great statement for City to put out there if they can make the last 16 because the media, pundits and detractors have been feasting on our failings and misfortunes. It'll be a night to stand tall and see the job through in Rome...provided the Russians haven't sent zillions of roubles to Bayern executives prior to kick-off (allegedly, just joking-ish!) After all Gazprom are the official sponsors of the Champions League. Sometimes it's great being wrong isn't it? Thanks Doug #TOPMAN

  10. November 27, 2014  2:36 pm by James HouseOlogy Reply

    Lovely stuff David.... I think most people have summed..... Well worth me covering myself with my own beer when Aggguuueeerrrooooo knocked in that 3rd.... Time to march on Rome and in the league..... As I said after the Swansea game I have that bubbly feeling that City's engines are now running and gonna start hitting top gear soon... Let's be 'avin ya!!!!

    • November 27, 2014  2:42 pm by David Walker Reply

      More importantly, were you able to suck the garment and retrieve all your beer? We'll find out soon enough if we've turned a corner with Southampton away, bogey team Sunderland away, difficult Everton at home and then onto Rome. 2 wins and a draw in the PL and whatever result it takes to get out of Group E and then we'll be on a roll.

  11. November 28, 2014  11:55 am by Peter Lakie Reply

    David, so right about our corners, no matter who takes them (Silva, Nasri, Milner...). We have two versions, the first headed away by the front defender, the second caught by the keeper! with the potential heading prowess of Kompany and Mangala we should find someone who can provide the right delivery!

    • November 28, 2014  12:37 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks for reading and commenting Peter, as you say, it isn't as if we don't have people who can head the ball in our ranks.

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