Manchester City cruised to a 3-0 victory at home against Bayern Munich on Tuesday in the premier matchup of this season’s Champions League quarterfinals. Although City have not collected the title before, they are still one of the top teams in the world. Bayern, on the other hand, have won the prestigious European competition six times. Data analysis company FiveThirtyEight has City and Bayern as the top two contenders to win this year’s title.
Tuesday’s match started fairly evenly. Both teams had similar possession and shot totals inside the opening 20 minutes. Erling Haaland, however, nearly put the hosts ahead twice separate times in this timeframe.
The first opportunity came from an awkward back pass from Joshua Kimmich to Yann Sommer. He then rushed a wide open shot inside the box a few minutes later. The prolific striker could have taken another touch to increase the scoring chance. Nevertheless, Rodri put City ahead in the 27th minute with an incredible strike.
Rodri’s stunner opens scoring for City
The defensive midfielder hit an amazing curling shot from long range to best Sommer. Rodri beat the defender, switched feet, and placed the ball perfectly in the top corner. The Spaniard went for placement over power. It was his first Champions League goal since 2016.
Bayern actually did not record a shot on target in the entire first half. It was just the fifth time in seven years that they failed to do so in a Champions League match. Jamal Musiala had the team’s best chance in the opening period, but Ruben Dias blocked the shot.
The visitors did, however, force Ederson to make a save just 45 seconds into the second half. In fact, Leroy Sane came out firing to put three quality shots towards the City goalkeeper inside the opening eight minutes of the period. The Brazilian shot-stopper was, however, up to the task.
City opens up Bayern in UCL quarterfinals
Bayern would regret not scoring at least one of these chances when City doubled their lead in the 70th minute. Jack Grealish easily dispossessed Dayot Upamecano in a dangerous area and gave the ball to Haaland. The striker, instead of going for goal himself, put a beautiful cross towards an onrushing Bernardo Silva. Silva headed in from close range to give City a 2-0 lead.
To the surprise of no one, Haaland would finally grab a goal of his own just seven minutes later. Center back John Stones won a header inside Bayern’s box and played in the Norwegian striker. Haaland certainly wouldn’t miss from just a few yards out. It was the forward’s 11th Champions League goal in just seven games and 45 in all competitions this season.
The two teams will face off next Wednesday in Germany for the second leg of the matchup. City can qualify for the semifinals of the competition as long as they don’t completely collapse in the upcoming game. The winner of the tie will go on to face either Real Madrid or Chelsea.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
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