Euro Watch: Bayern extend home winning streak to 12
- 01 October 2013 11:34
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
City’s next opponents in the UEFA Champions League extended their home league winning streak to 12 matches on Saturday afternoon.
As if the task awaiting the Blues could be any more daunting, Bayern Munich look unbeatable domestically at present after edging a tight game against Wolfsburg.
It’s fair to say that Pep Guardiola’s men failed to hit their recent heights in this workmanlike victory at the Allianz Arena but a clean sheet and Thomas Muller’s 63rd minute strike were enough to take the points.
Although FC Bayern made five changes to their team from the side that beat Hannover 4-1 in the German Cup in midweek, they rested none of their star players ahead of their trip to Manchester.
Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Franck Ribery, Mario Mandzukic and Muller all started the game, while summer signing Mario Gotze was fit enough for the bench for the first time this season after his recent ankle troubles.
Wolfsburg, who included former Bayern midfielder Luis Gustavo in their XI, came to Bavaria with the target of frustrating their all-conquering hosts for as long as possible.
The visitors were successful in this task in the first half, thanks to a combination of a solid defensive shape, as well as the good form of Diego Benaglio between the posts.
Robben twice went down looking for a penalty in the early stages of the second half and Wolfsburg had a chance to score on the break, prompting Guardiola to introduce Xherdan Shaqiri and Toni Kroos but it was another pair in Bayern’s glittering cast of talent that unlocked the door.
Ribery scampered down the left flank and delivered a precise cross along the six-yard box wich was met by Muller on the back post, who slammed home from a tight angle.
Although Mandzukic could, and perhaps should, have doubled the advantage, Bayern had to be satisfied with their one-goal winning margin ahead of their encounter with City on Wednesday night.
Elsewhere, City’s next Champions League opponents after their clash with the European Champions will be against CSKA Moscow.
The Russian champions had a disappointing weekend after going down to a 2-0 defeat to bottom-club Terek Grozny.
It was a loss that saw Leonid Slutsky’s men slip to fourth in the table after setting the pace in the early weeks of the season and they now trail Zenit at the top by five points.
This latest defeat follows the loss to Bayern on match day one of the Champions League, meaning it’s been a tough few weeks for CSKA – they are without a win in four matches in all competitions.
Finally, Viktoria Plzen got back to winning ways after a trying few weeks with a morale-boosting away win at Vysocina Jihlava.
City’s first group opponents were without a win in three games but goals from Rajtoral and Bakos either side of a first-half equaliser from the home side, helped Plzen back into second place behind Spartak Prague.
Plzen face CSKA in the Russian capital at 5pm BST ahead of City’s meeting with Bayern.