MAN CITY 3-0 BAYERN MUNICH: Pep Guardiola’s men turned on the style at the Etihad Stadium as they eased past the reigning German giants and now look on their way to the Champions League semi-finals
Manchester City put one foot in the Champions League semi-finals as they tore apart reigning German champions Bayern Munich 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
Spanish midfielder Rodri opened the scoring in glorious fashion with a stunning, curling effort from range. Bernardo Silva doubled the lead after the break with a brilliant header from Erling Haaland’s wicked cross.
The Norwegian was soon on the scoresheet himself as he thundered home a John Stonesknockdown for secure what was a thumping victory for City and Pep Guardiola against his former employers.
Here are all of the talking points from a brilliant evening for the Sky Blues as they continue their push for their first-ever Champions League crown:
Rodri nets another rocket
For a man who has never scored a Champions League goal, Rodri’s stunning strike was becoming of a player accustomed to finding the back of the net. The Spaniard received the ball in the heart of midfield from Bernardo Silva, jinked inside of Jamal Musiala and stroked it into the top corner of Yann Sommer’s net with aplomb.
The former Atletico Madrid man has certainly scored his fair share of stunners during his time at the Etihad Stadium so it is certainly no shock to see him repeat the trick. It was a strike deserving of winning any game, none least a clash between these two titans.
Sommer scares Bayern
It is certainly a tough gig to step into the vacant shoes – or indeed gloves – of Germany and Bayern legend Manuel Neuer and Swiss stopper Sommer still has a long way to go to prove that he is indeed that man.
The former Borussia Monchengladbach star made a number of glaring errors throughout the evening as he dithered on the ball, nearly gifting a goal to Erling Haaland. He then repeated the trick in the second-half as a shocking clearance fell the way of the Norwegian and he then had a shot blocked.
Whilst he made a few errors, he also produced a stunning reflex save to deny Ilkay Gundogan as he looked destined to open the scoring. He was then on hand to paw away Julian Alvarez’s low shot on an evening that lurched from the ridiculous to the brilliant.
Grealish key for City once more
Whilst Man City’s second goal of the evening owed plenty to the cross from Haaland – and indeed Silva’s header – a lot of credit has to go to Jack Grealish. The former Aston Villa star has worked extremely hard for Pep Guardiola this season and now finally appears to have settled into the Spaniard’s way of thinking.
His hassling and pressing during the second period was a valuable asset to City throughout the second period. That ensured he was on hand to rob the ball away from French defender Dayot Upamecano and set away Haaland.
It will certainly put a smile on Guardiola and City fan’s faces to finally see him proving his worth at the Etihad Stadium.
Haaland haunts Bayern again
With the hosts in a ruthless mood, it was only a matter of time before Haaland got in on the action against his former foes. Ahead of the game at the Etihad, the former Borussia Dortmund sensation had notched five goals in seven career appearances – that despite being on the losing side in each of those games.
That was ended in emphatic style on Tuesday – Haaland’s finish evidence of the mood that both he and his side were in on the night. Haaland had the ball knocked down to him when unchallenged yards from the Bayern goal and he stretched to thunder it into the net.
Whilst he ended his barren run of wins against Bayern, he also became the Premier Leagueplayer to score the most goals in a season – the striker now having 45 strikes to his name in all competitions.
Dias and Stones deny Bayern
City were certainly in inpsired form going forwards but credit has to be paid to their defensive duo of John Stones and Ruben Dias. The centre-back pairing put in brilliant performances between them to keep a talented Bayern outfit quiet.
The likes of Sadio Mane, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman were all fielded at one point or another so it is certainly a notable feet to keep the four as quiet as they were.
Cancelo gets hostile reaction
Following his shock move in January, it was intriguing to note the reaction that Portuguese defender Joao Cancelo received at the Etihad Stadium. After clambering off of te bench, he was roundly booed by the City faithful.
With the ex-Juventus star set to return come the end of the season, he now has a decision to make over his future.
Guardiola finally gets one over Tuchel
Heading into the showdown at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola had not won a cup game against Thomas Tuchel in each of his last two attempts. They would no doubt have been painful, with the German running out victorious in the 2021 FA Cup semi-finals, whilst he was also successful in that season’s Champions League final.
Having condemned Tuchel to his heaviest defeat at the helm thus far, that will no doubt put a smile on Guardiola’s face as he finally attempts to win the Champions League at the Etihad Stadium.