Haaland on target as Manchester City ease past Bayern to reach semi-finals


For Manchester City to sail so serenely past the six-times European champions shows how far Pep Guardiola has already taken them. The big question now is can they go all the way and finally seal the glory of a first Champions League triumph.

Next up is a semi-final with the holders Real Madrid who knocked City out at the same stage last year and can draw on the pedigree of a record 14 victories in the competition.

Guardiola would never be presumptive but for the neutral what now roves into view is the prospect of his gilded team needing to win a maximum 13 more matches to land a treble that would cast them as immortals.

This is all for the coming weeks. Here City could afford to see Erling Haaland shank a penalty and still keep Bayern to a 1-1 draw in a febrile atmosphere that was a true test of their mettle. In the day it rained hard under a steel-grey sky in this industrial area of Munich but by kick-off the wet stuff cleared and Bayern fired an early warning, Kingsley Coman’s arrowed cross headed away by John Stones.

Then, in what was Bayern’s ploy, City’s high line was sprung. Benjamin Pavard chipped beyond Nathan Aké and Coman galloped along the right. With the visitors scrambling he pinged the ball in and, again, City escaped. Here was the pace Guardiola had referenced as a potent German weapon. At home, where Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona had been defeated in twin 2-0 results, this was to be expected, as was the noise from a Bavarian faithful roaring their men on.