Haaland fires Man City into CL semifinals vs. Real Madrid

Manchester City's Erling Haaland celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the Champions League quarter finals second leg soccer match between Bayern Munich and Manchester City, at the Allianz Arena stadium in Munich, Germany, Wednesday, April 19, 2023. (AP Photo/Andreas Schaad)

His 48th goal for Manchester City this season.

Erling Haaland scored again Wednesday for City to advance to a Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid with a 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich in the second leg of their quarterfinal.

The Norway forward missed a first-half penalty but atoned by sealing City’s progress with a 4-1 win on aggregate by scoring on a counterattack in the 57th minute, just after Bayern missed a good chance at the other end.

Bayern’s lack of confidence after losing the first leg 3-0 in Manchester showed as it failed to take advantage of numerous chances.

“We really wanted to take the lead in the first half,” said Joshua Kimmich, who scored Bayern’s consolation from the penalty spot in the 83rd. “We had a few chances, very, very good chances, and we needed the lead against City to make them nervous. It’s obviously easier for them when they can keep it scoreless for a long time. It’s very annoying ... I’d like to have experienced the second half if we’d scored in the first.”

The penalty was awarded after City defender Manuel Akanji was cited through VAR for handball.

Bayern counterpart Dayot Upamecano was also penalized for handball when İlkay Gündoğan’s cross grazed the bottom of his arm in the 35th, but Haaland blasted that spot kick just over the bar.

Kevin De Bruyne played Haaland through to settle it early in the second half, when the unfortunate Upamecano slipped as he tried to recover.

“We played very well in the difficult moments, we were very compact and we didn’t give Bayern much,” De Bruyne said. “At the other end we got one chance. And when we scored the goal, it was much harder for Bayern.”

City did little in manager Pep Guardiola’s return to the club he led to three consecutive Bundesliga titles between 2014-16, but the visitors didn’t need to thanks to their commanding lead from the first leg and Bayern’s lack of efficiency.

It is the Bavarian powerhouse’s third consecutive quarterfinal exit since winning the tournament in 2020 and the second competition it has been knocked out of in as many weeks following Freiburg’s win over Bayern in the German Cup quarterfinals.

Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn and sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić fired Julian Nagalsmann as coach last month as they felt the team was in danger of missing its targets for the season. Tuchel has since only seen the team win two from six games across all competitions. Bayern still leads the Bundesliga by two points from Borussia Dortmund with six rounds remaining.

Bayern fans held a huge banner toward the end of the Wednesday’s game criticizing Salihamidžić and Kahn saying “Targets may be missed — the club’s values not!”

Bayern had made an encouraging start only to be let down with final crosses going astray and poor finishing.

Leroy Sané had the best early chance when Jamal Musiala sent him through but the Germany winger sent his shot just wide of the far post.

Referee Clement Turpin upset the home team when he showed last defender Upamecano a red card for bringing down Haaland, who was offside. Turpin rescinded the red card after the linesman flagged the offside, then booked Tuchel for his ironic applause.

Tuchel was sent off late with his second yellow card for protesting another decision, while his assistant Zsolt Löw was shown a direct red card.

City is bidding to win the Champions League for the first time. It would be Guardiola’s first since winning as Barcelona coach in 2011. City will play Madrid, the defending champion, away for the first leg of their semifinal in May. Madrid beat City 6-5 after extra time in their semifinal last year.

“To win this competition, you have to beat them,” Guardiola said.