'Man City really bad against Bayern' – Pellegrini

The Chilean was appalled at his side’s display and cursed their inability to maintain a greater percentage of possession

Manuel Pellegrini has criticised Manchester City’s performance following their 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

City were outplayed by the reigning champions in their Champions League Group D clash at the Etihad Stadium thanks to goals from Franck Ribery, Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben.

But while Joe Hart was beaten at his near post for two of the German side’s three goals, Pellegrini was more concerned by his team’s overall showing.

“We played really bad today – it’s not the team we’ve seen every week in the Premier League and I think that was the worst thing,” he told reporters.

“We didn’t have possession and we didn’t do enough to have more. Of course Bayern always have a lot of the ball but today wasn’t a good day for us.

“It’s your duty as journalists to analyse individual players, I think we didn’t play well but of course we could do better on the goals, not only the goalkeeper.”

Meanwhile, Micah Richards, who was named in the starting line-up for the first time under Pellegrini, admitted that the Bundesliga side were worthy winners.

“We knew they were a good side and they showed it today,” he told Sky Sports. “That’s why they’re the champions.

“We have to hold our hands up and say we got beaten by the better team.”

Robben: I didn't expect Man City to be so easy

The Dutch winger has suggested it was simple to turn over the Blues in the 3-1 victory and refuted comparisons to Barcelona

Arjen Robben has revealed that Bayern Munich did not expect to overcome Manchester City with such ease in Wednesday night’s 3-1 Champions League win.

The Dutchman, 29, scored the third goal for the Bavarians after Franck Ribery and Thomas Muller gave the visitors a cushion and – though Alvaro Negredo bagged a consolation goal – the Blues never looked likely to get anything from the game.

“I didn’t expect an easy game like that,” he told Sky Sports.

“That’s a big compliment to us,” he added to NOS. “I expected more from City to be honest.

“We were given a lot of space and we took full advantage of that. There were some great attacking plays and our playmaking was on a high level as well. We totally busted them.

“The red card was a shame for [Jerome] Boateng. It’s a little bitter for us. But besides that we enjoyed this and we’re taking this good feeling onto the next match.”

The Bavarians were in imperious form at the Etihad Stadium and provoked similarities to Barcelona due to Pep Guardiola’s influence at die Roten, but Robben refuted such comparisons.

“People will compare us to Barcelona now, but we are Bayern Munich,” he added. “We have good players and rely on our own strength. We are building on last season and adding some new things from the coach.

“Guardiola thinks and breathes football and always wants to talk about it. Even at my age I feel I can make more steps and learn from him.

“I have a good understanding with him. It doesn’t matter if you’re 16 or 29, the trust of the coach is very important.”

Pellegrini made to look like a novice by Guardiola

The new Manchester City manager experienced a chastening evening at the hands of his former dug-out opponent from the Spanish league

By Wayne Veysey at Etihad Stadium

If the Manchester City hierarchy thought that recruiting a proven manager from the Spanish league would provide a magic wand for their Champions League form, a re-think is required.

Had that manager been Pep Guardiola, perhaps, Bayern Munich might not have delivered a Champions League masterclass and City might not be reflecting on another abject evening in Europe.

Manuel Pellegrini is no dugout novice and his CV bears close scrutiny. But he was made to look here like a teaching assistant taking on an Oxbridge professor in his specialist subject. 

How Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano, the ex-Barcelona men who run the show at City, must privately lament their failure to coax Guardiola to Manchester earlier this year.

From their directors’ box vantage point, they were given compelling evidence that the Catalan’s almost mystical coaching powers appear to have been enhanced by his 12-month sabbatical in New York.

Guardiola was fortunate enough to inherit a treble-winning team, but, if anything, Bayern look even more formidable now than during that memorable Wembley evening in May when they lifted the Champions League trophy.

The Spaniard’s new team were quite brilliant here. Only a considerable dose of good fortune in the home side’s favour stopped the visitors scoring a first-half hatful that their relentless pressing and attacking majesty deserved.

Once Bayern sharpened their cutting edge after the break, they looked like scoring every time the red shirts swarmed towards Joe Hart’s goal. Indeed, given the glory of their play, three goals felt like almost meagre reward.

Everywhere you looked, until the final 20 minutes when Guardiola rested his key players ahead of future engagements, was a Bayern player operating on a different level to his direct opponent.

Wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben were almost unplayable, Thomas Muller demonstrated once again what a magnificently versatile player he is in an unfamiliar spearhead role, David Alaba was imperious at left-back and Dante was a towering figure at the heart of the defence.

Yet it was in central midfield where Guardiola’s tactical superiority over Pellegrini appeared most apparent.

Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and the outstanding Toni Kroos outnumbered and completely out-classed Yaya Toure and Fernandinho, who, it should not be forgotten, have already bullied a few Premier League midfields into submission this season.

Three against two was an almost unfair battle, and, with Jesus Navas and Samir Nasri cutting anonymous figures on the flanks, fielding twin advanced attacking totems in Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero seemed at least one too many, especially in comparison to Guardiola’s striker-less formation.

“If this was an English coach, we would all be commenting on how naïve he is,” observed part-time England coach Gary Neville, commentating for TV.

It was a chastening evening for Pellegrini, who had been recruited not merely as a stately antidote to the abrasive management style of Roberto Mancini, but for his reputation for coaxing the maximum out of his charges against elite European competition.

Mancini oversaw two disastrous Champions League campaigns, and Pellegrini’s debut group campaign will go the same way if there are many more autumn midweek evenings like this one.

“We played really badly,” observed the Chilean afterwards. “It’s not the team we see in the Premier League.”

Yet Pellegrini’s City have also had an uneven start to their league programme. Imperious home victories over Newcastle United and Manchester United have sat alognside surprise 3-2 defeats, at Cardiff City and Aston Villa.

The new manager is developing a more eye-catching playing style than his predecessor Mancini managed. Nine matches have now yielded a creditable 23 goals, with the high water-mark the unforgettable 4-1 humiliation of United.

However, the Chilean’s squad appears alarmingly lop-sided.

Pellegrini has an enviable roster of strikers and attacking midfielders but £100m worth of recruitment over the summer has not addressed the team’s considerable defensive shortcomings.

Joe Hart’s form has been topsy-turvy for too long for it to be considered a blip, Gael Clichy’s defensive shortcomings are frequently exposed against the trickiest wingers and the selection of Micah Richards ahead of Pablo Zabaleta appeared a strange one beforehand and an even odder one in hindsight.

Vincent Kompany has re-discovered his mojo this season but this was a match he will not recall with any fondness, while Matija Nastasic is still learning his position. The centre-half back-up consisted tonight of Javi Garcia, a jack of all trades but master of none.

It will matter not a jot how efficient City are when they attack if they continue to yield so easily to sprightly counterattacks.

On this evidence, it will take some team to wrestle the Champions League crown off Bayern. That side will have to be a far, far better one than City.

Badstuber set for rehab after operation

The 24-year-old defender has undergone surgery on the knee injury which has repeatedly sidelined him since December, but is starting his recovery

Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber is set to begin a rehabilitation program after undergoing a successful knee operation.

Badstuber, 24, underwent surgery on anterior cruciate ligaments in USA, where he will remain before returning to Munich to commence his recovery.

The Germany international was sidelined for much of the Bavarians’ treble-winning success last term, with the centre-back initially sustaining the ligament damage in a clash with Borussia Dortmund in December, before suffering a recurrence of the same injury in May.

However, it remains to be seen how big of a role coach Pep Guardiola envisages the defender to have upon his return from injury.

The stalwart has made 101 appearances for the German giants since breaking into the senior squad in 2009.