City left to dream of what could have been

Manchester City 2 Bayern Munich 0

Etihad Stadium

The blow of their own elimination was undoubtedly softened by the altogether more dramatic exit of Manchester United last night but that does not change the fact that Manchester City will look back on their first Champions League season with no little regret.

They beat a considerably weakened Bayern Munich last night with goals from David Silva and Yaya Touré but once Gökhan Inler had put Napoli ahead against Villarreal in Spain with 65 minutes of this game played, City were destined for the Europa League. This was one night when they were more than happy for events surrounding their famous neighbours United to dominate the agenda.

It was Bayern who went through as winners of Group A and Napoli deservedly in second place. The Italians drew in Manchester and won the return fixture in Naples and had they gone out the competition – as they were poised to do before they finally ran out 2-0 winners against Villarreal – then it would have been hard on them. In a very competitive group, City were simply not good enough.

They were undermined along the way by Carlos Tevez's histrionics in the Allianz Arena which is probably what Jupp Heynckes was referring to when the Bayern coach spoke after the game about the team still having to develop. Not since Werder Bremen went out with 10 points in 2007 has a team failed to make the second round with that amount from the group stage, but City did not enter this competition to make up the numbers.

Roberto Mancini in particular seemed to find it hard to accept that 10 points had not been enough but he also made the point that City were in no position to turn their noses up at the Europa League. "It may not be the Champions League but for us it is still important," he said. "If we can get to the final, for Manchester City that will be good."

It will mean playing more Premier League games on a Sunday. As for meeting United, that will not be possible until the round of 16 when teams from the same country are no longer kept apart in the draw. The elimination of both sides last night will also, you would assume, only raise the stakes further when it comes to the FA Cup third-round tie between the two teams next month.

That game will certainly be more of an occasion than last night,with so many of the Bayern first team missing and the rest of them doing their best to look interested. Heynckes said that Toni Kroos and Arjen Robben were both on antibiotics, Daniel van Buyten had gastric flu and Mario Gomez and Thomas Müller were "showing signs" of fever. The last three were all on the bench with Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm and Franck Ribéry, but none of them played.

With the club having already won Group A comfortably, the Bayern B-team sleepwalked through much of this game. As the goals finally went in over in Spain you can only imagine the schadenfreude amongst the Bayern hierarchy up in the directors' box as City's Champions League dream withered and die.

The new money of European football are not popular amongst those who have been established at the top of the tree for generations and Bayern will be glad to see the back of City. The away fans even baited the home support by singing "Napoli" over and again when the Italians scored their first goal.

City were in danger of going out with the proverbial whimper until Silva made a goal from not very much on 36 minutes. From a throw-in on the right, Stefan Savic and Gareth Barry worked up enough space for the latter to cross the ball. In the centre, Edin Dzeko got a flick on to Silva who worked his opening brilliantly, hitting a low shot beyond Hans-Jörg Butt.

Before then Mancini had burst out of his seat to berate Dzeko at one point and barely got an acknowledgement from the Bosnian striker. Joleon Lescott was slightly unfortunate to be penalised for a foul on Butt which enabled Silva's free-kick to drift in to the Bayern net unchallenged.

Silva's goal was the kind of moment only an exceptional player gives you and it lifted the place. Sergio Aguero might have scored three minutes later when he charged into the space opened up for him by Yaya Touré's run into the Bayern box. He beat Butt with his shot but Jérôme Boateng nipped in behind his goalkeeper and scooped the ball away from goal.

There was another shot from Silva just before the break from a tight angle on the left side. He got to the rebound as well and there was a suspicion of handball against Holger Badstuber for his block but not enough for the French referee to give a penalty. At that point Napoli were still yet to score and City's dream was alive.

The second goal for City came within seven minutes of half-time in their best period of the game. Touré picked the ball up in midfield, laid it off to Aguero and from there, via Dzeko, it was passed back onto the toes of the Ivorian to clip under Butt as he ran into the area.

It was well executed by Touré who, for a midfielder, has proved himself a very accomplished finisher. The passing sequence was sharp and City looked like they might score more but the news of Napoli's goal around the 65-minute mark killed the atmosphere in the stadium – apart from the away section – and sucked the life out the game.

From then on it scarcely mattered. Even the introduction of Mario Balotelli as a substitute did not raise the spirits of the crowd. Last season Tottenham, newcomers to the competition, stormed to the quarter-finals while City have stumbled at the first hurdle. Unfortunately for City, the expectation will always be huge. They just have learn to live with that, but at least they can be pretty certain they will be back next season.

Man of the match Silva.

Match rating 5/10.

Referee S Lannoy (France).

Attendance 46,002.

Nervous Napoli finally strike

Gökhan Inler and Marek Hamsik got the goals as Napoli won 2-0 at Villarreal to make sure that Manchester City's victory over Bayern was in vain. Swiss midfielder Inler struck from 25 yards out in the 65th minute to settle the nervous Italians, who had struggled to make headway early on. Hamsik bundled the ball in from close range at a corner in the 76th, leaving Villarreal without a point from their six group games.

News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
Travel
travel
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
art
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Field of broken dreams: Andy Bell visits Passchendaele
news5 News's Andy Bell visited the killing fields of the Great War, and his ancestor - known only from his compelling war diary - came to life
Travel
travel
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In my grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel