Comment: After putting Manchester City to the sword, Pep Guardiola will not rest until he has fully converted Bayern Munich

It was not enough for the ball to find the net. The wheel must turn a certain way

And the worrying thing is, under Pep Guardiola this Bayern Munich team is a work in progress. Gott in Himmel. We are told Guardiola is already a competent German speaker. You wonder if he has come across the Teutonic equivalent of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. To the talking points already yielded in the opening weeks of the Bundesliga season, where not all are enamoured with the Spaniard’s refinements despite the undefeated start, Guardiola introduced for the first time in a competitive match the tactical innovation rife in Iberia, the false nine.

So, from the land of Gerd Müller, of Uwe Seeler, of Jürgen Klinsmann, of Miroslav Klose, the champions of Germany and of Europe set up at the Etihad without a centre forward. If we see the evolution of the game as a relentlessly rising curve, then it might be argued that in the swatting aside of Barcelona at the semi-final stage of the Champions League last season Bayern put themselves at the head of it. Few who witnessed this evisceration would disagree with that.

The deal that took Guardiola to Munich was concluded long before the Champions League pot was in the Allianz vault. The Barça model sat at the apotheosis of the game, and Guardiola was the high priest that delivered it. He was heading to Munich in the spirit of the missionary, his goal to spread the Barça message across Bavaria. He was not to know the game was about to move on, the code he had devised was about to be cracked. The club that he had pledged to take to the next level, got there without him.

Perhaps that explains his persistent remonstrating. Despite the early goal gifted by Joe Hart’s error, Guardiola was a malcontent on the touchline, angrily calling all and sundry to account for not moving the ball as instructed. To everybody else the Munich display appeared a masterclass in physical and mental oppression. This was City’s worst nightmare, an emphatic demonstration of the inferiority complex Manuel Pellegrini was brought in to dispel.

City, of course, come galloping to the piece from the opposite end of the spectrum. This is the epoch of the arrivistes, newly enriched ambitious types seeking to plant their standard on territory formerly the domain of clubs like Bayern, an established member of Europe’s landed gentry. City are not interested in serving time. Fast-tracked by inexhaustible wealth they are desperate to bolt status to power. There is only one way to do that.

City’s failure to progress from the group stage at the first two attempts was thought to be a consequence of inexperience, a lack of familiarity with the environment, though how a team so expensively assembled and gifted might fit that description has never been satisfactorily explained. The first meeting with Bayern at the Etihad two years ago ended 2-0 to City, though they were already doomed by then.

Here they were mute from the off, tossed about by the red tide washing over them. Hart was a graphic example of the malaise, failing to deal with a speculative shot from Franck Ribéry. So reduced as England’s first-choice goalkeeper has he become Hart presents an awkward problem for the watching Roy Hodgson, pondering the climax to his World Cup qualifying campaign in the next fortnight.

If Hart was uncertain, City were further undone by the curious omission of Yaya Touré. He was selected in the team but was just not in the game, not on the same pitch as Bayern anyway. At his best Touré is among the finest to have graced the English scene, a buccaneering, often unanswerable blade. Tonight he could neither get on the ball nor defend it. City were effectively a man down, and fortunate to be only a goal down at the break. Their one significant contribution came from Micah Richards, who smoked Toni Kroos with a tackle that would have anaesthetised a rhino. 

In the space formerly filled by super Marios Gomez and Mandzukic red shirts took their turn to run City into the ground. Those incisive pincers out wide, Ribéry and Arjen Robben, scorer of Bayern’s third, were relentless in their butchery After the defeat to Aston Villa, City’s Chilean enabler sought solace in the performance, insisting that his team had played with the requisite confidence and belief. You wonder how this experience might set them back.

After Robben’s firecracker had filleted Hart on his near post the men of Bavaria behind the same goal chorused, “It’s coming home, football’s coming home”. Is there no end to German invention? Pep was not happy, however. Clapping and pointing he screamed his displeasure. It is not enough that the ball find its way into the opponents’ net three times without reply. The wheel must turn a certain way.

It is to be hoped the removal of Bastian Schweinsteiger with 15 minutes to go was an act of mercy, not a judgement of the ultimate symbol of Bavarian supremacy. None epitomised this ruthless eclipse of Manchester’s blue moon more than he did. The subsequent withdrawal of Robben suggested Guardiola had already moved on to the next match.

Mario Götze slipped into the action almost unnoticed, a powerful reminder that Bayern did this to City without either of their big-money buys in the summer. Alvaro Negredo’s late strike and the sending-off of Jerome Boeteng were irritants. Nothing more.

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?