It seemed to be a routine win - Bayern dominated the early match and it only took them twelve minutes to be 2-0 up against Manchester City.
However, the Citizens didn’t show the typical behavior of Bayern’s opponents in this season and started to fight back despite being two goals behind.
In the second half they managed to break Bayern’s dominant playing style with an aggressive midfield and a very efficient use of their chances. In that way they managed to win the match after goals from Silva, Kolarov and Milner with 3-2. It is the first and so far only defeat that Bayern have had to experience this season.
The match from the final game of the Champions League group stage then could also be a good preparation for United to see how to play against Bayern.
If a team manages to break Bayern’s control over the midfield with a combination of real fighting spirit and technically skilled players who can keep the ball for a while, then it’s possible to defeat the current Champions League champions.
United would need players to perform like Milner and Silva, who caused a lot of problems for Bayern’s midfield and defence.
So should United be grateful for the demonstration that their arch rival gave them?
Who really should be grateful is Bayern’s coach Guardiola because he can always refer to that match against City when he sees his team in danger of losing concentration. Especially in the Champions League the quality of all participating teams is so high that not many mistakes will be excused.
Bayern learned this necessary lesson in their last match of the group stage and after that experience they have won every single match in all competitions apart from two draws against Arsenal and Hoffenheim.
It is very unlikely that they will make the same mistakes again, so United’s hopes shouldn’t rely too much on what they saw from their city rival against the same opponent.
Yet the memories of that match can be useful for the Red Devils, even if they are probably even more important for Bayern’s team.