Manchester City welcomed Bayern Munich to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, with the two sides set to contest the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal. The game marked Thomas Tuchel’s return to England, after the German manager replaced Julian Nagelsmann as Bayern Munich’s Head Coach.
MCI: Ederson; Aké, Dias, Akanji; Rodri, Stones; Grealish, Gündoğan, De Bruyne, B. Silva; Haaland
FCB: Sommer; Davies, De Ligt, Upamecano, Pavard; Goretzka, Kimmich; Sané, Musiala, Coman; Gnabry
City looked to push forwards from the get-go, with Jack Grealish cutting inside before attempting to play in Kevin De Bruyne – but the Englishman’s pass was cut out before it could reach the Belgian. Bayern looked to get into their opponents’ box too, though Nathan Aké was able to out-muscle Kingsley Coman and deny the winger the opportunity to open the scoring.
The hosts could have taken the lead within the opening ten minutes as Bernardo Silva worked his way past Alphonso Davies, finding De Bruyne who fizzed a cross into the penalty area – but it was headed over by İlkay Gündoğan without really threatening Yann Sommer between the sticks.
Erling Haaland could have bagged the opener after Bayern’s defence was sliced open thanks to a great pass from Jack Grealish – but the Norwegian forward’s strike was directed far too close to Sommer. Action followed at the other end, with City put to work defensively as Jamal Musiala picked the ball up inside the area and looked to send the ball into the bottom corner. Ederson looked to be beaten, but a phenomena block from Ruben Dias denied the German.
Manchester City took the lead in the 27th minute, as Rodri worked past Musiala – and with his options limited, the Spaniard opted to let an effort fly towards goal from thirty yards out. His curling strike found the top-left, leaving Yann Sommer with no chance of making the save. City were ahead in spectacular fashion!
They should have made it 2-0 soon after, as Kevin De Bruyne’s cross into the area was left by Dayot Upamecano – forcing Yann Sommer to punch it away. Gündoğan looked to pounce, but Sommer was able to stretch a leg out and launch the strike over the crossbar.
Leroy Sané could have equalised before the break, as he cut inside in the dying seconds of injury time before firing an effort just wide of the far corner. The ex-Manchester City winger had looked promising, but ultimately he wasn’t able to make it count – and the hosts headed into the break with a slender advantage.
Sané was straight back to it after the break, and forced Ederson into making a rather unconventional save after his dipping strike looked to nestle in the back of the net. The German looked to challenge the City ‘keeper once more less than five minutes later, but his low driven strike was saved well by the Brazilian.
Bayern’s attacking threat seemed to all be coming from Leroy Sané, who broke free on the right channel but couldn’t make his strike count – as Ederson was able to parry it away. The Brazilian was certainly being put to work by Bayern in this second half, as Benjamin Pavard’s cross from the right flank was almost diverted into the back of the net, though the ‘keeper was able to push it over the crossbar.
Sommer was forced into action soon after, as Grealish broke through before finding Aké with a cheeky backheeled pass. The Dutchman’s thunderous strike was pushed wide by Sommer, who was put to work by the resulting corner too as Ruben Dias’ volley looked to double City’s advantage – but the Swiss ‘keeper was equal to it.
The Blues eventually doubled their lead in the 70th minute, as Bernardo Silva sent a deft header over the line. Upamecano, who had been far from his best all evening, was dispossessed by Grealish, who then found Haaland inside the area. The Norwegian’s cross was met by Silva, who nodded his effort past Sommer to put Pep Guardiola’s side into a more comfortable lead.
Upamecano nearly gifted City another cheap goal, as Grealish capitalised on the Frenchman’s mistake – firing a cross into Bernardo Silva at the far post, but the Portuguese international couldn’t meet it. Bayern’s other French defender, Benjamin Pavard, was the next to slip up and allow Gündoğan chance to play in Julián Álvarez, though his strike was parried away by Sommer.
Guardiola’s side made it 3-0 in the 76th minute, as Erling Haaland finally got his goal. City played a corner short, eventually fizzing a cross towards John Stones at the far post. The Englishman opted to head it back towards Haaland, who stretched well to fire home for the hosts’ third goal of the evening!
City could have made it four or five in the dying minutes, but ultimately they’ll have to settle for a three-goal lead ahead of their trip to the Allianz Arena next week. Thomas Tuchel’s return to England couldn’t have gone much worse, as his side fall to an embarrassing defeat – with the scoreline not helped by Dayot Upamecano’s defensive woes in the second half.