Manchester City: A closer look at Bayern’s quarter-final opponents
Bayern have been handed another huge Champions League tie this season, now being drawn against English champions Manchester City in the quarter-finals. “It’s a top pairing. They’re a tough opponent – the toughest in my option. It’s like a final again,” said Bayern board member for sport Hasan Salihamidzic as he watched the draw live on Friday. fcbayern.com gives you the lowdown on what we’ll face in the last eight.
A statement win in the round of 16
After coming through the group stage unbeaten against Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Copenhagen, the Blues recorded a huge win over RB Leipzig in the round of 16. The first leg in Germany had ended 1-1, but they were ruthless in the return fixture in Manchester with a 7-0 win. It equalled the heaviest defeat for a German club in the Champions League (also City’s 7-0 thrashing of Schalke in March 2019). It also extended the Cityzens’ unbeaten run at home in Europe to 24 matches, which equals the record for an English club in the Champions League (tied with Arsenal), and makes them the only team to appear in the quarter-finals every year since 2017/18.
Impressive figures that Salihamidzic sees more as a stimulus: “I think we perform at our best against the best teams. They’re also highlights of the season for fans. It’s a top pairing. I’m looking forward to the games.” And in those it will come down to how Bayern keep control of Erling Haaland, as well as the other world-class players in the City squad. The Norwegian currently leads the scoring charts in the Premier League (28 goals) and the Champions League (10), while his historic five-goal haul against Leipzig came within the space of just 36 minutes. “Haaland is one of the best strikers in the world,” added Salihamidzic, who also believes that Bayern’s defence is more than up for the job after keeping Paris Saint-German at bay over two legs.
First reunion with Pe
“I think City against Bayern is the most exciting tie in the quarter-finals,” Salihamidzic continued. The head-to-head record between the clubs is also equal with three wins apiece across six group-stage encounters. Current Blues coach Pep Guardiola was in fact still in charge in Munich when the sides last met in 2014/15, with a 1-0 win for Bayern in Manchester before a 3-2 reverse at the Allianz Arena. Now Bayern take on the Spanish coach, who is tied with Carlo Ancelotti for the most quarter-final appearances (13), for the first time. Guardiola’s task at City is to get the 2021 runners-up over the final hurdle and win the Champions League for the first time in their history. Their hold on the Premier League title is also at risk, with a five-point deficit to leaders Arsenal.
Route to Istanbul now clearer
The first leg will be played on 11 April in Manchester, before the return fixture in Munich on 19 April. Information on tickets can be found here. Should Bayern prevail against City, they will then take on the winner of Real Madrid and Chelsea in the semi-finals on 9/10 and 16/17 May, with a chance to reach the final in Istanbul on 10 June.
Reaction to the draw here: