It was another night to admire the awesome power of Bayern Munich and, in the process, a collective ordeal for Manchester City and a personal one for Joe Hart. They have never been so comprehensively outclassed on their own ground in the Abu Dhabi era, and a club with City's ambitions will surely want more than to see their own supporters clapping off the opposition.
What a team Pep Guardiola has inherited from Jupp Heynckes, and what a long way City have to go before they can consider themselves equals. Manuel Pellegrini's team played for long spells as though struck down by an inferiority complex. Bayern can do that to the most accomplished of opponents, as Barcelona can testify, but their brilliance does not fully excuse the home side's carelessness, nor the wretched way in which the goals were conceded.
Hart was responsible for two of them, to varying degrees, and the England goalkeeper should brace himself for another round of intense scrutiny before the next round of international fixtures. His first mistake, allowing Franck Ribéry's shot to go in off his gloves, was particularly desperate, and his confidence has to be jarred in the lead up to the games against Montenegro and Poland that will determine England's World Cup group.
A lot will be said and written about Hart but it was actually futile trying to pick out a single player from City's starting XI who emerged with any distinction. Alvaro Negredo, a second-half substitute, rescued a modicum of pride with a classy left-foot strike after 80 minutes but the late flurry, after Jérôme Boateng had been sent off for bringing down Yaya Touré, was a deception.
"On another day, we might have nicked it," the club's Twitter account optimistically put it. On another day, Bayern might have been six goals clear before they started taking off their best players and a touch of complacency crept in.
Nobody here should have been kidding themselves after Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben struck in the space of four second-half minutes. The final score flattered the home side and Pellegrini made no bones about it. "We played really badly," he said.
For Hart in particular, it felt like a night with heavy repercussions. He will wince when he sees the replays, and perhaps the most distressing thing is that these lapses can no longer be considered a shock. They have become a habit and, though there are good bits in between, they have gone on for so long now that they feel like a significant issue.
Roy Hodgson was among the crowd and there will be more questions on a now familiar subject when the England manager holds a press conference on Thursday. He, like Pellegrini, will continue to offer public backing, but both must be increasingly alarmed. "Of course I am worried about the mistakes," Pellegrini said. There were also the first flickers of dissent from the crowd. At one point Hart claimed a routine shot, aimed straight at him, and there were isolated, ironic cheers. Only a few but enough to be heard.
Shortly before, Rafinha had played a long, diagonal pass out to Ribéry on the left and the Frenchman, a constant menace, stepped inside Jesús Navas before letting fly from 25 yards. Hart had a good view of it and a goalkeeper at this level should never be beaten at his near post from that distance. Diving to his right, he managed to get his hand on the ball but still ended up with his face in the turf.
Suddenly the insecurities that had symbolised City's last European campaign were evident again. The crowd were flat and apprehensive. More importantly, the players looked desperately short of belief. Bayern demonstrated the composure and togetherness that would be expected of serial champions.
City, in stark contrast, played for 75 minutes with something approaching reverence for their opponents. The team who had demolished Manchester United two Sundays ago offered virtually nothing in that period and were probably just glad not to concede more goals.
Certainly there was plenty of evidence to reaffirm that Guardiola has the most formidable team in Europe. Ribéry was a difficult, elusive opponent for Micah Richards, an unexpected choice at right-back. Robben pinned back Gaël Clichy. Philipp Lahm oozed class behind Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Lahm is a full-back who now plays in midfield and Müller is a midfielder trying out as a striker. Bayern do it seamlessly and City were overwhelmed.
At times, they were their own worst enemies. Take the moment, after 56 minutes, when Dante floated the ball forwards and Clichy simply stopped and watched, motionless, as everything went into slow-motion and Müller latched on to the loose ball, sidestepping the badly exposed Hart to make it 2-0.
Four minutes later, Fernandinho lost possession and Robben set off on a weaving run, picking up speed, advancing on goal and then beating Hart with a right-foot shot. Again, Hart got his hand on the ball and was beaten at his near post.
This was a period when Bayern threatened to turn the match into a rout. Müller hit a post and Hart beat away another one-on-one effort from the same player. If anything, it was a shock that City survived more punishment before Negredo's elegant turn and left-foot shot, almost out of nothing, was followed by Boateng's red card and another substitute, David Silva, turning the free-kick against the Bayern crossbar.
City had been outplayed for most of the night and the crowd recognised as much with their dignified applause for the departing champions.