Champions League: Unstoppable Haaland Breaks Another Record

  • As Man City Humble Bayern Munich 3-0 at Etihad 
  • Benfica lose 0 – 2 to Inter Milan in Lisbon 

Norway’s goal machine, Erling Haaland, scored his 45th goal of the season and set up another as Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City put one foot in the semi-finals of this year’s Champions League with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Bayern Munich.

On a night that Guardiola got his selection spot-on with John Stones in holding midfield and picking Bernardo Silva over Riyad Mahrez, Haaland finally broke his duck against Bayern, having lost all seven times he played against the FC Hollywood (Bayern) while a Borussia Dortmund player in the Bundesliga.

Also, the Norwegian international added another feather to his cap by becoming the first player in the Premier League to score 45 goals in a season in all competitions, and he still has two months left to further inflate his enormous goal tally.

Bayern, who hitherto have won each of their eight Champions League games this season, including two ties against PSG, were looking to maintain that impressive record against the English Premiership side. But that did not happen and they are now going into next week’s quarter-final second leg needing to recover from the 3-0 deficit.

On their part, City came into the showdown on an eight-match winning streak in all competitions, including their 4-1 thrashing of  Southampton 4-1 at the weekend in the Premier League. Indeed, the Citizens did not disappoint ensuring that the Bundesliga kings remained second best inside the Etihad Stadium and now have an uphill task upturning the three goals margin when the return leg holds at the Allianz Arena.

Guardiola has now won the last three matches against his opposite number, Thomas Tuchel, avenging his three-game losing streak to the German in 2021.

Though City have not always made things easy for themselves in crunch Champions League games, they were top notch against the German club in a match that their defence was impregnable, making life difficult for the visitors’ attack before Rodri unlocked proceedings with a superb strike from outside the box.

Bayern improved after the break and it was a nervy opening 15 minutes to the second half for City fans, who have seen their side let many a lead slip at the Etihad Stadium on Europe’s biggest stage.

But Haaland set up a simple header for Bernardo Silva to double City’s advantage before the Norwegian volleyed in a third goal. City’s goaltender and Brazil’s safe hands, Ederson was quite outstanding in a difficult spell for City early in the second half, making a series of impressive stops, particularly from old team-mate Leroy Sane.

The goals and assist as they came on Tuesday night. Goals: 1-0 Rodri 27′ (assist: Bernardo Silva); 2-0 Bernardo Silva 70′ (assist: Haaland); and 3-0 Haaland 76′ (assist: Stones)

In the other quarter-final first leg result, Italian side, Inter Milan also put one foot into the Champions League semi-finals with a comfortable 2-0 win at Benfica on Tuesday, with Nicolo Barella and Romelu Lukaku netting in Lisbon.

The three-time winners took a commanding quarter-final first-leg lead at the Estadio da Luz, inflicting Benfica’s first defeat in the competition.

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