Manchester City are now heavy favourites to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League after a commanding 3-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the first leg of their quarter-final tie at the Etihad Stadium. Rodri opened the scoring with a superb effort from distance, before Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland added further goals in the second half. Bayern were punished for some sloppy defending, which contributed to City’s victory.
City manager Pep Guardiola, who formerly coached Bayern Munich, said after the match that the German team were “better than us” for spells of the game and urged his side to remain cautious ahead of the second leg. City will need to avoid a three-goal defeat at the Allianz Arena next week to progress to the last four. Real Madrid or Chelsea will await the winners of the tie.
This result was a significant boost for City, who are hoping to win the Champions League for the first time in their history. Conversely, it was a setback for Bayern, who had knocked out Paris Saint-Germain in the previous round and are well-regarded as one of the leading sides in Europe. Bayern’s coach, Hansi Flick, said his side had “definitely not” played to their potential and would need to improve drastically in the second leg.
City’s victory was also a welcome boost for the Premier League, which has struggled in recent years to produce contenders in Europe’s top club competition. With Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United all having dropped out before the quarter-final stage, City are the only English team left in the competition. They are widely regarded as the favourites to go on and win the tournament, but Guardiola’s comments demonstrate that the team will not be complacent ahead of their trip to Munich.