Manchester City did the job against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final. Next up in the UCL will be a semi-final rematch with Real Madrid. Before that, City have a trip to Wembley in the FA Cup semis against Sheffield United at the weekend. Sky Blue News is here with all the latest to get you up to speed.
Bayern Munich 1-1 Man City (Agg: 1-4): Erling Haaland scores again as Pep Guardiola’s side reach Champions League semi-finals - Dan Sansom - Sky Sports
Holding a commanding 3-0 lead from the first leg, City weathered an early storm in Germany before Haaland’s composed finish in the 57th minute effectively confirmed his side’s place in the last four for a third year in a row.
The Norwegian could have opened the scoring earlier but blazed a first-half penalty over the bar and despite Joshua Kimmich making it 1-1 on the night with a late spot-kick (83), it was a case of mission accomplished for Pep Guardiola’s team.
City’s chances of securing a maiden Champions League title remain very much alive, but they will first have to overcome 14-time winners Real Madrid, who beat Chelsea 4-0 on aggregate in their quarter-final.
And they will know better than anyone what a daunting challenge that is, having been knocked out by the Spanish champions at the semi-final stage last year after falling victim to one of the greatest European comebacks.
Quick Match Recap: Manchester City Advance to the Semi Finals of the UCL - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue
What can you say about the team? The front three and keeper were insanely good in this one.
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.
One where City was in control with possession and chances created. They played a really great match and this time kept the pressure on and have advanced in the UCL. It means advancing was the right call.
City had so many players who played well and this seems to be a much needed boost as the club feels good even if the final 15 were much more tedious than expected.
Two others of note who did play well and were lively were Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva who showed up well.
The story of the night is that City get a win and are in the last four.
The stakes have risen and it will make for a fun close of season.
Quick Match Recap: Manchester City Advance to the Semi Finals of the UCL https://t.co/11FPmwR4lO— Bitter and Blue (@BitterandBlue1) April 19, 2023
Two Man City stars show why they’re undroppable for Pep Guardiola against Bayern Munich - Daniel Murphy - Manchester Evening News
Jack Grealish wasn’t nearly as involved in the exciting stuff in the second leg of Manchester City’s Champions League win over Bayern Munich, there were no crucial goal involvements this time around but his contributions were still just as important. As Pep Guardiola said about him earlier in the season when he was struggling, he isn’t in the team for just goals and assists.
Instead, what Grealish did so excellently in the Allianz Arena was repeatedly take the sting out of the match. The number of times he picked up the ball and inevitably found himself tripped up with a free-kick won was bordering on ridiculous. Every time it just whittled down the seconds and subdued a raucous atmosphere.
In the final minutes of the game, as Bayern attempted one last flurry after leveling the scores, City wobbled a touch and it wasn’t until Grealish took the ball did they calm down. He got possession, played a nice one-two with Julian Alvarez and then ran rings around several defenders, nutmegging one, before finally being hauled down. It optimised the crucial, if understated, job he had done all night in an incredible shift.
Criticism of Ederson earlier in 2023 appeared massively overblown but the goalkeeper appears to have taken it to heart as there has been a clear improvement in how he handles one-on-one situations. Just like James Maddison on Saturday, Leroy Sane raced through on goal and only had the goalkeeper to beat but didn’t convert.
Ederson, usually so eager and proactive coming off his line, on both occasions showed great restraint and patience, choosing instead to smartly position himself to tighten the angle of the shot and then stand up to the attacker until the last possible moment. Sane missed the target but the Brazilian did well to make the chance harder than it could have been and a goal that could have swung the tie the other way didn’t come to pass.
UEFA Champions League Semi-Final Details: Confirmed opponents, fixture dates, route to final - Harry winters - City Xtra
Who will Manchester City play in the UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals?
Manchester City will face current holders Real Madrid in the semi-finals, a repeat of last season’s final four clash between the Premier League and La Liga heavyweights.
Real Madrid beat Chelsea 4-0 on aggregate in the quarter-finals, winning 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening.
When are semi-final ties being played?
The semi-final first-leg will take place on Tuesday 9th May and the return fixture on Wednesday 17th May 2023.
Manchester City will visit the Santiago Bernabéu in the first-leg and host the current European holders in the second-leg.
Who could Manchester City play in the UEFA Champions League Final?
AC Milan knocked out Napoli while Inter Milan overcame Benfica.
Manchester City handed Nathan Ake injury concern ahead of Sheffield United, Arsenal clashes - Oliver Thomas - Sports Mole
The 28-year-old has been one of City’s standout performers throughout this season, operating predominantly as a left-back since the January loan departure of Joao Cancelo, who started against his parent club on Wednesday.
Ake has now emerged as a major doubt for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United at Wembley, while there are also concerns over his fitness ahead of next Wednesday’s Premier League title showdown with Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.
The Netherlands international has confirmed that he came off with a hamstring injury against Bayern, but is hopeful that the issue is not a serious one heading into an important period of City’s season.
Speaking to Sky Sports reporter Ben Ransom after the game, Ake said: “I’ve 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 tomorrow and then hopefully it’s not too bad.”
Ake has made a total of 36 appearances for the Citizens across all tournaments so far this season and has scored twice, including a strike in the 1-0 FA Cup fourth-round win over Arsenal in January.
The potential absence of Ake could see fellow left-footed defender Aymeric Laporte handed a start at left-back against Sheffield United.
‘I think we are going through’ - Defiant Bernardo Silva backs Man City to beat Real Madrid - Michael Plant - Manchester World
The Blues progressed to the last four of the competition on Wednesday night after a 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich in the Allianz Arena handed City a 4-1 aggregate win over two legs. It means Pep Guardiola’s men will face Real in the semi-finals for the second season in a row, with the Spaniards famously eliminating City last season thanks to a dramatic late comeback in the second leg at the Bernabeu.
But Silva is confident that City can beat the European champions when they meet next month. “Hopefully, yes,” Silva said on BT Sport, when asked if he wanted revenge for last season’s dramatic exit.
“We know how tough it is to play Real in this competition. We are going to go for it, we always go for it. We feel the team is very confident at the minute and I think we are going through.”
City’s capitulation last season was the latest in a recurring theme of disappointing exits from the Champions League. But Silva said the Blues have learnt from previous eliminations and, after City progressed to the semi-finals with a lower possession over two legs than Bayern, he explained what has changed in the dressing room.
“In the Champions League we learn from our mistakes of the past and what we understand now - before we used to think ‘we need to be 90 minutes dominating the game and controlling in the final third’.
And finally... City are off to Asia this summer with a trip to South Korea on the cards.
City will take on La Liga’s Atletico Madrid in July as part of the ‘Coupang Play Series’ hosted by Korea’s streaming service Coupang Play, in conjunction with London based sports marketing agency, Pitch International, at the World Cup Stadium, Seoul on Sunday 30th July 2023*.
This is one of three fixtures set to take place in Asia this summer. The two sides most recently came face to face in the 2021/22 Champions League Quarter-Finals.
This preseason tour is the first time City have visited South Korea since 1976, when players such as Dennis Tueart, Alan Oakes, Glyn Pardoe and Willie Donnachie faced Korea XI in three fixtures played in Seoul, Busan and Deagu as part of a number of close season fixtures.
We're heading to Asia this summer!— Manchester City (@ManCity) April 20, 2023
⚽️ Atletico Madrid
World Cup Stadium
Sunday 30 July pic.twitter.com/OvucHQK5IR
There you have it Cityzens. Remember to stay with Bitter and Blue for all the latest. Sky Blue News returns tomorrow as we begin prep for the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.