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Kevin De Bruyne felt Erling Haaland underlined his class by scoring the goal that sent Manchester City into the Champions League semi-finals for a third successive year.
Haaland netted his 48th goal of a remarkable campaign as City claimed a 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich on Wednesday to go through 4-1 on aggregate.
City had been in control of their destiny after last week’s emphatic first-leg win but they needed to withstand considerable pressure at the Allianz Arena before Haaland’s strike on 57 minutes settled the matter.
De Bruyne thought Haaland showed great character to finish off a swift counter-attack having missed from the penalty spot earlier in the game.
The Belgian said: “Knowing him he will not be happy with missing the penalty but it is over then. When you have another chance you have to go again. He had the opportunity, finished it with class and he helps us win games.”
Bayern kept on fighting and pulled a goal back late on after a contentiously awarded Joshua Kimmich penalty but the outcome was not in doubt.
Such were the home side’s frustrations that manager Thomas Tuchel was sent off in the closing minutes for complaining about referee Clement Turpin’s decisions.
City will now play Real Madrid in the semi-finals in a rematch of last year’s encounter won by the Spanish side in dramatic circumstances.
Midfielder Bernardo Silva has already spoken confidently of avenging that loss but De Bruyne insists that is not something that motivates him.
He said: “I am not that person. What happened last year happened. We played really well in the two games and the last five minutes changed the course (of the tie).
“You have to take it on the chin and move on. It happened and it doesn’t mean we didn’t play well for the majority of the two games. Football is about details and it happens and you move on.”
City will travel to the Spanish capital on May 9 before hosting the reigning the champions the following week.
Prior to that, however, they have other pressing matters with Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United followed by a crunch top-of-the-table Premier League encounter with Arsenal four days later.
“It is going to be a quick turnaround,” De Bruyne said. “The schedule is what it is. It is very hard for us but it is a privilege playing in all these semi-finals.
“A lot of people want to be in our position. We are proud but we have to go on.”
One downside for City was defender Nathan Ake suffering a hamstring injury before being substituted in the second half. He was due to be assessed following the team’s return to Manchester.
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