Ten-man Bayern dominated Manchester City – Guardiola

The coach praised the effort of his players despite their late defeat at the Etihad Stadium, with Medhi Benatia’s early sending-off having left them in a precarious position

Pep Guardiola has hailed his Bayern Munich players despite suffering a 3-2 Champions League defeat to Manchester City.

The Bavarians were reduced to 10 men only 20 minutes into the group E encounter at the Etihad Stadium when Medhi Benatia was red-carded for a professional foul on City’s Sergio Aguero.

And while Bayern recovered from Aguero’s resulting penalty to take a 2-1 lead, the Argentine went on to record a hat-trick late on to rob Guardiola’s men of a point.

But the Spaniard stated after the match that his short-handed side could not have done any more on the night.

“I’m so proud to come here to England, to Manchester City, one of the best teams in England, and with 10 against 11,” the Catalan told reporters. “At the end football is a pleasure to play as you want and the players did that. 

“They played with the ball many, many, many times because we believe we can rest with 10 against 11 with the ball.

“We can’t run, we cannot rest when they have the ball. In that moment, we are dead because [Samir] Nasri, Aguero, [James] Milner, [Jesus] Navas – they are such dangerous players.

“We dominated but we made two mistakes, that happens, and that is why we lost. But I am sad for the players because they don’t deserve today to lose. They played amazing.”

Bayern have already booked their place in the knockout stage of the competition, but losses in dead rubbers last season were blamed for the derailing of their defence of the European title last season.

Yet Guardiola is not concerned that defeats such as the one at the Etihad will have a negative effect on the Bundesliga leaders.

“We won the league [last season] and we just lost against Real Madrid because we didn’t play well in the first 45 minutes of the second leg. We didn’t control their amazing counterattacking. That’s why we lost,” insisted the 43-year-old.

“At the end, of course, we are sad because we lost but tomorrow is another day. We have finished first in the group and we just learn that football is sometimes about individual mistakes. But, at the end of the day, we were tired.”

Kompany: Aguero is our special one

The Man City striker scored a hat-trick in the dramatic 3-2 win over Bayern Munich to keep his side’s Champions League hopes alive

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany and manager Manuel Pellegrini both lavished Sergio Aguero with praise after his hat-trick secured a 3-2 victory over Bayern Munich.

The former Atletico Madrid man gave the hosts an early lead from the penalty spot after being felled by Mehdi Benatia, who was promptly shown a red card, but the German champions showed their class to take the lead just before half-time courtesy of goals from Xabi Alonso and Robert Lewandowski.

But Aguero found a late equaliser before bagging the winner in stoppage time to keep City’s Champions League hopes alive – and Kompany believes the squad are indebted to their “special” striker.

When asked where City would be without the Argentine, the centre-back told ITV: “I don’t know, but if you want to succeed at anything you need a special player in special form, otherwise you just don’t win anything.

“He’s our special player. When he’s in that form he makes things achievable that otherwise wouldn’t be.

“We showed heart, we did what we had to do and we defeated a big team today.”

Pellegrini, similarly, praised Aguero after his hat-trick heroics but was keen to emphasis what an excellent job the entire team had done in coming from behind against such a strong Bayern side.

“I think that all the big teams need big players,” the Chilean said after the game. “Sergio is a big player, he’s a top player, he’s very important.

“But I think that the whole team continued playing with trust until the end. We conceded two unbelievable goals by Bayern but the whole team continued trusting and working and playing until the end.”

Despite the late drama at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night, City’s Champions League fate is still not in their own hands and they will crash out of the tournament if CSKA beat Bayern – even if they themselves overcome Roma.

Alonso rues late Bayern blunders against City

The German champions were on course to maintain their 100 per cent record in Group E but were stunned by a late fightback from Manuel Pellegrini’s men

Xabi Alonso lamented the late mistakes that saw 10-man Bayern Munich beaten 3-2 at Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The German champions overcame the first-half dismissal of Mehdi Benatia and a 1-0 deficit to lead 2-1 with five minutes to go thanks to an Alonso free-kick and a Robert Lewandowski header.

But an awful pass from Alonso allowed Stevan Jovetic to put Sergio Aguero through to equaliser before the Argentine – who had opened the scoring from the penalty spot – completed his hat-trick after capitalising on a Jerome Boateng blunder in injury time.

Alonson thus felt the final scoreline was harsh on a Bayern side who coped well with their numerical disadvantage.

“Everything got ruined,” the midfielder confessed. “We played well and had total control. Then we made these two mistakes and it was crazy.

“With one more player on the pitch it would have probably been different. And that’s a pity.”

Bayern winger Arjen Robben felt his side deserved more for their endevaour.

The Netherlands international told Sky: “We made two mistakes. Twice we lost the ball and we were punished. It is a shame, we fought so hard and played so well. We deserved more.

“We can be proud and I have to give a huge compliment to our team. We played really well with 10 players. We did not hide, everybody wanted the ball. We were really good and it would have been superb if we had won 2-1.”

Manchester City 3-2 Bayern Munich: Incredible Aguero rescues qualification hopes

Manuel Pellegrini’s side were heading out of the Champions League against a side who were down to 10 men for the majority before the Argentine bagged his second and third late

Hat-trick hero Sergio Aguero turned the game on its head to keep Manchester City’s hopes of Champions League qualification very much alive with a turnaround 3-2 victory over 10-man Bayern Munich at the Etihad Stadium.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men took the lead from the penalty spot through the Argentine midway through the first half, the spot kick won in an incident that saw Mehdi Benatia given his marching orders.

But Bayern made it look as if City were the team at a disadvantage, with Joe Hart at fault when Xabi Alonso’s free kick found the net before Robert Lewandowski struck a second German goal just before half-time.

However, the hosts – who looked short of the required level for much of the game – pounced on a rare misplaced pass from birthday-boy Alonso for Stevan Jovetic to set up Aguero near the end of normal time.

And the striker again punished a defensive error as the game ticked over into stoppages to complete an unexpected comeback for his hat-trick.

More to follow…

Inter and AC Milan's decline is sad – Ribery

With Bayern Munich having dispatched Roma 7-1 and 2-0 in the Champions League this week, the French winger believes Serie A’s struggles are reflected in two of their fallen giants

Franck Ribery admits it is “sad” to see Inter and AC Milan so far away from challenging amongst the elite of Europe.

Milan claimed their seventh Champions League title in 2007, while the Inter of Jose Mourinho completed an historic treble in 2010 by defeating Bayern in the final of the tournament.

Both clubs have been in substantial decline in the past two seasons, however, and the 1-1 draw in the derby on Sunday left Milan 13 points of Serie A leaders Juventus, with the Nerazzurri a futher point behind.

Ribery, whose Bayern side destroyed Roma 7-1 in Italy before a comfortable 2-0 win at the Allianz Arena in this season’s group stage, believes the dimished power of the Milan giants leaves Italian football in a disappointing state.

“Once your league was the most attractive,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport‘s weekly ‘ExtraTime’ magazine. “Everyone used to look towards it.

“Now, historic clubs like Milan and Inter are in difficulty. The league is associated more with Juve and Roma, two very strong teams.

“It’s sad to see the Milanese in this kind of situation, so far down the table and outside of Europe. It’s sad for the fans, for the league and for the very history of the club.

“As for the matches between ourselves and Roma, I will say they are a good team, but we’re stronger, we have international players with a lot of Champions League experience.

“Plus, we must acknowledge that we managed to score from every chance we had, which won’t always happen.”