Manchester City overcame a nightmare start at Allianz-Arena to see off the European champions on their own patch and progress into the Round of 16 on a winning note.
Bayern Munich, who were coming off a 7-0 thrashing of Werder Bremen at the weekend, scored twice early on but had no reply for a City comeback that included goals from David Silva, Aleksandar Kolarov and James Milner.
Still, despite the defeat, Bayern will enter the next phase of the Champions League as Group D winners, having finished above City on goal difference.
It took only six minutes for last season’s treble winners to open the scoring.
Dante, who would later be at fault for at least two City goals, delivered a tasty, arching ball over the centre of the park to Thomas Muller, who pushed off Kolarov as he controlled the ball before beating goalkeeper Joe Hart with a confident finish.
Then, in the 12th minute, and just moments after Hart had made a terrific save on Dante, Bayern were able to double their lead. Mario Gotze stroked the ball into the back of the net after Toni Kroos’ corner kick landed at his feet following a deflection from Mario Mandzukic.
But if it seemed as though Bayern were off to the races, City had other ideas.
In the 26th minute, Fernandinho tried his luck from distance after some good buildup play involving Silva and Milner, and just two minutes later Silva had pulled one back for the guests.
Jesus Navas, who caused David Alaba all sorts of problems over the course of the evening, played in a searching cross from the right that Milner managed to head back into play from the left-hand side of the goalmouth, allowing the on-rushing Silva to bundle the ball past ‘keeper Manuel Neuer.
Ten minutes later, Navas tried an almost identical play, but this time Jerome Boateng was on hand to clear the danger.
After the restart, it was all City.
Edin Dzeko served notice that his side meant business when his shot, following some admirable work from Silva and Milner, allowed him to test Neuer in the 51st minute, and seven minutes later the tourists had a penalty when Dante was ruled to have fouled Milner inside the 18-yard box.
Kolarov stepped up to take the spot-kick and finished expertly into the corner of the net.
Three minutes after that, City had taken the lead—Navas, Silva and Milner having again combined in the buildup.
Silva, whose performance was of the Man of the Match variety, dished to Navas on the right flank and his fellow Spaniard’s cross evaded Boateng before finding Milner, who still had a lot to do to bend it around Neuer and inside the far corner from a tight angle.
From here Bayern accomplished very little going forward, and if there was another meaningful chance to score it fell to City, and substitute Alvaro Negredo, in the 80th minute, although Neuer’s superb stop ensured his side would qualify for the Round of 16 as group winners.
Key Player Grades
David Silva: A
Not only did he score once and help set up the winner, but he also executed a pair of successful tackles on the defensive side of the ball while completing 93 per cent of his passes—many of them in the high-risk area of the attacking third. (Statistics courtesy WhoScored.)
James Milner: A
The England man put in his best showing of the season to date, scoring once and assisting on another as City recorded a historic win in Bavaria. The 27-year-old also helped Kolarov neutralize Philipp Lahm over the 90 minutes.
Franck Ribery: C
On a night where his team could have used his influence he mysteriously went missing—marked into obscurity by Pablo Zabaleta. Although the Ballon d’Or finalist touched the ball more than 90 times, he managed to do very little with it and was a passenger for much of the final half an hour.
Next up for Bayern is their penultimate match of the 2013 portion of the Bundesliga schedule—against Hamburg on Saturday. From there they’ll travel to Monaco for the Club World Cup. Manchester City, meanwhile, will host Arsenal on Saturday and travel to Leicester next Tuesday in the Capital One Cup.