Bayern Munich now know they will have to overcome former coach Pep Guardiola if they are to proceed in this seasons Champions League after being pitted against Manchester City in the draw for the quarter-finals.
The draw in Nyon held on Friday morning and conducted by Hamit Altintop and Patrick Kluivert saw Bayern drawn against the English champions with the first-leg to be held at the Etihad Stadium. It was always going to be a tough draw at this stage, but it goes without saying that the Rekordmeister face one of the top favourites for this year’s competition and will have to be at their very best to overcome their ex-trainer.
City’s 7-0 demolition of RB Leipzig in midweek with Erling Haaland scoring five goals was a clear sign of their quality and even though they trail Arsenal in the Premier League, their sights will be firmly focussed on a first-ever Champions League triumph.
The two clubs have met six times previously in the Champions League with Bayern winning three and City winning three, although they have never met in the knock-out stage. The last meetings came in the 2014-15 group stage with Bayern winning 1-0 at the Allianz Arena before succumbing to a 3-2 defeat at the Etihad with the Citizens scoring twice in the final five minutes to stun Pep Guardiola’s Bayern.
It will be the first time Guardiola has returned to the Allianz Arena since he left the Bavarians in 2016 after three successful seasons. The first leg at the Etihad will be played 11th/12th April with the return at the Allianz Arena on 18th/19th April. Should they make it through Bayern would face the winner of Real Madrid v Chelsea in the semi-final.
Hasan Salihamidžić: “I like to play against the good guys. Our boys are very focused there. This is a top pairing. It’s a tough opponent, the strongest in my opinion. This is another little finale. After Paris, this is again a group that has a lot of quality. They did very convincingly against Leipzig. We see Pep Guardiola again. I’m looking forward to the games.
“Haaland is one of the best strikers in the world, he does it very, very well there. But we defended very well against Paris. But I think City is doing even better at the moment. I think City vs Bayern is the most exciting duel in the quarter-finals. I believe that we perform best against the best teams. These are also the highlights of the season for the fans. This is a top pairing. I’m looking forward to the games.”
Julian Nagelsmann: “We watched it together as a coaching team. It’s a good, challenging draw. If you win the title at the end, you can’t say we were lucky. We already had a tough group stage, then came PSG and now City. A possible semi-final would also be top-class. Real followed a similar path last year. I get a lot of energy and a lot of anticipation from the draw. We will prepare well and we are looking forward to it.
“”I saw a lot of his [ Pep Guardiola]games in Barcelona, also at City or Bayern. I have never copied a training form from a trainer. Pep’s teams are fun. His idea of football is very offensive, his teams have a lot of possession. I’ve always enjoyed watching his games.”
Txiki Begiristain (Manchester City Director of football): “Bayern are one of the candidates with us and you can see what they have done, they beat one of the other contenders in Paris Saint-Germain. They are a very strong team, very solid. It’s going to be very difficult, but also I guess we’ll also be difficult for them. Any time, it’s going to be a tough and wonderful game. Two good coaches, a lot of good players on the pitch and the proposals of both coaches and clubs are good ones.
“I can see a big show of great football. We’re okay. We’re fighting in all competitions and ready to go for them. I think in the last games we’ve been solid and created chances. We’re in a good mood, but the only thing is of course the opponents are there, so it’s a big one. We’re ready for the fight.
“We hope [we can reach the semi-finals], we’re confident, we want to get that consistency in this competition too, so we have to go through. We always respect Bayern Munich”.