June 6, 2023


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Manchester City hit three past Bayern Munich in first leg of last-eight tie

3 min read

Manchester City have one foot in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League after hammering Bayern Munich 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Pep Guardiola’s men were imperious at the Etihad Stadium and put the Bundesliga champions to the sword on a memorable evening.

Thomas Tuchel was left bewildered by the Bavarians’ collapse and they have it all to do in order to reach the last four.

The hosts controlled the game’s opening stages, carving out half a sight of goal after seven minutes. Bernardo Silva managed to scamper away from Alphonso Davies and pulled the ball back for Kevin De Bruyne to cross for Ilkay Gundogan, whose header sailed over the top.

Yann Sommer was nearly guilty of gifting Man City a goal when he took his time to clear the ball off the line, with Erling Haaland getting a deflection on his pass from mere yards out after charging down the Bayern goalkeeper.

Gundogan looked destined to tap the ball in at the near post following a neat Man City move but was denied at the last by an outstretched leg of the retreating Joshua Kimmich.

Man City should have had the lead when Jack Grealish’s clever flick afforded Haaland time and space to wind up a shot, but his strike from the edge of the area was uncharacteristically tame and Sommer was able to hold the shot.

Their wastefulness was nearly punished when Leroy Sane skipped past Manuel Akanji and cut the ball back for Jamal Musiala, whose fierce shot was bravely blocked by Ruben Dias with the strike destined for the net as it had wrong-footed Ederson.

With their next attack, Man City deservedly broke the deadlock. Rodri was closed down by Musiala from 25 yards but was able to cut back onto his weaker left foot, and with one swing used it to strike the ball right into the top corner, scoring his first ever Champions League goal and stunning the Etihad crowd.

They went close to doubling their advantage minutes later. De Bruyne’s deflected looping cross bounced and was punched up by an unsure Sommer, who was clattered by Grealish and fell acrobatically to the floor. Gundogan rushed in to lash forth a half-volley, but the Swiss stopper somehow adjusted his contorted body to deny him.

Ex-Man City winger Sane came close to finding a leveller in first-half stoppage time, letting fly from 25 yards after coming in from the right. However, the ball bounced just the wrong side of the post and Bayern went into the break behind.

Sane had the first shot of the second half when he galloped at the Man City backline and lined up a shot from the edge of the area, with Ederson thumping the ball to one side with his chest. Soon after, he raced clear of Akanji and again forced the Brazilian into a low save.

Dayot Upcamecano and Benjamin Pavard played Bayern back into trouble when attempting to pass the ball back to Sommer, with Joshua Kimmich providing a vital block to deny Haaland from point-blank range.

Back at the other end, Sane again was allowed time to twist and turn to fire at goal, with Ederson coming to Man City’s rescue once more.

Guardiola’s men were beginning to bend and wilt under the pressure, though were still carving out chances of their own. Nathan Ake raced forward beyond Grealish and saw his near-post strike palmed away by Sommer.

From the resulting corner, Sommer had to produce a stunning save on the stretch to keep out Dias’ toe-poke.

The Bayern resistance was broken again with 20 minutes remaining. Grealish robbed Upamecano of possession and sent Haaland racing away. It looked for all the world that he would fire at goal, but he instead crossed for Bernardo Silva to head into the roof of the net.

Substitute Julian Alvarez went close to adding a third, only for Sommer to push away his low effort.

Man City did have their third entering the final quarter of an hour. Gundogan’s cross was headed back across goal by John Stones, and Haaland was on hand to direct the ball past Sommer.

Bayern will have to overturn this hefty deficit back at the Allianz Arena in the second leg of this quarter-final next week – a task which looks near impossible based on this showing.

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