Guardiola’s City meet the champions
Manchester City sealed their place in the Champions League semifinals with a 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, the penultimate round where they will face Real Madrid as they did last year with a Spanish victory. Pep Guardiola’s men are once again facing the fearsome champions, the team of the 14 European Cups, in search of the first one for the Manchester club. The English, a soccer machine with Erling Haaland in history-making numbers, were not at their best in Munich, but the home side were not at their best.
The German team dominated without scoring
The German team fulfilled the script of the forced comeback after the 3-0 first leg, but lacked the most important thing, the goal as at the Etihad Stadium, and even had to be thankful for the 0-0 draw because Haaland missed a penalty in the 38th minute. It was a penalty that was charged by referee Turpin to a Upamecano who, after giving away the 2-0 first leg, made a mess of things again. The French defender escaped a red card for a previous offside and, before the break, opened his arms inside the box just before a shot from Gündogan. The handball was of no consequence but, without shooting on goal, without dominating the ball and with the ball in the box, City could have gone into the break ahead and playing against 10 men.
They forgave a lot
Coman was the best, a headache on the flank with dangerous crosses and Sané missed a very clear one in the first minutes, another moment that could have changed the tie. Goretzka also had a chance and, when he stopped the German pressure up front, the English found but did not take advantage of the penalty.
Haaland dispelled doubts
At the restart, the Premier League champion wanted to be the protagonist and it didn’t take long for Haaland to appear. The Norwegian gave a warning in the first and, in the second, dribbled a Upamecano on the ground by his own inertia to make the 0-1. With his 12th in the Champions League, 41 this season, the Celeste striker took revenge for the penalty and sealed the series against a Bayern side that had been unable to attack.
The goal of honor
Thomas Tuchel, who became the Munich coach three weeks ago to replace Nagelsman, brought on Mané, Davies, Müller and Mathys Tel before being sent off for protesting, and it was Tel who wasted the home side’s attempts. One went in, disallowed for offside by Coman, and the consolation goal came from Kimmich’s penalty for a handball detected by the VAR in the 83rd minute.
Battle for a place in the final
City will thus be Real Madrid’s rival for a place in the final, just like last year when Los Blancos staged one of their epic comebacks to the title. Now, Pep Guardiola’s team has the sharpest weapon in Europe, Haaland, and they will play the second leg on English soil, although the game does not always go their way, as it did in Munich.