Bayern Munich had to stage a second-half comeback in order to defeat Manchester City 2-1 at the Allianz Arena and win the Audi Cup.
Following a first half which saw City enjoy only the briefest spells in possession, Alvaro Negredo finished his most difficult chance of the match, after spurring earlier opportunities, to open the scoring. However, a penalty from Thomas Muller and a neat header from Mario Mandzukic secured victory for Bayern.
Pep Guardiola's side controlled the game's tempo from the outset, while Costel Pantilimon was called into action early on to deny strikes from Franck Ribery and Toni Kroos.
Due to the continuous pressure applied by the European champions, City struggled to get out of its own half. Fernandinho and Gareth Barry were never too far ahead of the center back partnership of Vincent Kompany and Dedryck Boyata. Stevan Jovetic showed brief spells of encouragement, while Samir Nasri was rarely given the chance to link up with Negredo.
In contrast, Bayern was a slick machine moving forward with Thiago, Kroos, Arjen Robben and Ribery all linking up with free-flowing exchanges.
With David Alaba storming forward on Bayern's left flank, James Milner was often forced to retreat to right back alongside Pablo Zabaleta, whose positioning was called into question a few times in the first half as Ribery found space close to City's goal.
For all of Bayern's possession though, clear-cut chances were limited, but the German side went close to taking the lead as Pantilion was forced into a smart low save from Robben's strike which passed through a number of players in the box.
But the best chance of the opening 45 minutes fell to City as Nasri found space on the left flank and picked out Negredo in the area. The Spaniard had edged clear of his marker but his header was straight at Neuer.
After the restart Negredo was presented with a third headed chance with Nasri again providing the cross. The forward had moved clear of Dante to find space but his header again was directed straight at Neuer.
But Negredo was not to be denied and his most difficult chance of the match was expertly converted. Nasri played a through ball to the Spaniard, who showed impressive pace and strength to hold off Javi Martinez, before his low finish eluded Neuer and went in off the post.
Five minutes later, however, Bayern was level as Zabaleta was harshly punished for a handball in the area after Mandzukic's header struck the Argentine's arm from a yard away. Muller stepped up and sent Pantilimon the wrong way to make it 1-1.
Bayern continued to step up the intensity and Muller turned provider to put Guardiola's men in front as his cross from the right was met by a stooping Mandzukic, whose difficult header nestled neatly past Pantilimon.
Edin Dzeko was presented with a chance to level the score late on after being played through on goal but the Bosnian's first touch was heavy and his snatched effort allowed Neuer to tip the ball past the post.
- Sports & Recreation
- Alvaro Negredo
- Mario Mandzukic
- Thomas Muller
- Franck Ribery
- Samir Nasri
- Toni Kroos