Manchester City will lead Real Madrid 4-3 in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tie after an incredible match at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday. A thrilling and relentlessly fast game, full of chances, individual brilliance, and a few defensive blunders, was a pleasure for the viewers, but City, who had the better of the game, now has the tiniest of leads to defend in the Santiago Bernabeu next Wednesday.
Champions League Manchester City
Champions League Manchester City took charge with a diving header from Kevin De Bruyne. After Riyad Mahrez made a penetrating run at the Real defense, cut inside, and then delivered a devastating cross in just 94 seconds, the quickest points scored in a Champions League semi-final.
“It was a beautiful game for both sides. We did a lot of good things, but we allowed goals and couldn’t score more,” City manager Pep Guardiola said. “But it’s two games and we have another one in a week.”
In the 11th minute, Guardiola’s team increased their lead when Gabriel. Who had four goals in the Premier League the previous weekend, collected a pass from De Bruyne. And spun away from David Alaba before hammering home.
Real Madrid, the 13-time European winners, had never allowed two goals in the Champions League before. And the second appeared to be on the cards. City, the reigning Premier League winners, were on fire, chasing Real Madrid to the brink. But Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden both failed to convert great chances.
It was a period of the sport that City may reminisce on as a squandered chance. And Real, as they often do, found how to claw their way into a game that was threatening to run far away from them. After 33 minutes, the goal came from a well-recognized source: Karim Benzema, the Champions League’s escape artist. Who guided a Ferland Mendy cross into the far, bottom corner with the foremost delicate of steers.
Manchester City two-goal lead
Manchester City regained a two-goal lead eight minutes after the restart. When veteran Fernandinho, on as a substitute for the injured John Stones, found Foden with a brilliantly weighted cross that the England international nodded in. However, Fernandinho was found out two minutes later when he enabled Brazilian compatriot Vinicius Jr to break away down the touchline.
With superb individual performance, the winger ran from the halfway line deep into the box. Before putting the ball past Ederson to make it 3-2. Manchester City has found a way through again and again. After Oleksandr Zinchenko was brought down on the outside of the box. Real Madrid’s defense hesitated, but Bernardo Silva pounced and beat Thibaut Courtois. With a stunning drive into the top corner in the 74th minute.
More drama come when City’s Aymeric Laporte penalized after the ball bounced off his head. And stroking his arm in the box, and Benzema converted the penalty with a cheeky ‘Panenka’ chip down the middle eight minutes from time.
Manchester City continued to press for a goal, but substitutes Raheem Sterling and Ruben Dias were both unable to connect. With a dangerous ball across the box, and Dias slid in again, inches away from a deep Mahrez cross.
The score was set to stay at 4-3, but those who wanted the game might have gone on forever and may look forward to another 90 minutes next week. Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti had mixed sentiments after an enjoyable night. And while he expressed regrets, he also expressed optimism in his analysis.