Bayern Munich will be hoping to pull off one of the great European comebacks as they host Manchester City in this UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, second-leg clash.
The hosts have it all to do after the English champions notched up a 3-0 lead in the first leg at the Etihad Stadium last week, with goals from Rodri, Bernardo Silva and the seemingly unstoppable Erling Haaland.
New Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel claimed his side’s performance wasn’t reflected by the shoreline following the defeat, and given the German champions’ perfect record at home in the UCL this season, this match is far from a dead rubber.
The Citizens entered the game with a healthy 3-0 cushion, while the Bavarians came in having taken that loss, but also on the back of some internal turmoil, with Sadio Mane punching his teammate, Leroy Sane. All eyes were of course on both men when the former was brought in to replace the latter during second half play. A cold exchange between them was all we got.
Where general play was concerned, City were solid. Between Gundogan and Grealish pulling strings, the vertical game was noticeable. Yet, there was the ever-present Kevin DeBruyne who’s probably the best thing since sliced bread.
As for Bayern, the truth is Kingsley Coman was the best player on the field between the sides. A constant threat to City’s defense as he jinked, feinted and generally disrespected his markers all night. Sadly, neither his several attempted assists nor his numerous shots were able to provide any joy for the side of their fans.
Upamecano had a let-off in the 17th minute when he brought down Haaland as the last man, only for the red card to be overturned because the City striker had strayed fractionally offside.
Leon Goretzka thrashed over when well placed but the worst miss for the half came from Haaland eight minutes before the break.
City went ahead after an incredible passage of play in the 57th minute. Ederson saved from Kingsley Coman and the ball ran across the away goalmouth. John Stones booted forward from the byline and Haaland was away after knocking down to Kevin De Bruyne on halfway.
The Norway star collected the return pass, Upamecano tumbled forlornly to the floor and there was little doubt when it came to the finish.
Outside of Upamecano’s adventures, Bayern were left frustrated by a serious of near-misses as they attempted to kickstart their comeback.
Former City winger Leroy Sane had the home side’s best chance of the first half in the 17th minute but dinked wide of the post after being played through one-on-one with Ederson.
The Man City goalkeeper turned a Sane free-kick wide of the post four minutes later, while City’s defenders stood firm to block shots from Kingsley Coman and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in first-half stoppage time.
“It is really annoying that we didn’t take the lead with all the chances that we had,” Kimmich said. I would have liked to see how this match had gone if we had made it 1-0 in the first half.” Bayern levelled on the night after substitute Sadio Mane played the ball into Akanji’s arm. Kimmich did the rest as Thomas Tuchel giggled at one of many decisions that perplexed him over the course of the night. He ended it in the stands, sent off after receiving a second yellow card for dissent.
Why you should back Manchester City
Erling Haaland has had raging success in the Champions League over his career. In 26 Champions League matches, the 22-year-old striker from Norway has 34 goals and four assists. This season alone he has 11 goals and one assist in seven Champions League fixtures. That includes a goal and an assist against Bayern Munich last week.
In addition, Manchester City face a Bayern Munich side that has failed to replace the production of formidable goal scorer Robert Lewandowski. Last season, the Polish striker scored 50 goals across all competitions, including 35 in the Bundesliga, before leaving for Barcelona in the summer. This season, Bayern Munich’s leading scorer is Jamal Musiala, who has 15 goals across all competitions.
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