Manchester, stand up. After an uneven stint of league play, the Premier League's two teams hailing from Manchester made statements on Tuesday in Champions League play.
Manchester United was far more desperate for a statement game, but both were welcomed signs considering the current state of both teams.
The positive impressions weren't only being left from teams hailing from Manchester, though. It was a busy day in Champions League, as we wrap up group play.
Check out the full results and standings, and then I'll recap the three teams that left me the most impressed with their performances.
|Manchester United||1-0||Shakhtar Donetsk|
|Real Sociedad||0-1||Bayer Leverkusen|
|FC Copenhagen||0-2||Real Madrid|
|Bayern Munich||2-3||Manchester City|
|Viktoria Plzen||2-1||CSKA Moscow|
Source: ESPN FC
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||5||1||3||1||-1||6|
Source: ESPN FC
Beating the best team on the planet on its own pitch is always going to be an impressive accomplishment. That is exactly what the Citizens did on Tuesday by authoring a 3-2 victory over Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena.
With a score from Mario Gotze in the 12th minute, the Citizens were quickly behind 2-0 in this Group D battle. It looked like the Citizens' struggles on the road were well on their way to continuing.
James Milner paid tribute to Manchester City's spirit after they came from behind to beat Bayern Munich 3-2. http://t.co/erc5hjhLAy— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) December 10, 2013
In Premier League play, the Citizens are 7-0-0 at Etihad Stadium. They are just 2-2-4 as the away team. On top of that, at home in EPL play, the Citizens have scored 29 goals while allowing just two. On the road, they have scored 12 and allowed 13.
At some point, if they haven't already, those road woes were bound to enter the consciousness of the players. That is a lot less likely after David Silva, Aleksandar Kolarov and James Milner all added scores to help the Citizens comeback against Bayern Munich.
This is terrible news for the rest of the Premier League.
With a goal in the 67th minute, Phil Jones gave the suffering fans at Old Trafford a reason to cheer again. His strike gave the Red Devils a 1-0 lead over Shakhtar Donetsk. That score held, and the Red Devils have won Group A.
David Moyes: "We got to the top of the group and that's what we wanted. The win also helps our form a little bit." pic.twitter.com/GyD4hKll2C— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 10, 2013
This was the Red Devils' third straight match at home in all competitions. Not only was this their first non-losing effort of the three, but Jones' score is the only goal the Red Devils have netted in that span.
Although a lone goal isn't going to typically get Red Devils fans excited, considering the recent offensive struggles and the fact that Shakhtar allowed just six goals in their six group matches, this is a step in the right direction.
Also, it is worth noting that the Red Devils have allowed just two goals in their last three matches, as the defense begins to make strides.
With Robin van Persie returning to fitness and a less-than-daunting schedule awaiting them in their return to Premier League play, hope is not lost yet in EPL play for the Red Devils.
Considering Anderlecht finished their Tuesday match with Olympiakos with just eight men on the pitch and finished group play by picking up just a single point in group play, Olympiakos' 3-1 victory isn't going to surprise anyone.
Full-time: Olympiakos 3 - 1 RSCA. We did our best but 3 red cards and 3 penalties against us made it impossible. pic.twitter.com/A6mpFsf2uE— RSC Anderlecht (@rscanderlecht) December 10, 2013
This win is still impressive, however, because of the stakes involved.
Olympiakos entered this match with their advancement on the line. They needed to match Benfica to advance. Benfica wound up beating Paris Saint-Germain 2-1.
So when this game was tied at one at half-time, Olympiakos was in a perilous position. Second-half goals from Javier Saviola and Alejandro Dominguez helped eliminate the pressure and secure Olympiakos' advancement.