The clash of old and new money at the Allianz arena is not what either team wanted at this stage of the Champions League
If it were not for the fact that affluent Manchester City are the visitors to the Allianz Arena, people might be marvelling at the wealth of the hosts. Bayern Munich have been particularly successful in developing an appeal that reaches far beyond their region. The hosts in Tuesday's Champions League fixture lie fourth in Deloitte's Football Money League with an income from the 2009-10 season of £264m, about £22m behind Manchester United. Real Madrid and Barcelona are richer still, but Bayern's potential is great.
This, after all, is a club that appeared in the 2010 Champions League final, losing to José Mourinho's Internazionale. It had also taken the trophy with a victory over Valencia in a penalty shoot-out nine years before. If Bayern suffer from any frustration, it lies in the difficulty of recreating the sort of domination that brought them the European Cup three times in a row from 1974 to 1976 when Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Müller were in the lineup.
Any club of such standing appreciates that current players are always competing with figures from the past, trying to match or even outdo them. Bayern will never suffer from a lack of attention, much as they might like to now and again.
The Arena is routinely filled to its 69,000 capacity, with the total only dipping by 3,000 for the Champions League fixtures where standing is not allowed. It is a place well-suited to dramas, whether concocted or otherwise.
Arjen Robben, having recovered from pelvic inflammation, came off the bench on Saturday and scored the last goal in a 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen. When the match was over, though, the Dutchman could not restrict himself to plain happiness. "My muscles are aching all over," he said, adding that he would need a "recovery period".
Robben, when fit, has turned into a regular scorer at Bayern. The club, with players like him on the staff, has been exercising its will in recent years. Bayern have been champions of Germany on 22 occasions, but the pace has been increasing, with seven of the titles coming since 2000.
Despite that, no one can protest that the team goes unchallenged. Indeed Bayern had the small inconvenience of a Champions League qualifier, in which they beat Zürich home and away, because they finished third last season in a Bundesliga won by Borussia Dortmund.
There have been few lapses from a side managed by Jupp Heynckes, who was appointed in the summer. The potential impact of the team cannot have gone unnoticed since they opened their Champions League group schedule with an away victory at El Madrigal, where Villarreal had been undefeated in the previous nine fixtures in European competition.
A well-funded Manchester City would not be excused if they felt uneasy about the match with Bayern, but it was hardly the sort of game they would have wished for in the competition immediately after dropping points at home in the 1-1 draw with Napoli.
The sight of Serie A sides to the fore would be cheering for a Champions League that can suffer from a lack of variety. Until the alarm over the European and indeed global economy, it was all but taken for granted that clubs from England and Spain would be in command. Bayern are particularly qualified to call that into question. They have completed nine consecutive games in the Bundesliga and Champions League without conceding a goal. A meeting with Manchester City falls into a different category, though, considering the extent of the sums of money that have been brought to bear at Eastlands.
City will be fully aware that extreme means also increase the determination to do them harm, as millionaire players among the opposition have a chance for 90 minutes to cast themselves as revolutionaries and underdogs. City are slowly getting used to that, but the share of the points with Napoli was an indication that they can be uneasy with the expectations.
Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, was rueful about that result because his side had virtually no cover when the ball was lost in the opposition half and Edinson Cavani ran clear to open the scoring. It is improbable that City will allow Bayern such scope and the atmosphere will be invigorating, but the match in Munich was not the kind of occasion immediately desired by players still acclimatising to the Champions League.