Star striker Erling Haaland continued to run riot over his opposition, scoring his 48th goal of the season in 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Thursday, which allowed them to advance to the final four stage of the competition due to a three-goal advantage from the first leg.
City held a strong 3-0 lead from the first leg and were able to storm into the semis after Haaland’s goal in the second half pretty much sealed his side’s spot in the final four for the third year in a row. Despite a goal from Joshua Kimmich in the 83rd minute with a penalty, Munich failed to advance further.
The English side’s chance to securing their maiden Champions League title is very much alive. But they will have to overcome the defending champions and 14-time champions Real Madrid in the semifinal. They were knocked out by the Spanish giants in the semifinal last year.
For Bayern, their disappointing run at the Champions League continues as they bow out at the final eight stage for the third season in a row.
Bayern was visibly hurt by their defeat at the Etihad last week and was determined to play valiantly. They got the game going with confidence and, fueled by the raucous environment, took it to City.
The visitors avoided a larger scare when the former Manchester City winger Leroy Sane raced through on goal but shot wide after Kingsley Coman twice got clear down the right in the first minutes.
Dayot Upamecano’s red card for tripping Haaland as he broke free caused controversy at the other end, but the judgement was reversed after a flag was raised.
The hosts did their utmost to prolong the penalty kick after the Bayern defender handled an Ilkay Gundogan shot in the box to give away a penalty, but Haaland sailed wide.
Bayern had lost hope, but after that miss, they came out hard to complete the first half. Coman shot at Ederson, and Sane, whose earlier free-kick had been saved, missed a long-range shot. Also turned away from close range were Cancelo and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
After the break, Haaland had another chance as Bayern started to tire while trying to win the match, but his shot was straight at Yann Sommer.
The German team came even closer when a Coman shot evaded Ederson’s grasp and bounced across goal, but City cleared and Haaland scored on the third attempt.
As Kevin De Bruyne spearheaded a push, the Bayern defence was again exposed. After gliding past a challenge, the 22-year-old Belgian gently slid in Haaland and finished forcefully to become the youngest player to record 35 goals in the Champions League.
That eliminated any possibility of a tie, but Bayern was not yet finished. Before Kimmich scored from the penalty spot seven minutes from time after Manuel Akanji was harshly punished for handball, Mathys Tel had a goal disallowed for offside.
Thomas Tuchel, the manager of Bayern Munich, had to watch the final seconds from the stands after receiving a red card for losing control of his anger.
The severity of a probable hamstring injury to defender Nathan Ake, who had to be substituted in the second half, will be Pep Guardiola’s main worry from an otherwise positive night.
“I have had it before and it feels a little bit less to be honest, but you never know with these things, so we will do the ultrasounds and stuff on Thursday and then hopefully it is not too bad,” Ake told Sky Sports after the match. (ANI)