MANCHESTER City have already secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, and in doing so have guaranteed that they will equal their best finish in the competition.

That doesn’t mean that tonight’s (December 8) clash with Borussia Monchengladbach is a ‘nothing’ affair though, as they have the chance to top their group for the first time. Traditionally finishing top means an easier tie in the Round of 16, and that could see City reach the quarter-finals, another first.

Ahead of their clash with the German outfit, we review their match day six performances and how their final standing effected their progression in the competition.

Victory in vain – Manchester City 2-0 Bayern Munich (2011/12)

In their first appearance in the Champions League Manchester City were given a tough draw, coming up against Napoli, Bayern Munich and Villarreal.

Going into match day six they needed a win at home to Bayern Munich, who rested their star men, and goals from David Silva and Yaya Toure sealed a 2-0 win. It wasn’t enough though as Napoli’s 2-0 victory away to Villarreal saw the Italians finish a point above City, condemning them to the Europa League. After a 6-1 aggregate victory over Porto, they eventually crashed out to Sporting CP on away goals.

Rock bottom – Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Manchester City (2012/13)

There was no luck of the draw in their second appearance either with Real Madrid, Ajax and eventual finalists Borussia Dortmund accompanying Roberto Mancini’s men in group D.

Without a win in their first five games they visited Signal Iduna Park to face Dortmund in the final group game. Despite their chances of progressing in the competition being over, they still had the chance to continue in Europe with a third placed finish. Schieber’s 57th minute goal was the difference as the English club finished bottom of the group without a win. Mancini couldn’t steer the club out of the group stages in his two attempts, as he was sacked at the end of the season.

Miracle in Munich – Bayern Munich 2-3 Manchester City (2013/14)

For the second time in three years Bayern Munich and Manchester City were pitted against each other, with Viktoria Plzen and CSKA Moscow completing group D.

Going into their trip to the Allianz Arena to face Bayern both teams had already qualified for the knockout stages, which was a first for City who were now under the command of Manuel Pellegrini. Top spot was still up for grabs though, and the hosts flew out of the blocks with Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze firing Munich into an early lead. Silva grabbed one back before half-time and an Aleksandar Kolarov penalty levelled the scored on the hour mark, with James Milner completing a great comeback victory two minutes later.

Munich’s superior goal difference saw them top the group, setting City up with a knockout clash against Barcelona. The Spanish side proved too strong, brushing their opponents aside 4-1 over two legs, and ended Pellegrini’s first European campaign in charge.

The Italian Job – Roma 0-2 Manchester City (2014/15)

It was a familiar line up in last season’s competition, as Munich, City and CSKA Moscow were joined by Roma in group E, who replaced Viktoria Plzen from the previous year.

The German side ran away with the group and left Roma and Manchester City to fight it out for second place. That set up a crucial clash between the two sides at the Stadio Olimpico with the hosts needing a win to advance. Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta were on the score sheet in the second-half as City pulled off a 2-0 win, and set-up another meeting with Barcelona.

They were beaten again, this time 3-1 on aggregate, as the Spaniards went on to lift the trophy with a 3-1 victory over Juventus in the final.

By Sean Hayes

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