- Manchester City beat Real Madrid 4-3 at home in the amazing Champions League semi-final first leg.
- The English champions play “Royal” against the wall for long stretches, but the coaches shine with incredible efficiency.
- The return match will be held at the Bernabéu next Wednesday.
A game that makes every football fan’s heart beat faster: what Manchester City and Real Madrid delivered on Tuesday night was simply top-notch – from the start until the final whistle after 94 minutes.
Stranger: After the end of an unforgettable semi-final first leg, neither the English nor the Spaniards were happy with the end result.
Man City surrenders, but Real catch up again
First of all: ManCity’s victory was more than a good thing and it should have been higher. At the last moment after Bernardo Silva’s superb shot to make it 4-2 with a quarter of an hour left, Real Madrid looked on the ground, defeated and ready to turn.
But this will not fit with the history of the “Royal” in the Champions League. Finally it Ha competition. And somehow they found a way with the really dominant “nationals” to be able to keep hope of the finals with regards to next Wednesday’s return leg.
Once again, it took some luck in the competition. A cross from Toni Kroos’ free kick touched the hand of defender Aymeric Laporte in the penalty area in the 80th minute – an obvious thing, a penalty kick. As if there was nothing easier in the world, Karim Benzema transformed from a point La Panenca way. Hard to imagine: in the last match of Real in the league at Osasuna Stadium (3-1), the Frenchman missed two goals from 11 meters.
Although Man City still had more chances to score after Madrid scored another goal, Benzema’s penalty kick marked the end of the scoring.
like every piece
The game had no teething issues at all. On the contrary, only 92 seconds passed before Kevin De Bruyne was able to beat the IQ of Real Thibaut Courtois for the first time. Riyad Mahrez served the Belgian in a perfect manner. Then, City-Express swept like a hurricane above the visibly exhausted guest defense. Gabriel Jesus easily shook David Alaba in the 11th minute before firing from close range to make it 2-0.
This was followed by a phase in which the English played the Champions League against the wall. But both Mahrez and Phil Foden failed to increase the score from the best position. Benzema performed better on the other side, turning Ferland Mendy’s cross before the break to make it 2-1 (33).
Even after changing aspects, things got straight to the point. Man City dominated again, but Real Madrid always found the answer:
- 53 minutes: Real threw the ball wide while building the match, Fernandinho’s cross from the right, and Foden headed home from close range to make it 3-1.
- 55 minutes: Vinicius Jr makes Fernandinho look old on the left. The Brazilian winger thrusts hard into the penalty area and finds a way past Ederson from a tight corner to make it 2:3.
Real life – magic again at the Bernabeu?
Real Madrid lost the first leg, which complicates the starting location for the second leg in the Spanish capital. Given the course of the match and the balance of power at the Etihad Stadium, Carlo Ancelotti’s team should be pleased that they are not hoping for a miracle in the second leg.
Instead, Real Madrid will be dreaming of a magical night at the Santiago Bernabeu – it won’t be the first with a long shot.
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