Manchester City win over Bayern Munich means little - Just ask Arsene Wenger

Manchester City beat Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena last night but the result changed nothing in the group standings.

English sides have enjoyed their travels to Germany lately.

First, there was Arsenal's 1-0 win at Borussia Dortmund. Then, there was Manchester United's 5-0 triumph at Bayer Leverkusen. Yesterday, Manchester City added themselves to the list with the unlikeliest of 3-2 wins at Bayern Munich.

Manuel Pellegrini's side went 2-0 down at the Allianz Arena but came back to beat the defending champions 3-2.

James Milner's winner sent City fans into euphoria and marked a real milestone in their long-term quest for Champions League success.

Yet nothing actually changed in terms of the group standings. A 4-2 win would have taken Manchester City top of Group D but, as things transpired, Pellegrini's men finished runners up after falling a goal short.

And this is not the first time an English side have secured a historic victory at the Bavarians' home without receiving any tangible reward. Just ask Arsene Wenger.

Last season, Arsenal traveled to Germany for the second leg of their last 16 tie with Munich after suffering a 3-1 defeat at the Emirates Stadium. They came back to England with a 2-0 win but were dumped out of Europe all the same.

Like Manchester City, the Gunners were a goal away from ultimate glory but ended up with nothing except the pride that came with a morale-boosting victory.

Yes, Arsenal took huge confidence from their win - confidence that inspired a run of form that is still lasting today. But, as far as Bayern Munich were concerned, that second leg may as well have never happened.

Why? Because, as we all know, Jupp Heynckes' side went on to win the entire competition.

This season, Heynckes' well-oiled machine has been passed on to Pep Guardiola - and the Bavarians have gone from strength to strength.

Whether Guardiola can emulate his predecessor's achievements is another matter but, one thing is for sure, when Bayern dust themselves down and return to Champions League action for the last 16, their defeat to Manchester City will mean nothing.

Just like against Arsenal last year, the Bavarians allowed themselves to switch off when they knew they could lose nothing by doing so.

But when Guardiola's side get back to business, they will still be that invincible side that took Europe by storm last term. And they should still be feared.

images: © vincentteeuwen

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