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Five Thoughts: City 3-2 Bayern

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Five thoughts, quick and easy. Have at 'em in the comments.

The importance of Aguero

We are aware of how good Sergio Aguero is, we have evidence enough during the three or so seasons he has been at the club. His hat-trick last night (including the penalty, which one of the commenters on the thread pointed out) were examples of the precision finishing he is capable of. When he was through on goal each time there never felt a possibility that he would miss. Last night, Yaya Toure was also missing but City have been hit hard by the absence of David Silva (whose return is still unknown) but this has been mitigated in the way that Aguero, fit and healthy for the first time in a long time, has come to the fore and picked up the mantle and responsibility Silva shoulders.

Second half struggles

Aguero's last brace has undoubtedly provided hope for City and the result provided the opportunity whereby a win will in all likelihood see them progress. But for the majority of that second half, after ceding the advantage of a goal and man advantage, City appeared almost resigned to their fate of exiting the competition. Whilst in no way were City under continued pressure from Bayern but equally they rarely threatened themselves. The lack of atmosphere on and off the pitch was again evident and there was no intensity to City's play, certainly before the substitutions were made. Was this a lack of belief? Quite possibly.

Bayern tiring

Much was made at half time of how Bayern had controlled the game with ten men and that City had failed to make this advantage count. It felt inevitable though that this would be a factor, and so it proved in the second half. Bayern had to play with ten for so long, and with their style of play this has even more of a telling effect (something Pep Guardiola alluded to after the game). Their lack of pressure on City after the break at the very least allowed City to tread water and in the end two mistakes presented the opportunity. It is an easy thing to suggest tiredness affect both Xabi Alonso and Jerome Boateng's concentration but there may be something to it.

Permutations

The press room after was awash with all manner of permutations as to how City could and couldn't qualify depending on results on the final round of games. Well, Sonics has the lowdown here. If CSKA win away to Bayern the match in Rome is irrelevant, but if they don't and City better CSKA's result they will progress, unless the game in Rome ends 0-0. It should make for a fascinating game with both sides knowing that a draw could send them through, but knowing that the likelihood is that nothing less than a win will suffice.

A Champions League spark?

I wrote in the lead up to the game that maybe it would take a backs to the wall scenario for City's relationship with the competition to finally spark. We know there is a disconnect with the Champions League and the pre-game anthem was heartily booed. I felt though that a win of this type where it was a 'do or die' scenario may be the opportunity to kickstart something. The manner of the win if nothing else has provided the hope needed for qualification. If City do go on to the knockout stage, who knows.