The match appeared to be heading for a draw as the final whistle approached, after Bayern had squandered several chances to break the deadlock, but Boateng's deflected effort in the 90th minute salvaged a deserved victory.
There were a couple of surprise inclusions in Guardiola’s starting line-up, with new signing Medhi Benatia handed his debut at centre-back and Rafinha coming in at right-back having recovered from injury. The changes did little to disrupt the hosts’ rhythm though, as they very nearly scored after just 30 seconds when Robert Lewandowski teed up Thomas Müller, who rounded visiting keeper Joe Hart only to fire into the side netting.
It was an open, entertaining affair between two of the continent’s heavyweights, but Bayern enjoyed the better chances and should have scored at least once before half-time, as further chances for Müller, Lewandowski and David Alaba, who was playing in central midfield, went beggining. Former VfL Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko had the best opportunity at the other end of the pitch but could only fire wide with an effort from the right-hand edge of the penalty area midway through the half.
It was largely one-way traffic after the break as Bayern camped out in the guests’ half and began testing Hart from various angles. Phillip Lahm dragged a long-range effort wide of the post before Götze went close with a well-taken half-volley in a crowded area. However, clear-cut opportunities remained at a premium against a physical City side who carried surprisingly little threat in attack.
Guardiola brought on Arjen Robben, recently recovered from injury, for the final quarter of an hour in the hope that the Dutchman’s pace and direct running would provide his side with fresh ideas in attack, but although the 30-year-old was a lively presence, he could find no way through either. The hosts continued to seek a winner up until the final whistle and were rewarded when Boateng struck from the edge of the penalty area after City failed to clear their lines, handing the Bavarians a invaluable victory.
Bayern: Neuer - Rafinha (Pizarro 84'), Boateng, Benatia (Dante 85'), Bernat - Lahm, Alonso, Alaba - Müller (Robben 76'), Götze - Lewandowski
Man City: Hart - Sagna, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy - Toure, Fernandinho - Navas (Kolarov 88'), Silva, Nasri (Milner 58') - Dzeko (Agüero 74')
Goals: 1-0 (Boateng 90')