Manchester City midfielder James Milner admits Tuesday’s thrilling comeback victory over holders Bayern Munich was ‘massive’ as the club look forward to the Champions League last 16.
Both sides had already qualified for the knock-out stage but they served up a classic European clash for fans of live football commentary at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern appeared on course for a repeat of their comfortable victory in the reverse fixture in Manchester as they raced into a two-goal lead courtesy of strikes from Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze.
However, City, without key players such as Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure, dug deep and got back on level terms through David Silva’s close-range finish and Aleksandar Kolarov’s penalty, before Milner curled the winner beyond Manuel Neuer.
The 3-2 win ended Bayern’s run of 10 successive Champions League victories but was not enough for City to go through as Group D winners.
Nevertheless, Milner believes the triumph in the backyard of the champions shows Manuel Pellegrini’s side have nothing to fear ahead of Monday’s last-16 draw.
“It was massive for us for going forward in the competition,” Milner said. “We are obviously going to get a tough draw in the next round. But we know we can beat the reigning champions on their own patch, scoring three goals, so that is a massive confidence boost and gives us massive momentum for the next round.”
City full-back Pablo Zabaleta echoed Milner’s sentiments, saying: “I think we are coming back to Manchester feeling really strong because when you win against probably the best team in the world, that is really important.”
Finishing second in the group means City face the prospect of meeting one of the favourites for the title in the football betting odds, such as Barcelona or Real Madrid in the next round.
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate