Tuesday, April 23, 2024

City, Inter take the lead in Champions League quarters

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Manchester City took a giant stride towards the Champions League semi-finals with an outstanding 3-0 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.

Inter Milan 2, Benfica 0

Romelu Lukaku scored an 82nd-minute penalty as Inter Milan put themselves in a strong position to advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League after a deserved win away to Benfica.

Nicolo Barella’s downward header gave Inter the lead in the quarter-final first leg in Lisbon.

Benfica struggled to dictate play in front of their own fans as Inter produced a defensive masterclass in Lisbon.

Rafa Silva was denied by Andre Onana’s first-half save before Inter’s Netherlands defender Denzel Dumfries produced a crucial block from close range as Benfica pushed for an equaliser.

The Italian visitors wrapped up a solid win when substitute Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, scored from the spot after former Inter player Joao Mario handled. (BBC)

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