Haaland on target again as Man City book Real Madrid semi-final clash

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Haaland on target again as Man City book Real Madrid semi-final clash

Manchester City will face Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals for the second straight season after Erling Haaland scored in a 1-1 draw which secured a 4-1 aggregate last-eight win over Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

Haaland on target again as Man City book Real Madrid semi-final clash

Haaland on target again as Man City book Real Madrid semi-final clash

The Norwegian missed a first-half penalty but muscled his way upfield midway through the second half, lashing past Bayern goalkeeper Yann Sommer for his 48th goal in 41 appearances this season.

Bayern scored a late penalty through Joshua Kimmich but were again haunted by their inability to make possession and chances count.

City will play in the semis for the third straight year but face a rematch with manager Pep Guardiola’s old foe Real, who scored two late goals to spectacularly turn the tie their way on the way to eventually winning the title last season.

“The semi-final again… the experience that we have in the competition, the players feel it a lot, they want to do really well,” Guardiola told BT Sport.

Bayern sacked previous coach Julian Nagelsmann in favour of Thomas Tuchel earlier this month despite a perfect record in the Champions League this season but have since been eliminated from Europe and the German Cup.

“If we can’t take positives from this match, we would have a problem,” Tuchel, whose side are only two points clear of Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga title race, told DAZN.

“At the moment, City are in the best shape, with the best players in the best league in the world.”

Guardiola, so often criticised in the Champions League for tinkering with his side, named the same XI that won the first leg 3-0 in Manchester.

Tuchel made two changes, opting for the creativity of City loanee Joao Cancelo at full-back and bringing back Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, the only recognised striker in the squad.

– Bayern’s fast start in vain –

Bayern, hoping to replicate previous miracle Champions League comebacks which started with an early goal, went on the attack from the outset.

Bayern’s other former City star, Leroy Sane, chipped just wide on 17 minutes when through one-on-one with goalkeeper Ederson.

The six-time European champions received a massive let-off just a minute later in one of City’s first attacks thanks to a narrow offside call against Haaland.

Dayot Upamecano, widely criticised for a nervous first-leg performance, initially saw red for bringing down the Norwegian with the goal in sight, but the card was immediately rescinded.

An animated Tuchel received a yellow for exchanging words with the assistant referee while theatrically applauding the decision.

Bayern’s lack of confidence and fluidity up front was obvious just minutes later, when Sane, clean through again, cut the ball back to an off-balance Leon Goretzka.

Upamecano was in the thick of it once more with 35 minutes gone, handballing in the box, bringing former Dortmund player Haaland to the spot in front of the home ultras.

The Norwegian, however, blasted over, only his third miss from 36 penalty attempts, and his first for City.

Haaland made up for his error in the 57th minute when he burst away from Upamecano, who slipped, blasted the ball past Sommer and into the goal to cap off a quick City counter-attack.

Bayern had the ball in the net on 73 minutes but French teenager Mathys Tel’s goal was ruled out for offside.

With seven minutes left, Kimmich converted a consolation from the spot after a Manuel Akanji handball.

The winner of the City-Real tie will face either AC Milan or Inter Milan in the final in Istanbul on June 10.

For Bayern, the recriminations will begin on and off the field after City’s dominant display, with a frustrated Tuchel sent to the stands for picking up a second yellow in the final minutes.

 

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