Following a 1-1 draw and a 4-1 aggregate victory against Bayern Munich in the last eight on Wednesday, Manchester City will face Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals for the second consecutive year thanks to an Erling Haaland goal.
The Norwegian missed a first-half penalty, but midway through the second half he forced his way upfield and blasted past Bayern Munich goalkeeper Yann Sommer for his 48th goal in 41 appearances this season.
Joshua Kimmich netted a late penalty for Bayern after having a goal disallowed for offside in the second half, but they were once again plagued by their inability to convert chances and possession into points.
For the third consecutive year, City will compete in the semifinals. However, they will meet manager Pep Guardiola’s former rival Real, who famously turned the tie in their favor last season by scoring two goals in stoppage time.
Guardiola picked the same starting lineup that won the first leg 3-0 in Manchester despite frequently receiving criticism at the European level for changing up his team.
Joao Cancelo, a winger on loan from Manchester City, was chosen for his creativity by Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel. The only known striker in the team, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, was also brought back.
Bayern launched an immediate offensive in an effort to imitate the miraculous Champions League comebacks of Liverpool and Barcelona, both of which were sparked by an early goal.
Leroy Sane, another former City star now playing for Bayern, outran goalkeeper Ederson after 17 minutes but missed the target with a chip.
A minute later, one of City’s first offensive efforts resulted in a narrow offside call against Haaland, giving Bayern a major reprieve.
Dayot Upamecano, who received harsh criticism for his jittery first-leg performance, was sent off for pulling down the Norwegian player as the goal was close, but the penalty was quickly overturned.
Tuchel, who was emotional, was given a yellow for arguing with the assistant referee and showing theatrical support for the call.
Only a few minutes later, Sane cut the ball back to an unbalanced Leon Goretzka in a one-on-one situation with Ederson with Bayern’s lack of confidence and mobility up front evident.
After 35 minutes, Upamecano got back into the action by handballing in the penalty area and forcing Haaland to take a penalty shot in front of the home crowd.
In the championship game, the victor of the City-Real match will take on either AC or Inter Milan.
After City’s overwhelming performance, Bayern will face criticism both on and off the field. Frustrated Tuchel was taken to the stands after receiving a second yellow card in the closing minutes.
Despite having an eight-from-eight record in the Champions League this season, Bayern fired manager Julian Nagelsmann in favor of Tuchel, but they have since been ousted from Europe and the German Cup.