Manchester City fans were not pleased to see Joao Cancelo return to the club, as the Portuguese international was met with a smattering of boos during their Champions League quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich. Cancelo had made a shock move to the Bundesliga giants during the January transfer window after falling out of favour with Pep Guardiola, and even blocked City fan accounts on social media ahead of the switch. Despite this, Cancelo did post a farewell message and made his first appearance since the move in their Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Named on the bench by Thomas Tuchel, Cancelo received a mixed reception when he came on for Alphonso Davies. A small but audible number of City fans booed the 28-year-old when he made his way onto the pitch in the 81st minute. However, despite their feelings towards the defender, Cancelo was still on hand to show his respect to the club before the match. In a video from the Champions League Twitter account, he could be seen deliberately walking around the City badge on the carpet of the tunnel as a sign of respect.
Cancelo’s loan spell with Bayern hasn’t gone to plan with his inability to break into the first-team leading to suggestions he won’t extend his stay in Bavaria, meaning he’s set for an awkward reunion at the Etihad. The German side went home bitterly disappointed as City went on to claim a huge win on their home turf against the German champions.
Guardiola’s side took the lead midway through the first half thanks to Rodri’s stunning long-range curling effort into the top-left corner. Bernardo Silva’s header doubled their lead, before Erling Haaland scored his 45th goal of the season to make it game, set and match. His finish means he has now scored the most goals in a single season for a top-flight side in the entire Premier League era.
City are on course to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League for the third consecutive season, where they will face either Real Madrid or Chelsea. They are also still in the running for the Premier League and FA Cup, and could therefore go on to complete a historical treble-winning season in June.