The match that was considered the most balanced in the quarter-finals of the Champions League 2022/23 turned out to be not as attractive as people thought because Man City simply proved too superior. Once again “monster” Haaland shines with one table and one assist.
Score: Rodri 27′; Bernardo Silva 70′; Haaland 76
Under Pep Guardiola, Man City dominated English football with 4 Premier League titles in the last 5 seasons. Currently, they still have the opportunity to win the domestic double (FA Cup and Premier League) this season.
One of the important factors that helps Man City dominate the foggy island nation lies in the depth of force. In cup competitions (FA or Carabao), Pep-team is still capable of bringing glory even when using a squad consisting of many reserve players. In the Premier League, the blue shirt team did not have much difficulty maintaining the winning streak despite the tight schedule thanks to the high-quality bench.
However, the Champions League is obviously a fierce competition and is at a higher level. Here, the strength of squad depth is sometimes not shown at certain times, because the game is decided after only 1-2 matches.
Pep Guardiola himself is a tactical coach and often thinks too much before big battles. For example, in the 2021 Champions League final against Chelsea, Man City was much appreciated but still lost the match because Pep Guardiola used a very strange strategy: completely removed the defensive midfielder from the starting lineup.
That day, if Rodri and Fernandinho were on the field, N’Golo Kante would probably have played so well to help Chelsea win the championship. It is no exaggeration to think that the great Spanish coach did not suddenly come up with “crazy” ideas, it is not known that Man City has won the Champions League for a long time.
With so many painful lessons in the past, coach Guardiola stopped having a “creative” headache against Bayern Munich. Instead, he applied the strategy that is considered the most suitable and brought much success to the team. This season: a 3-2-4-1 formation with no room for a pure full-back.
The only human adjustment from the win over Southampton at the weekend was Bernando Silva’s replacement for Mahrez in attack. This is a reasonable decision because although this season is no longer playing much, the Portuguese midfielder has always performed well and is full of physical strength because of the few appearances.
On the opposite side, Bayern Munich is now led by Thomas Tuchel, the coach who joined Chelsea to defeat Pep’s Man City to win the Champions League two years ago. The German strategist is also very understanding of his colleagues on the other side of the front line and possesses unexpected “hits”.
No longer a true striker (losing Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting), coach Tuchel decided to arrange Gnarby to kick the virtual “9” instead of putting his trust in Sadio Mane, a player very familiar with the Blue Man thanks to his time. play for Liverpool. He also left the old general Muller on the bench to use Coman as well as Sane, perhaps to increase the speed of ball deployment for the attack. While Cancelo has not been able to reunite with the host team because his name is only on the bench.
As always, the Premier League champions actively impose the game on the opponent, but at a moderate level, not rushing and rushing because simply, they also know what level the opponent is. But even so, the opportunity still comes to the Green Man. In the 5th minute, Haaland led the ball into the penalty area and then shot the ball, but the ball flew into the stands.
Then it was the Norwegian assassin who rushed in to apply pressure when Sommer handled too much risk in front of the line, but fortunately the goalkeeper was able to kick the ball out. Of course, Bayern also had some situations to respond, but none of them was enough to make it difficult for the opponent’s defense.
And then the difference came from an unexpected name. In the 27th minute, Rodri received the ball from Bernando Silva, led a few beats into the center and then launched an extremely classy left foot cut from about 20m, drawing a beautiful curve to hit the ball into the top corner of the goal before the match. Yann Sommer’s helplessness. This is the first goal of Rodri’s career in the Champions League playground.
After leading the table, the game is more in the hands of the Green Man and Bayern still retains a certain caution, perhaps because of fear of the potential danger of the powerful home team. So until the end of the first half, the German defending champion did not have many appropriate responses to Ederson’s goal, but the most significant was Sane’s daring long-range shot with Sane’s left foot and the ball nearly hit the target.
At the beginning of the second half, it was still Sane who fired a cannon from outside the 16m50 line and this time the ball hit the target, but it was in Ederson’s position, so it was easily blocked. In the 49th minute, the winger who once “sunk” at Man City continued to be given another chance by his teammates and Sane boldly entered the penalty area and then made a left foot shot, the ball sank but still did not. enough to make it difficult for an old teammate.
In the 57th minute, Kevin De Bruyne delivered a sensational one-touch pass to tear the Bayern Munich defense apart. Center-back Ruben Dias used his chest to control and finish close to the goal, but goalkeeper Sommer had excellent reflexes to save the German team. But by the 70th minute, Sommer had to give up after the “harm” of his teammate Upamecano. This central defender plays awkwardly for Jack Grealish to steal the ball right in the home field and then push it to Erling Haaland. Europe’s No. 1 striker now decided not to finish as usual, but to make a more reasonable cross for Bernando Silva to head into the net of the away team.
The majestic “Gray Lobster” of Bavaria officially collapsed in the 76th minute when conceding the 3rd goal. Starting from a corner situation, Julian Alvarez made a cross into the penalty area and Stones tried to bounce high to hit the ball. tactical head towards Haaland and with his absolute ability to score goals, how can the “Norwegian monster” miss.
Despite leading to 3 goals, due to the low morale of the opponent, Man City continued to torment the opponent until the final whistle. If more accurate in some situations or if goalkeeper Sommer does not play brilliantly, then 3-0 is definitely not the final result of the match. However, this ratio is completely beyond the predictions of experts.
Thus, although there is still a second leg on the Allianz Arena, it can be confidently confirmed that the ticket to continue is considered to be firmly in the hands of coach Guardiola’s teachers and students. Currently, the Green Man not only possesses top form, but in their squad there is also an outstanding Erling Haaland. In addition, Pep himself has also been “simpler” in thinking when he just let the home team kick as usual, without having to make any big “inventions” and as long as the stars play properly, there is no problem. Which is insurmountable.
It is too early to talk about the championship, but the performance against the mighty opponent from Germany suggests that this could be the year of Man City and Pep Guardiola in the European arena. The Premier League champions ended the game with less possession (46%), a rarity when they played at home, but scored three goals and kept a clean sheet in a tug of war.
Line-ups for Man City vs Bayern Munich
Man City: Ederson, Stones, Akanji, Ruben Dias, Ake, Rodri, Gundogan, De Bruyne (Alvarez 68′), Bernardo Silva, Grealish, Haaland
Bayern Munich: Sommer, Pavard, Upamecano, De Ligt, Davies (Cancelo 80′), Goretzka, Kimmich, Sane, Musiala (Mane 69′), Coman, Gnabry (Muller 80′)