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Sky Blue News: Halfway to the Semis, Unexpected Erling, Supreme City, and More...

Headlines for a splendid Wednesday.

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Manchester City v FC Bayern München: Quarterfinal First Leg - UEFA Champions League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Manchester City have done half the job against UEFA Champions League quarter-final opponents Bayern Munich. The Champions of England outclassed their German counterparts, cruising to a 3-0 victory. Next up is a Premier League visit from Leicester City, and then the return trip to Allianz Arena. Sky Blue News has all the reaction to last night’s win, and more.


City’s 3-0 victory over Bayern Munich on Tuesday saw us stretch our unbeaten home run in the UEFA Champions League to 25 matches.

That total takes us beyond the previous best by an English club, when Arsenal won 16 and drew eight matches between September 2004 and April 2009.

Our last defeat in a European match at the Etihad Stadium came way back in September 2018, when Lyon were the visitors for a group stage fixture.

Since then, we have won 23 and drawn two of our Champions League games in Manchester.

We still have a long way to go to match the overall record set by Barcelona.

The Catalan club went 38 matches unbeaten at the Camp Nou between September 2013 and November 2020, winning 34 of those.

UCL Quick Match Recap: Manchester City Crush Bayern Munich 3-0 - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

A match that had a similar feel to most City matches, yet resulted in some great play for the team as the intensity was there early. The second half was more dominant for City especially after the Silva goal.

One where City was in control with possession and chances created. They played a really great match and this time kept the pressure on that led to a win and makes the trip to Germany a but less intimidating. It means a win was the correct result.

City had so many players who played well and this seems to be a much needed boost as the club feels ‘back’ to its good form and the team of old.

Two others of note who did play well and were lively were Ederson and Bernardo Silva who showed up well.

The story of the night is that City get a win and are a step closer to the semi finals of the UCL.

The stakes have risen and it will make for a fun close of season.

Man City 3-0 Bayern Munich: Pep Guardiola’s side in control of Champions League quarter-final after three-goal first-leg win - Adam Bate - Sky Sports

Rodri’s curling shot from distance in the first half gave Pep Guardiola’s side the lead against the German champions before Bernardo Silva headed in a second after the interval. Leroy Sane tested Ederson repeatedly in between but Bayern’s defensive frailty was clear.

Erling Haaland, without so much as a draw in seven games against these opponents as a Borussia Dortmund player, exposed that fragility in volleying home the third goal as Bayern, and the struggling Dayot Upamecano in particular, began to wilt under City’s pressure.

The fourth goal did not arrive but for all this team’s travails in the latter stages of this competition, City will surely expect to progress to the final four after this result. A hugely impressive performance that underlines their status as the favourites for the trophy.

Erling Haaland did the unexpected to give Man City control against Bayern Munich - Tyrone Marshall - Manchester Evening News

The theory is that Erling Haaland is the missing piece of the jigsaw for Manchester City in the Champions League. His relentless appetite for goals could prove to be the difference between those agonising near-misses and City finally getting their hands on that iconic trophy.

His mind-blowing record of 45 goals in 39 games - 11 in seven in the Champions League - suggests it could be an accurate assessment. He can pick open tight games and pummel opposition who are on the ropes.

But he’s becoming more than just a goalscorer as well. Pep Guardiola has said consistently this season that he hopes to leave his mark on the 22-year-old, by getting him more involved in the build-up play and a more unpredictable threat.

There is still more to come on that front but if it’s the unexpected you want then look no further of what was Haaland’s sixth assist for the club. When Jack Grealish played him in after winning the ball from Dayot Upamecano it looked like a great shooting opportunity.

But as Yann Sommer came out to narrow the angle, Haaland feinted. He pulled his left foot but instead flicked a cross into the space that was quickly being targeted by Bernardo Silva. His header doubled City’s lead after Rodri’s brilliant opener.

Manchester City vs. Bayern Munich: the Etihad brought all the Champions League drama - Laura Graves - Man City Square

The Manchester City players stepped it up a gear, as did the home support. From back to front, the performances were inspired. Ederson in particular was able to keep his critics quiet with arguably his best show in a blue shirt.

Rodri and Stones did an excellent job of controlling the midfield where possible; whilst Ake, Akanji and Dias put on a fantastic defensive display.

The effort and passion was there for all to see, which only spurred on the home fans. This did not prevent the performance from also being measured, professional and mature in a way we are yet to see the blues in the late stages of this competition.

In addition to an impressive defensive show, there were 3 goals to give City the upper hand in the 2nd leg – though that will be no easy task.

Review and Player Ratings as supremely clinical City take advantage to Munich – Man City 3-0 Bayern - Dillon Meehan - City Report

Ruben Dias was the standout performer of the night, with the 25-year-old showcasing why he will soon become City’s captain for the foreseeable future.

Pep Guardiola once again opted for control during a Champions League knockout tie.

Ederson started in goal, with Manuel Akanji, John Stones, Dias, and Nathan Ake defending him. Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan, and Kevin De Bruyne manned the midfield, with Jack Grealish, Erling Haaland and Bernardo Silva serving as the attacking trio.

Despite there being a lot of discussions around Joao Cancelo and his role in this Bayern side, the Portuguese fullback was once again benched for a key match. However, Leroy Sane was given the nod against his former side.

Like most games for City, the opening minutes were a little cagey. Bayern started the match off with a high press, and when combined with a particularly nasty batch of Manchester rain and wind, it was difficult for City to play through the back.

Despite a few nervy moments early on, City settled down and began to impose themselves.

And finally... Bend the knee, and lay your goal-scoring records at the feet of the Jarl of Strikers, Erling Braut Haaland!!!

Erling Braut Haaland breaks fresh goalscoring record in win over Bayern Munich - Oliver Thomas - Sports Mole.

Haaland’s latest strike has now seen him move onto 45 goals, the most goals ever scored by a Premier League player in a single season across all competitions.

City’s No.9 has surpassed the previous record of 44 goals held jointly by former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy in the 2002-03 campaign and current Liverpool attacker Mohamed Salah in the 2017-18 season.

Both Van Nistelrooy and Salah netted 44 goals in 52 games across all tournaments, but Haaland has required only 39 matches to net 45 goals.

Haaland has also continued his impressive scoring record against Bayern, as he has now notched up six strikes in eight meetings against the Bavarian giants, with his previous five all scored with former club Borussia Dortmund.

Last month, Haaland became Man City’s all-time record scorer in a single season, breaking the club’s 94-year record previously held by Tommy Johnson back in the 1928-29 campaign when he netted 38 goals.

The striker, who is three clear at the top of this season’s Champions League scoring charts with 11, has now netted 12 goals in his last five matches across all tournaments and will seek to increase his impressive tally further when Man City play host to Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday.

There you have it. City have put one foot into the semi-finals of the UCL with their victory over Bayern. Stay with Bitter and Blue for all the latest as we get you set for Leicester at the weekend. Sky Blue News returns tomorrow with more headlines.