Champions League 22/23 – 5 Things that can decide Manchester City vs Bayern Munich

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City take on Thomas Tuchel’s Bayern Munich, a football tie that has blockbuster written all over it, with star players, tactical fluidity, a clash of styles, and some personal battles in this war to win the Champions League. 

Let us look at the five key things that can decide the quarter-finals over the two legs.

1. Erling Haaland

The Norwegian striker has been no less than a sensation at Manchester City. The number of records broken by Haaland in a short span of time has taken the Premier League by storm. He has scored 44 goals in 38 appearances so far in all competitions, which includes a whopping 10 goals in 6 games in the Champions League. 

It looks like Haaland could be the missing piece in Guardiola’s puzzle, and can lead them to their first-ever Champions League crown. It will be a mission for the team, Pep Guardiola, and even Erling Halaand. In an interview with BT Sports after scoring 5 goals in the round of 16 clash against RB Leipzig, Haaland was quoted saying

 “Of course, the club wants to win the Champions League,” said Haaland.

“They’ve won four out of the last five Premier League titles. They didn’t bring me in to win the Premier League because they already know how to win it.

“So, you can read between the lines. I’m here to try to help the club develop even more and to win the Champions League for the first time.” 

The objective is pretty clear, and the opponent in the quarter-final is an opponent Erling Haaland knows properly because of his stint at Borussia Dortmund. Bayern Munich is the main rival for Haaland’s previous team, and he has found the back of the net five times in seven matches against the 6-time European Champions. 

2. Thomas Tuchel’s Last Champions League Triumph

When the news broke about the sacking of Julian Nagelsman at Bayern Munich, it was followed by the announcement of Thomas Tuchel being appointed as the new coach of the Bavarian club. It was no less than a shock for the football world, but Bayern’s board replaced a young promising manager with a Champions League-winning top manager, and that makes the expectations go over the roof. 

The last time Thomas Tuchel was appointed mid-season, he went on to win the Champions League with Chelsea in 2021. It was his second successive Champions League final appearance, after leading Paris Saint Germain to their second-ever final just a year prior to winning the competition. In 2020, he lost to Bayern Munich by a narrow margin, Kingley Koman slayed the team coached by his current manager. 

Tuchel started his reign at Bayern with a crackling 4-2 win over rivals Dortmund but then crashed out to Freiburg in the DFB Pokal. A few days later he managed to get revenge over Freiburg by beating them 1-0 in the Bundesliga and reclaiming their top spot in the German top-flight league. What lies ahead is a massive challenge, and we all know that Thomas Tuchel does fancy a challenge, and that also against former foe Pep Guardiola. 

3. The Maestros on the Flanks 

One common thing between the two teams is the presence of wingers that can decide games on their own, and have been key till now for both teams in their leagues and Europe respectively. 

Jack Grealish is finally loving life in Manchester, and he’s going through his best run of form till now. He has 11 goal contributions till now and has been a key member of Pep Guardiola’s team pushing for the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League. 

Riyad Mahrez whose consistency is undervalued also has ten goal contributions this season, and he has been an essential performer for the Cityzens in the knockout stages of the Champions League in the last two seasons. 

Serge Gnarby, Leroy Sane, and Kingsley Coman have 19 goals and 13 assists among them till now, and that number reflects the attributes and performances of these three key players on the flanks for Bayern. 

If you thought the above three were threatening, then Bayern has a young star with tricks and goals up their sleeves. Jamal Musiala who can play as a number 10 or on either of the wings has been their star man this campaign. He leads the goalscoring and assists charts for the German giants, and Thomas Tuchel will be relying on him a lot in the Champions League quarter-finals against City. 

4. Joao Cancelo’s Reunion 

The Portuguese defender returns to Manchester again but this time as a Bayern Munich player. After the world cup, it was reported that he had a rift against the manager Pep Guardiola, and immediately he was loaned out to Bayern Munich. In Germany, he has found it difficult to settle in, but also contributed with goals or assists, and a defensive performance when he has been given playing time. 

Cancelo came off the bench in the victory in the Der Klassiker but has started the two games against Freiburg for Thomas Tuchel as a left-back. Tuchel would definitely value his experience and knowledge about how a Pep Guardiola team functions, and he could be key in winning tactical battles. It would be a tie of high emotions for him, and he could come out on top over the two legs if used really well. 

5. Champions League Heritage and Quest for Legacy

The two teams obviously were favourites when the tournament began in September, and now one of them will have to leave only after the quarter-finals. The two teams have faced each other six times, and both have three victories to their name. The number six again has an integral role to play because Bayern has won the tournament six times, while Manchester City has only reached the finals once, and lost out to Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea. 

The two matches will be very tactical, and we know how tactical it can get between Thomas Tuchel and Pep Guardiola. One common thing observed over the exits of Manchester City in the Champions League in the last few years is the way they line up in big games. Pep tries to surprise his opponents, be it against Monaco, Lyon, Chelsea, or Real Madrid by naming a different line-up and that has back-fired for them a few times. This could be a point that may help Bayern get a psychological edge over the English Champions. 

It will also be the first time Pep Guardiola returns to Bayern Munich as an opposition manager after leaving the club in 2015. It will definitely add a little pressure, but what is evident is that this tie could maybe decide the champions league winner for this season. Who do you think will come out on top and qualify for the semi-finals of the champions league?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link