A big applause for Manchester City and Real Madrid for exhibiting such an enthralling match for the fans at the Etihad Stadium. When everyone thought that the first leg semi-final between these two sides would be an easy match for the home side, Real Madrid returned goals and proved that they would not rest until they gave a tough fight to Pep Guardiola and his squad.
Manchester City have a slender lead in defending in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid after winning a thrilling first leg 4-3 at the Etihad on Tuesday. The English champions could live to regret not killing off the 13-time winners after taking a two-goal lead three times.
Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva were on target for Pep Guardiola’s men, who should have scored many more. But Karim Benzema’s double and a brilliant individual effort from Vinicius Junior gave Madrid hope of another famous Champions League fightback at the Santiago Bernabeu on May 4.
The standard of the match was very high, and both teams fought throughout the 90 minutes to score as much as they could. In the end, Manchester City were able to get a slender lead as they face the opponents at Santiago Bernabeu next week.
A wild match with what felt like countless chances, the three first-half goals were surpassed by four in the second half, with Los Blancos staying within striking distance ahead of next week’s second leg in Madrid despite perhaps not deserving to.
City were clearly the better team with the better chances, and anybody who witnessed that spectacle of soccer has to feel surprised to see Real even with life entering the second leg. City won the xG battle, 2.37-1.48, but while the hosts were dominant with five more shots and nearly 20% more possession, it was the chances they missed that will be remembered.
Going up 2-0 just 11 minutes in through Kevin de Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus, it was Karim Benzema who pulled Real within one at 2-1 before Vinicius Jr. did to make it 3-2. Then Benzema did it again, pulling Real back within one late on with the game’s final goal via a penalty kick.
With Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva joining the first two, four different players scored for City, but Pep Guardiola won’t be overly thrilled with the result. Yes, a win is a win, but City were well on their way to a multi-goal victory multiple times in this match, with Real clawing back and leaving all to be decided at the Santiago Bernabeu.