Erling Haaland lands knockout with the help of incompetent Dayot Upamecano! Winners and losers as Man City striker shrugs off penalty miss to eliminate Bayern Munich
There's simply no stopping Erling Haaland right now. Even when he suffers the pain of a penalty miss, he still ends up scoring.
Of course, his life was made much easier by Dayot Upamecano in Wednesday night's Champions League clash between Manchester City and Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, in which a 1-1 draw was more than enough for the visitors to advance to the semi-final 4-1 on aggregate.
Indeed, the French defender seemed intent on doing whatever he could to help Haaland get on the scoresheet, giving away a penalty and then slipping in a sweet gift to the striker.
Below, GOAL runs through the winners and losers from City's successful second leg against Bayern Munich...
- The Champions League is Erling Haaland's stage! Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are gone and the Man City striker is set to rule the competition for years to come
- Six reasons why Inter can do the impossible and beat Man City in the Champions League final
- From benching Rodri against Chelsea to matching up with Lyon: Pep Guardiola's worst 'overthinks' - ranked
- How Inter Miami will line up with Lionel Messi in the team
LOSER: Dayot Upamecano
In a way, you kind of have to give credit to Dayot Upamecano because he achieved the seemingly impossible by turning in an even more calamitous performance in the second leg than he had in the first. The France defender was a liability from start to finish, lucky to have a red card rescinded by a close offside call after bundling over Haaland just outside the area.
Bayern probably would have been better off with 10 men, to be brutally honest, given Upamecano then gave away a penalty after inexplicably stretching out one of the arms he had initially so carefully placed by his side. Then, to top it all off, he gifted City yet another goal in this tie when he slipped as Haaland looked to take him on.
Was that unlucky? Perhaps. But it was also utterly unsurprising from a centre-back that GOAL has learned City specifically targeted ahead of this tie because of his poor positioning and ball control.
WINNER: Erling Haaland
The Norwegian's awful penalty showed he is human. But his reaction to it showed he is not really like us mere mortals, all things considered.
It was a terrible kick, completely missing the target after being made to wait to take it. But it was the first time he had erred from the spot in eight attempts for City and his first miss in 16 matches in club football.
It looked like his insane run of scoring in his last six matches for City might come to an end.
Not so fast. He latched on to Kevin De Bruyne's pass and smashed the ball past Yann Sommer to make it 15 goals in his last seven matches. That's an average of more than two goals per game in the last month or so.
With Real Madrid up next, City will feel that in Haaland they have the weapon they have lacked before in the biggest of matches.
- Getty Images
LOSER: Farcical handball decisions
City benefitted from an extremely harsh handball in the last round against RB Leipzig that was given by VAR and here they were the victims of another inexplicable penalty award.
Luckily, the tie was already practically over, and that means the decision will not be too heavily scrutinised.
But it should be, because all Manuel Akanji was guilty of here was having arms.
He went to make life difficult for Sadio Mane as any defender would do by putting his arms against the Senegalese's body. Akanji's arm was right above the ball, meaning it was inevitable it would hit it once it span into the air off Mane's foot.
Mane may have cheekily appealed for the penalty but not even Thomas Tuchel thought it was justified, shaking his head when it was eventually awarded.
In the Premier League, referees are showing more common sense with handballs, making allowances for accidental offences and considering proximity.
But UEFA are showing no flexibility, referees giving handballs whenever the ball hits a hand or arm, paying no attention to intent. And the spectacle is all the worse for it.
LOSER: Thomas Tuchel
It's hard not to feel a little sorry for Thomas Tuchel. His Bayern side effectively beat themselves over the course of these two games, making dreadful defensive errors and squandering one chance after another. However, his attitude hardly helped matters.
Tuchel seemed more concerned with the referee's handling of the game than his own side's lack of cutting edge. He was berating the officials almost from the first whistle, so it came as absolutely no surprise to see him sent off for picking up a second yellow for dissent in the closing stages.
His frustration was understandable to a degree but his anger was totally misplaced. There was simply no excuse for his embarrassing touchline tantrums. Several Bayern players may have let themselves down on the night, but the manager did too.
LOSER: Nathan Ake
The Dutch defender was in a lot of pain when he was taken off in the second half with what looked to be a hamstring injury.
Whether he is out for a couple of weeks or more than a month, he will be a big loss for City.
In his third season under Guardiola, he has grown into a remarkable defender and his consistency and reliability gave the coach the confidence to cast Joao Cancelo out of the team and send him on loan to Bayern without the group suffering at all.
But they are likely to suffer without Ake, as Aymeric Laporte is not as tough or as intelligent in his play. The injury does open up a new opportunity for 18-year-old Rico Lewis to get another run in the first team, although Guardiola may prefer to lean on the more experienced Laporte at this stage of the season.
LOSER: Man City's 'old boys'
If Leroy Sane and Joao Cancelo were hoping to prove a point to Pep Guardiola on Wednesday night, they failed miserably. At various points during their respective City careers, they were key players under the Catalan, but their defects were laid bare at the Allianz Arena.
Sane could have breathed new life into the tie when he was put clean through on goal by Jamal Musiala in the 16th minute, but he dragged his shot badly wide. Cancelo, meanwhile, had already been booked by that point, for a characteristically clumsy foul on Bernardo Silva.
Somewhat fittingly, both players were withdrawn just after the hour mark, after proving unable to make a positive impression on the proceedings.
Cancelo, of course, is still under contract at City but, on the evidence of this game, and what we've seen from the Portuguese at Bayern to date, there is little hope of him resurrecting his Etihad career.