Manchester City’s football players beat Bayern Munich 3-0 at home in the opening quarter-final of the Champions League. Rodri, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland decided their win. Inter Milan also successfully entered the fight for promotion among the top four teams thanks to a 2-0 victory at Benfica Lisbon. Nicolo Barella scored the opening goal, substitute Romelu Lukaku added the insurance from the penalty spot.
The clash between the reigning champions of their respective countries, Manchester City and Bayern, offered a cautious start. In the 27th minute, however, the home midfielder Rodri stretched from behind the goal and opened the scoring with an elusive shot into the upper part of the goal. The Bavarian team conceded only the third time in the ninth match of this season’s Champions League, the only two goals they had previously scored in the group were Plzeň in a 2:4 home defeat in October.
In the 70th minute, the home team struck again. Stopper Upamecano lost the ball needlessly and Haaland found Silva, who had previously assisted Rodri’s goal, with a header. Pep Guardiola’s men created a lot of pressure and Haaland made it 3-0 in the next six minutes. With his eleventh strike this year, he confirmed his position as the best scorer in the competition. In total, he scored 45 goals in 39 competitive matches this season.
Manchester City, who faced fellow German side Dortmund in the group stage and knocked out Leipzig in the round of 16, are unbeaten in front of their home crowd in the Champions League for the 25th time since September 2018 (including 23 wins), setting a new English home unbeaten record. He is so close to challenging defending champions Real Madrid or Chelsea in the semi-finals.
City footballers won the ninth competitive game in a row and scored 24 goals in the last five. The duel had a special charge for their coach Guardiola, who led Bayern from 2013 to 2016 and won seven trophies with him. The Munich team entered the Champions League for the first time under the leadership of coach Tuchel, who defeated Manchester City in the final of the competition with Chelsea in May 2021. Bayern found defeat for the first time this season after an eight-game winning streak and suffered their heaviest defeat in the competition since September 2017, when they lost away to Paris St. Germaine.
Inter scored both goals at the Benfica Stadium after switching sides. Barella first scored in the 51st minute, Lukaku added the insurance in the 82nd minute from a penalty kick. Coach Inzaghi’s men triumphed away from home after six competitive duels. The winner of the doubleheader will face AC Milan or Napoli in the semi-finals.
Inter, who defeated Plzeň twice in the group in the autumn, did not lose even the fourth cup match against each other and won only the second of 11 matches on Portuguese soil in UEFA competitions. In the cups, he can go over some of the Portuguese teams in the double elimination matches for the sixth time in a row. He eliminated Porto in the round of 16.
Rematches in Munich and Milan are scheduled for Wednesday, April 19.
The opening match of the quarter-finals of the Champions League:
Manchester City – Bayern Munich 3:0 (1:0)
Goals: 27. Rodri, 70. Silva, 76. Haaland. Referee: Manzano – Barbero, Nevado – Munuera (video, all Sp.). ŽK: Silva – Davies, Pavard. Spectators: 52,257.
Manchester: Ederson – Akanji, Dias, Aké, Stones – Rodri, Silva – De Bruyne (68. Álvarez), Gündogan, Grealish – Haaland. Coach: Guardiola.
Bayern: Sommer – Pavard, Upamecano, De Ligt, Davies (80. Cancelo) – Goretzka, Kimmich – Coman, Musiala (69. Mané), Sané – Gnabry (80. Müller). Coach: Tuchel.
Benfica Lisabon – Inter Milan 0:2 (0:0)
Goals: 51. Barella, 82. Lukaku from pen. Referees: Oliver – Burt, Bennett (all English) – Van Boekel (video, Dutch). ŽK: A. Silva – Brozovič, Džeko. Spectators: 62,594.
Benfica: Vlachodimos – Gilberto, A. Silva, Morato, Grimaldo – Chiquinho, Florentino (64. Neres) – Joao Mário, Rafa Silva, Aursnes – Ramos. Trener: Schmidt.
Inter: Onana – Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni (90.+1 De Vrij) – Dumfries (86. D’Ambrosio), Barella, Brozovič, Mkhitarjan, Dimarco (63. Gosens) – Martínez (63. Correa), Džeko (63 . Lukaku). Coach: Inzaghi.
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