Champions League news

Man City strikers 'sat on deckchairs'

October 10, 2013
By Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Manchester City's strikers have been likened to two men "sat in their deckchairs on the halfway line" by Bayern Munich forward Thomas Mueller.

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Bayern's 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium in their Champions League group meeting last week was hailed as the true arrival of Pep Guardiola's tenure as manager of the European champions, little more than 100 days into his reign. A video clip of a typical sustained spell of possession from the visitors, sped up and dubbed with the Benny Hill soundtrack, has become an internet hit.

The Catalan coach played Mueller in a more central attacking role in that match. The Germany international scored Bayern's second goal of the evening, but also talked up the importance of his contribution without the ball.

"Through that [change of role] we wanted to gain superiority in midfield," Mueller told kicker. "I am not the kind of player who waits to get the ball in one-on-one situations with the defender, but rather the guy that drops deep or tries to come through over the wing -- and who also helps his team defensively."

The 24-year old said he was astonished about City’s approach that night, adding: "Manchester had two attackers who -- and I exaggerate a bit -- sat in their deckchairs on the halfway line when we were in possession. No attacker is allowed to do that at Bayern or the Germany team."

Meanwhile, Bayern remain without their two Spain internationals -- Martinez and Thiago -- who are both currently working on their comebacks following injuries in August.

Martinez was dealt a setback on Wednesday with knee problems delaying his recovery, Bild reported without giving an exact date for the €40 million man’s return, while his Spain and Bayern teammate Thiago underwent a second operation to his right leg.

During the surgery a screw in a bone in his right ankle was removed and the 22-year-old is now set to begin rehab training, having worn a special support boot for the last few weeks, and is targeting a return in November.  

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