Champions League: Seven goals, football at its best – show in Manchester

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Seven goals, football at its best – show in Manchester

Manchester City, Real Madrid Manchester City, Real Madrid

Celebration after the first goal: Kevin De Bruyne scored after two minutes to make it 1-0 for Manchester City

Source: dpa/Mike Egerton

In the first leg of the semi-finals, Manchester City and Real Madrid ensured a great evening of football in the premier class, which the Premier League club won. Pep Guardiola’s side dominate for long periods, but have to fear for the final participation.

Es was only played for a few seconds, it became clear that this game could be special, exciting. And it happened. In an attacking spectacle, Manchester City, leaders of the English Premier League, won the Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid 4-3 (2-1) on Tuesday evening. Star manager Pep Guardiola and his team have a good chance of returning to the premier class final.

Kevin De Bruyne (2nd minute), Gabriel Jesus (11th), Phil Foden (53rd) and Bernardo Silva (74th) secured the narrow lead for the second leg on May 4 at the Bernabeu Stadium. Karim Benzema (33rd / 82nd / penalty) with a double and Vinicius Junior (55th) scored for Madrid.

Real responds coldly

After just under two minutes, Guardiola showed his fists in a jubilant pose. After an accurate cross from Riyad Mahrez, De Bruyne, sprinting into the penalty area, headed the ball into the Real Madrid goal, making it impossible for fellow Belgian, Thibaut Courtois. Just nine minutes later Jesus, who scored four goals last in the 5-1 win over Watford FC in the Premier League, used Spain’s defensive frailties to make it 2-0. The Brazilian won in a duel against David Alaba, whose participation had long been questioned due to muscular problems.

Manchester City, Real Madrid

Personal trainers between them: Pep Guardiola (left) before kick-off with Carlo Ancelotti

Source: Getty Images/Laurence Griffiths

On the other hand, Real’s attacking artists around ex-world champion Toni Kroos, director Luka Modric and striker Benzema initially had no chance. Manchester shrewdly blocked spaces and effectively halted the build-up play of the Spanish Primera Division leaders. Coach Carlo Ancelotti’s side only entered the game after about half an hour in a rush.

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But because Real continued to react carelessly in defence, hosts Manchester had good chances through Mahrez and Phil Foden. And then suddenly Benzema was there on the other side in his 600th game for Real. The Frenchman, who had been the decisive man in earlier rounds against Paris Saint-Germain and defending champions FC Chelsea with three and four goals respectively, converted a Ferland Mendy cross into the goal despite the struggles.

Manchester City, Real Madrid

Goal for Real Madrid: Karim Benzema (centre) scored to make it 1-2

Source: Action Images via Reuters

After the break, Alaba remained in the locker room. Real’s defense, which had yet to be revamped, was fooled by Mahrez in the 48th minute, who then hit the post. Foden’s follow-up shot was blocked by Dani Carvajal across the line. In the 53rd, the English international did better, with a header in a cross from Fernandinho. Los Blancos responded quickly: Vinicius ran alone down the left side of the halfway line towards the City goal and completed it with an accurate low shot.

Bernardo Silva restored the two-goal lead with a powerful shot from under the bar, before Benzema again reduced the penalty for Real with a converted handball to keep Madrid’s chances in the final.

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