Haaland conveniently wraps up the decisive win for Man City and finally gets a taste of victory over Bayern

If you didn’t see it coming, you may not have been paying attention.

Bayern Munich were blown away by a spectacular Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, a 3-0 dismissal of Bundesliga winners 10 in a row a sign of the times.

It was a bad night for the men in red, desperate for Dayot Upamecano; a game to remember for City, and perhaps the moment the doomsayers had seen coming.

How to stop this City team? They were fantastic and dominant, apart from a 20-minute spell early in the second half when Bayern gave almost as bravely as they got.

However, a team invested in eye-popping sums was bound to scale such heady heights as these. The wealth of talent available to Pep Guardiola is unsurpassed, the Abu Dhabi ownership backed the coach to assemble a pool of elite players.

This is why some Bayern loyalists wish German football’s strict ownership rules were relaxed. For now, a spending brake means Bayern cannot compete in the transfer market with City.

Twenty-five years ago, City were plummeting to relegation to the English Third Division. Now they are sure to be everyone’s favorites in the Champions League, ready to be crowned kings of Europe for the first time with one foot in the semi-finals.

Erling Haaland’s 45th goal of the season sealed this rout, leaving Bayern facing almost certain elimination in front of their own fans in next Wednesday’s second leg.

Rodri’s miraculous goal had broken the deadlock and Bernardo Silva scored the second to quell Bayern’s brief resurgence.

Norway’s Haaland has managed the most competitive goals by a player for a Premier League club in a single season. And if you didn’t see it coming, you may not have been paying attention. Lethal for Borussia Dortmund, Haaland was destined to score loads of goals in this City side.

Bayern, traditionally the club that gathers the best talent in the Bundesliga, were helpless when the checkbooks for Haaland came out.

Haaland envisioned this opportunity from the outset and took aim from an extravagant angle, from an opportunity given a tiny xG score of 0.028. The savage slash with his left boot hovered over the crossbar.

Jamal Musiala was denied by an outstanding block from Ruben Dias as Bayern carved out their best chance of the first 25 minutes, but then £62.6m man Rodri rocked the Germans with his sensational finish.

The wicked shot with his left foot came from 25 metres, as Bayern waited for a pass from the player who hadn’t scored in 43 previous Champions League appearances.

Former City winger Leroy Sane shot 18 inches wide from 30 yards as a reminder of Bayern’s threat, but shooting from that range hinted at desperation.

At half-time, Rodri had a passing accuracy of 90.3% and had won six of his eight duels. He had also won possession on 10 occasions, more than anyone else on the pitch, losing the ball only four times. Even putting the goal away, he had been superb, and the City defense was formidable, with Ederson yet to save.

Sane equalized an early save from Ederson in the first minute of the second half, and the Brazilian didn’t make a clean catch, rather juggling the ball. Stops better two minutes later, and once again it is Sane who scores from a pass from Musiala.

City could not take advantage of Bayern’s haphazard defense when Joshua Kimmich blocked Haaland’s hammering shot, but that was a sign of trouble brewing for Bayern.

Bayern brought on ex-Liverpool striker Sadio Mane in the 69th minute, but it was 2-0 seconds before Mane managed to touch the ball.

Upamecano tried to break out of the defense, but hopelessly lost the ball to Jack Grealish, whose skillful heel Haaland played. As Bayern prepared to shoot, the Norwegian crossed instead and Bernardo Silva planted a powerful header through Yann Sommer’s catch.

Sommer saved substitute Julian Alvarez as the Bayern defense was torn apart again, and the third goal came when World Cup winner Alvarez crossed from the right wing, £50m centre-back John Stones crossed header from the far post and Haaland, the most coveted player in Europe last summer, calmly came on from an opportunity he would never miss.

Joao Cancelo, on loan at Bayern from City, was booed when he came on as a substitute. Bayern don’t think they have the funds to buy the abandoned City, which sums up the difference between these outfits.

City have won their last 11 home games against German sides in this competition by a total of 42-10, and Haaland has scored 11 goals in seven Champions League games for City now.

It was entirely predictable that he would go on the scoresheet at the Etihad Stadium, but one thing has changed for Haaland in this match: as well as taking his tally of goals to six in eight appearances against Bayern, he finished on the side winning.

He had lost all seven games he played for Dortmund against Bayern.

Things change when you join City. This is a winning machine, a side now for nine straight games, and nights like this give fears for Arsenal, who sit increasingly precariously at the top of the Premier League. They raise fears that the rest of Europe cannot prevent a blue rhapsody from reaching the Champions League final in Istanbul.

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