Real Madrid beat defending champions Manchester City on penalties to reach semi-finals


Real Madrid beat defending champions Manchester City on penalties to reach semi-finals

Rudiger scored the penalty that secured the win for Real Madrid
Rudiger scored the penalty that secured the win for Real MadridAFP
Real Madrid beat Manchester City 4-3 on penalties after the second leg finished 1-1 at the Etihad, sending the Spanish giants into the Champions League semi-finals where they will face Bayern Munich.

In doing so the 14-time European champions booked their place in a fourth successive Champions League semi-final as well as dump the defending champions out.

Perhaps owing to the pressure of knowing a spot in the last four was on the line, a cagey start at the Etihad did come as a slight surprise after the first leg in the Bernabeu began in such frantic circumstances.

It was City who drew first blood on that occasion, but Real were quickest out of the blocks in East Manchester, nosing ahead inside 15 minutes when at the second time of asking, Rodrygo fired past Ederson from inside the six-yard box.

Key stats from the Etihad
Key stats from the EtihadOpta by StatsPerform

City’s response was inches away from being perfect though, as Erling Haaland leapt highest in the area but could only watch on with angst as his header bounced away off the crossbar.

That was as close as City came to finding a leveller before the break, with a couple of fearsome Kevin De Bruyne strikes signalling their intent, but by no means threatening Real’s resistance.

De Bruyne and Doku celebrate their equaliser
De Bruyne and Doku celebrate their equaliserProfimedia

Pep Guardiola’s side looked much more dangerous after half-time, and twice tested Andriy Lunin within 10 minutes of the restart, but the Ukrainian had the answers to the questions Jack Grealish and Phil Foden asked of him.

The Etihad faithful were growing uneasy with Real’s gamesmanship, and although the stop-start nature of the game certainly wasn’t pleasing on the eye, it was exactly what the Spanish giants needed to take the sting out of proceedings.

City pressure was incessant at times, and after introducing the electric Jeremy Doku, it was his cross that forced an error out of Antonio Rudiger, whose miscued clearance at the near post was punished in emphatic fashion by De Bruyne, who slammed the loose ball high into the roof of the net.

The Belgian ought to have won it for City in normal time when he fired Manuel Akanji’s cut-back over from 12 yards.

All night Real had been biding their time waiting for that one big chance that would likely fall their way, and when it did in extra time, it simply fell to the wrong man, as an unmarked Rüdiger rifled over from a tight angle.

That meant penalties for the first time in a UCL quarter-final in 19 years, and it was ultimately Real who prevailed, with Lunin saving from Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic before Rüdiger converted what was ultimately the winning penalty to set up a semi-final date with Bayern Munich and move his side one step closer to a 15th European crown.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Nacho Fernandez (Real Madrid)

Player ratings from Manchester
Player ratings from ManchesterFlashscore

See a summary of the match here.


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