Manchester City win scintillating Champions League Semi Final against Real Madrid

Goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva gave City a slender 4-3 lead in a gripping seven goal affair, before we head to the second leg at The Bernabeu.

Guardiola’s side started like an F1 car on the grid. 

Riyad Mahrez cut in on his left foot and delivered an inch perfect cross to De Bruyne, who headed the ball past international teammate Thibaut Courtois in just the second minute.

Not long after, a cross from Foden caused confusion amongst the Madrid defence as Alaba missed the ball, allowing Gabriel Jesus to swivel and fire home.

Guardiola was left furious on the touch line when Mahrez wasted a chance to put the Citizens three-up, after hitting the side netting instead of squaring the ball to an unmarked Phil Foden.

They would be made to rue their missed chances in the 33rd minute when Madrid got a crucial goal back through talisman Karim Benzema’s exquisite first time finish off the post, following a Ferland Mendy cross.

The home team started the second half in the same way they began the first. Relentless.

Another key chance was missed when Mahrez burst through-on goal but could only hit the post. Then, Foden’s rebound was blocked off the line by Dani Carvajal.

City restored their two goal advantage when academy graduate Phil Foden nodded home from six yards after a pinpoint Fernandinho cross, in an unusual role at right back replacing the injured John Stones.

But things were not all rosy for the 36 year old, as he allowed Madrid a route back into the tie once again.

Madrid responded instantly,with a sublime bit of wing play from Brazilian wonderkid Vinicius Jr as he dummied the ball through the veteran’s legs on the half way line, and proceeded to run all the way through and tuck past a helpless Ederson.

After some terrific work by the players on the pitch, it was time for the referee to get in on the act.

The man in yellow played a clever and crucial advantage which led to Bernardo Silva smashing in city’s fourth, with a left footed rocket beating Courtois at his near post.

But Ancelotti’s side showed why they are the most successful team in the tournament’s history, with their wilful resilience and character making them difficult to shake off.

A free kick into the box was met by a Laporte hand, resulting in a penalty for Los Blancos.

Madrid’s main man, Benzema, stepped up. With great calmness, he dinked the ball down the middle. The coolest man in the stadium. And with that, the tie remains open.

City will undoubtedly be disappointed. Despite winning, the tie could have been completely over with the chances they created throughout the game.

Madrid deserve credit for keeping themselves in the tie and not wilting under the immense pressure being asserted on them by City’s positional excellence.

By Ben Fillingham

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