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Opposition Form Report: Man. City Takes Comeback into Bayern Clash

Marcel N'Djeng saves Hertha BSC late, Braunschweig dominate FSV Frankfurt, and Krasnodar's two early goals down CSKA Moskva

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

UEFA Champions League

Manchester City (2-1) Swansea City

0-1 SCFC: Wilfred Bony (9')
1-1 MCFC: Stevan Jovetić (19')
2-1 MCFC: Yaya Touré (62')

It is fascinating, seeing what motivates some of the Manchester City players. Rarely do the players try to win the ball high up the pitch, which could be a tactic that Manuel Pellegrini is deploying. The same players also do not try to make runs or maneuver into a good position to build up the play either, which has left the Manchester City attack stagnant. Stevan Jovetić worked incessantly to get into a scoring position, an effort he was rewarded for when Jesús Navas found him for an easy tap-in. No one else showed even close the same work rate that Jovetić did until Man. City took the lead late in the match. Disinterest might get the job done in the Barclays Premier League, but not against top Champions League competition.

Man. City XI (4-4-2): Hart – Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy – Jesús Navas, Fernandinho (Fernando 88'), Touré, Nasri (Milner 79') – Jovetić (Lampard 70'), Agüero

Manchester City vs Swansea (2-1) Full... by rubin7190

Krasnodar (2-1) CSKA Moskva

1-0 KRA: Ari (4')
2-0 KRA: Ari (6')
2-1 CSKA: Roman Eremenko (14')

Given the circumstance, one has to wonder how up for this match CSKA was given their crucial Champions League test at midweek. Both of Ari's goals were a product of complacent defending, the center backs acting more like zombies than defenders. The buildup did not look as sharp as in games past, the attack lacking ideas in the final third as Krasnodar retreated. A redemptive victory at midweek would make this result a footnote, but the converse would be an indictment on Leonid Slutsky's motivational skills.

CSKA (4-2-3-1): Akinfeev – Mário Fernandes, V. Berezutski, Ignashevich, Shennikov – Wernbloom (Musa 46'), Dzagoev – Tošić, Eremenko, Milanov (Cauņa 65') – Doumbia

Krasnodar 2-1 CSKA Moscow - Highlights - 22/11... by Football--Live


1. FC Köln (1-2) Hertha Berliner SC

0-1 BSC: Roy Beerens (28')
1-1 KOL: Anthony Ujah (58')
1-2 BSC: Marcel N'Djeng (86')

Flirting with the relegation zone, it was a result that Jos Luhukay and Hertha BSC sorely needed. The way it came was not pretty either, N'Djeng receiving a fortunate deflection from the Köln wall to allow his free kick to bounce past Timo Horn. Their presence is the middle was flaccid, but Peter Stöger's set-up could have been the main culprit of that. That said, if BSC has to rely on Änis Ben-Hatira and Roy Beerens for attacking progression, they will have a long day against Bayern.

Hertha BSC XI (4-2-3-1): Kraft – N'Djeng, Hegeler, Brooks, Schultz – Hosogai, Skjelbred – Beerens, Stocker (Niemeyer 61'), Ben-Hatira (Haraguchi 73') – Schieber (Kalou 83')

All Goals - Köln 1-2 Hertha Berlin - 22-11-2014 by Bundes_Liga


FSV Frankfurt (0-3) Eintracht Braunschweig 

0-1 EBS: Håvard Nielsen (1')
0-2 EBS: Håvard Nielsen (44')
0-3 EBS: Mushagalusa Bakenga (87')

In a very open game, Eintracht Braunschweig was clearly the only Bundesliga-worthy club on the field. Nielsen's goals were ones that probably would not fly in the Bundesliga, and their ability to  get the ball up the field was merely a product of Frankfurt's effort. That said, Braunschweig moved forward and tracked back as a team, and were very inventive in the attacking third with so much space to work with. They were in clear control of this match, something that will likely not be the case when they travel to Munich in March.

Braunschweig XI (4-4-2): Gieklewicz – Kessel, Marcel Correia, Reichel, Hedenstad – Korte, Theuerkauf, Boland, Zuck – Nielsen, Ryu

FSV Frankfurt 0-3 Braunschweig - Highlights... by AlleTore

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