Manchester City took a giant stride towards the Champions League semi-finals with an outstanding performance to overpower Bayern Munich at Etihad Stadium.
Erling Haaland, inevitably, was on target with his 45th goal of the season to make him the highest scorer in all competitions in a single campaign since the Premier League began 30 years ago, surpassing Mohamed Salah and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
City, however, gave a powerful all-round team display and Bayern, under new coach Thomas Tuchel, face a mountainous task to turn this quarter-final around in the second leg at the AllianzArena.Rodri broke the deadlock in spectacular fashion with a curling left-foot drive into the top corner after 27 minutes while Bayern had chances of their own, especially former City forward Leroy Sane, who brought a vital save out of Ederson early in the second half.
City were always a threat and extended their lead with 20 minutes left, Haaland crossing perfectly for Bernardo Silva to head home after Jack Grealish stole possession off Dayot Upemecano.
Haaland was not to be denied himself and he pounced for City’s third six minutes later, getting on the end of John Stones’ headed knockdown to sweep a finish past Bayern keeper Yann Sommer.Chelsea have it all to do if they are to advance to the Champions League semi-finals after losing to holders Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
Karim Benzema’s tap-in – his 90th goal in the competition – gave Real boss Carlo Ancelotti the perfect start against his former club.
Real Madrid struggled to add to their lead before Ben Chilwell was shown a straight red card in the 59th minute for fouling Rodrygo as the Brazil forward threatened to go clean through on goal.
Chelsea produced a battling performance but Real scored what could be a decisive second goal when substitute Marco Asensio finished well after the visitors were caught out following a short corner.Manchester United conceded two own goals and lost Lisandro Martinez to a serious-looking injury in the final six minutes against Sevilla to put their Europa League hopes in jeopardy.
United looked to be coasting to a quarter-final first-leg victory at Old Trafford thanks to Marcel Sabitzer’s first-half double.
However, after Antony had hit the crossbar, Sevilla came back into the contest and profited from a terrible ending to the game for Erik ten Hag’s men.
First Tyrell Malacia diverted the ball past David de Gea after former Manchester City man Jesus Navas had pulled a low cross back from the goalline.
Then, two minutes into injury time, Youssef En-Nesyri’s off-target header struck Harry Maguire to leave De Gea helpless as it flew into the net.
The scoreline is bad enough as it leaves United facing a battle to secure the semi-final spot they seemed to have virtually sealed.West Ham remain well placed to make back-to-back European semi-finals despite seeing their 100% winning run in the Europa Conference League ended by Gent.
The Hammers looked on course to make it 11 wins out of 11 in Europe this season when Danny Ings tapped home after the hosts were caught out by a quickly taken throw-in.
David Moyes’ side, Europa League semi-finalists last season, had to soak up waves of pressure in an intense quarter-final first leg in Belgium and Gent equalised after a clever touch and finish by Hugo Cuypers.