Battling City shatter Bayern air of invincibility

Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:06pm EST
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MUNICH (Reuters) - Bayern Munich's air of invincibility was blown away as they squandered a 2-0 lead and bungled their way to a 3-2 Champions League defeat against Manchester City in front of their own incredulous fans on Tuesday.

James Milner won a penalty and side-footed the winner in a three-minute second-half spell as City recovered impressively from an awful start to avenge their 3-1 defeat at home earlier in Group D.

Although both teams had already qualified, it was still a humbling evening for Bayern, who had won their last 11 games in all competitions, were unbeaten in their last 23, and had thrashed Werder Bremen 7-0 away at the weekend.

The titleholders' record-breaking run of 10 consecutive Champions League wins was also stopped in its tracks as coach Pep Guardiola suffered only his second defeat in 25 matches since taking over.

"It was a terrible start from us. They looked like they were going to walk away with it," Milner told "To come back after that shows a lot of the character in the dressing room."

City coach Manuel Pellegrini told the BBC: "We wanted revenge for the first game and to show it was not that different between Bayern and our team."

Bayern shrugged off the defeat and still finished top of the group on their better head-to-head record after both teams finished level with 15 points.

"When you go 2-0 ahead, you have to play better than that," Bayern captain Philipp Lahm told Sky Sports Deutschland. "But we can live with the defeat, we are still group winners."

City gifted Bayern a head start by conceding two soft goals in the opening 12 minutes, yet it was last season's treble winners who ended the evening a collective nervous wreck.   Continued...

Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery is stopped by Manchester City's Pablo Zabaleta (L) and Javi Garcia during their Champions League Group D soccer match in Munich December 10, 2013. REUTERS/Michael Dalder