After two failed Champions League campaigns under Roberto Mancini, Manchester City finally announced themselves on the European stage with a 3-2 victory over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
Manuel Pellegrini’s major target at the start of the competition would have been to achieve qualification to the knockout phase for the first time in the club’s history and that was reached with flying colours with two games to spare.
But in Germany against last year’s winners, City finally showed the rest of Europe they mean business and are ready to be considered worthy contenders for UEFA’s biggest prize.
Staring down the barrel at 2-0 down after just 12 minutes on the clock in Munich, City staged a remarkable comeback thanks to goals from David Silva, Aleksander Kolarov and James Milner.
The win ended Bayern Munich’s run of 10 consecutive Champions League wins and it was only their third defeat of 2013.
The result also gave Manuel Pellegrini his first win over Pep Guardiola at the 10th time of asking after defeats against the former Barcelona manger while he was in charge of Villareal, Real Madrid and Malaga.
It could have been an even better night for the Citizens had their Chilean manager realised his side were just one goal away from claiming top spot in Group D.
A 4-2 win would have sent City through as top seeds and avoid a possible harder draw but Pellegrini appeared to suggest his side needed to win by three clear goals. But despite the error, the English side will be happy to finally take their place in the last 16 at the third time of asking.
The Manchester club are side are now 14/1 with Ladbrokes to win this year’s competition and after victory in Bavaria, every top seed will be desperate to avoid them when the draw is made in Nyon on December 16th.
City, on the other hand will, be relishing the prospect of taking on Europe’s big guns after taking the scalp of the reigning champions, who are still the 5/2 favourites to defend their title.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim three £10 free bets when you bet £10.