Manchester City quickly put in five past AC Milan before Stephan El-Shaarawy and co. could even blink. The first goal took only two minutes to arrive as David Silva put the ball into the back of the net. Micah Richards then bundled it over the line for the second goal. Aleksandar Kolarov also got on the score sheet before Edin Dzeko added two more. Those two goals proved to be the decisive ones as Milan registered three quickly in a spirited but ultimately futile comeback.
Bayern on the other hand labored to victory against Sao Paulo. The possession stats heavily favored them; however, Bayern only got on the score sheet in the second half when the crude but rather intelligent Mario Mandzukic came on. A late goal by Mitchell Weiser saw the Bavarians cap off the victory and book their place in the final.
Bayern has had good friendly results leading up to this one. They won all their friendlies handily but lost to Borussia Dortmund, 4-2, in an extremely entertaining DFL Supercup encounter. The bulk of the squad was selected for the tournament, leaving, amongst others, the injured Mario Götze out. Thiago Alcantara did not feature against Sao Paulo due to a minor injury.
Prior to beating AC Milan in the Audi Cup, City had beaten both Sunderland and South China, 1-0, in the Barclays Asia Trophy. They had beaten AmaZulu FC in the Nelson Mandela Football Invitational, 2-1. That victory was preceded by a victory over Supersport United, 2-0, also in the Nelson Mandela Football Invitational. Their new stars featured for them against AC Milan. Alvaro Negredo recorded a memorable shot on target which produced a remarkable save.
The previous meeting between these two sides at the Allianz saw Bayern record a 2-0 victory in the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League group stages. City reversed the score line at the Etihad Stadium. However, by then, Bayern had already qualified as group winners for the next stage.
This is City’s chance to show that they are truly a contender on the European stage and not just in their domestic league. Bayern is a different animal to any other opponent City encountered last season or in preseason this year. Overall, City really has to play remarkably well and avoid both minor and major errors to have a chance against the European Champions.
It's August 1st and BT Sport has launched! Viewers in the United Kingdom can look forward to an awesome day.
Watch FC Bayern München vs. Manchester City live on Thursday, August 1, 2013 here:
In the UK at 19:30 BST on BT Sport 1