jérôme boateng is looking forward to a reunion with old friends when fc bayern münchen face manchester city fc and he, for one, needs no warning of the threat the english side pose.
the first name on fc bayern münchen's team sheet, jérôme boateng says he is looking forward to being reunited with old friends when manchester city fc come calling on tuesday. the four-time european champions, he warns, will have to be at their best against the new kids on the block.
"they are a strong team with some very good individual players," said the 23-year-old defender. "their new signings have strengthened the squad and integrated well. they are strong, really strong both technically and physically. their strikers are really good too. [edin] džeko and sergio agüero are in very good shape and city are playing much more offensively than last year."
boateng, of course, has a good knowledge of city's hotbed of talent: until july's switch to bayern he was among them. injury and fierce competition for places restricted the german international to 16 premier league appearances in his solitary season in england, but tuesday's uefa champions league group a fixture still carries added significance. it perhaps explains why the usually guarded jupp heynckes opted to reveal "boateng will play" on the eve of the match.
the coach says "it is a very special situation", something the player is keen to underline without losing sight of the real goal. "i really had a good time in manchester and i am looking forward to this game – i will be reunited with some good friends," said former hamburger sv man boateng. "of course it will be a very special game, but not only for me: it is be important for all of us. bayern are also a big name in england so let's see what happens."
manuel neuer believes that, having been held at home by ssc napoli on matchday one, city have no option but to go for the win. "the pressure is on them," said the germany goalkeeper, whose bundesliga-leading side triumphed 2-0 at villarreal cf two weeks ago. "perhaps man city will be the first team [this season] to really stretch us at the back. but we are playing well, so we just need to keep doing what we are doing, staying strong and compact. we want to win and are confident we will."
gomez at double as bayern flex muscles against city
mario gomez continued his incredible run of form as two goals at the end of the first half extinguished the embers of a positive start from the visitors.
fc bayern münchen made a significant statement of their uefa champions league intent with a home victory against manchester city fc in group a.
mario gomez continued his rich vein of goalscoring form with two goals shortly before half-time as the german title holders extended their winning run to ten matches in all competitions. ıt was also bayern's tenth successive clean sheet, though their resolve was tested in a bright start by city before sealing a win that maintains their two-point advantage at the top of the section.
ınspired by a capacity crowd, both sides began positively with the visitors fashioning the first chance. micah richards made early strides down the right and crossed low for edin džeko to fire into the grateful arms of manuel neuer. bayern responded as rafinha made his way to the byline, but his fierce centre was diverted beyond the lurking franck ribéry.
yaya touré tested neuer with a free-kick midway through the first half as the english side enjoyed a good spell of the possession. however, bayern's counters were becoming increasingly dangerous with ribéry and bastian schweinsteiger each calling joe hart into action. schweinsteiger then spurned a fine opportunity to open the scoring, clipping narrowly over after his run was picked out by thomas müller.
city failed to heed the warning and were two down by the interval. having gone into the game on the back of nine goals in six outings, gomez almost inevitably weighed in with both, first pouncing to turn in the rebound after hart had denied both ribéry and müller on 38 minutes. the bayern striker showcased his predatory instincts again on the stroke of half-time after daniel van buyten's near-post header was parried into his path.
rather than go in search of a reply, visiting coach roberto mancini opted instead to limit the damage in the second period by bringing on midfield stopper nigel de jong for striker džeko. as a result it was bayern who continued pressing, schweinsteiger's fearsome drive pushed around the post by hart midway through the half.
hart was outstanding, his one-man mission to deny the four-time european champions a third goal reaching its apogee late on when he made a quality one-handed save to deny gomez's glancing header. müller could not quite turn it in at the far post, but the job was already complete. city, though, have much to do before their trip to villarreal cf on 18 october, when bayern are away to ssc napoli.
1. fc bayern münchen...2...2...0...0...4...0...4...6 2. ssc napoli...2...1...1...0...3...1...2...4 3. manchester city fc...2...0...1...1...1...3...-2...1 4. villarreal cf...2...0...0...2...0...4...-4...0