Manchester City fan reporter Emily Laycock describes an unforgettable atmosphere during her side’s victory over Bayern
The occasion of a quarter-final is huge in its own right, but a clash between two teams of this calibre is especially enthralling. And a battle of wits between Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel is just asking for magic.
A mist of blue flares filled the entrance to the stadium as fans congregated to welcome the team on this night of all nights. One of my favourite things about City games is the welcome the players receive, making the stadium feel like their empire where they can conquer any opposition, with their 12th man taking the form of 52,000 Cityzens in the stands.
The typical Manchester rain and looming storm did not dampen our moods as my dad and I went in search of a programme and then made the journey up to the top of the stadium, checking the team news. The view from our seats was unreal. My slightly-scared-of-heights father took a few minutes to adjust to our new surroundings as I was taking it all in and, of course, taking a hundred photos to reminisce about the occasion later.
The famous Champions League anthem sounded as my face lit up with excitement. It’s one thing seeing these incredible matches on TV, but a whole other experience sitting in the stands with the cold Manchester breeze freezing your cheeks. It makes me fall in love with the beautiful game all over again.
A dominant performance gave us everything to smile about, and Erling Haaland continued his goalscoring exploits. Scoring the third of the evening and his 45th of the season, he has now scored the most goals in all competitions by a player at a Premier League club. He is unstoppable. And what a night to reach this milestone, in front of the ground at capacity. My heart was jumping for joy thinking of all he has achieved already in not even a full season.
The travelling Bayern fans never ceased to chant and cheer, bringing the most incredible atmosphere as they spurred their club on to make City work for their victory until the very last second. That is what the Champions League is all about: watching the best of the best in Europe fight for their fans, who provide electrifying atmospheres in return. My seat was right next to the away supporters, making for the perfect European night. My ears were ringing continuously.
I am a City supporter through and through, but this match also gave me the opportunity to watch Alphonso Davies and Sadio Mané play in the flesh. Not many can say they’ve witnessed that.
The tension and rivalry between the managers could almost be felt in the rafters. This time, however, Guardiola got his revenge on Tuchel after he had ended City’s hopes of European glory in 2021.
Three goals. A clean sheet. An insane atmosphere. What more could you ask for?