Manchester City 1 – 1 Real Madrid: Cristiano, Manchester and the Referee
As Iker Casillas said in the post-match interview, Real Madrid had the chance to finish off the match in the first half as they missed some good opportunities. The match was in favor of City more in the second half as Arbeloa was sent off for nothing and City was awarded a penalty. Nevertheless, Real Madrid completed their objective of qualifying to the Round of 16 by knocking out City in Manchester.
Luka Modric got the nod ahead of Ozil and Dzeko ahead of Tevez for Manchester in the decisive match. Manchester City took the kick off in a must win match for any hope to be in the next round and they suffered in the first twenty minutes of the game when Cristiano and co made it difficult for the 5 man City defense.
As many had guessed.
Karim Benzema opened the scoring for Madrid at the 10th minute mark with a superb run off the ball and a good flick from Di Maria’s ball to send it past Joe Hart.
Throughout the first half, Real Madrid dominated in possession and the number of shots on goal with City not having a shot on Iker’s goal for the first 25 minutes.
Following a break initiated by Xabi Alonso, Cristiano almost made it 2 – 0 with a slight chip over Joe Hart which was just brushed off the goal line by Nastasic.
Though he was booed the entire match, Cristiano continued to dominate the field with his fancy passing, trickery and roasted Kompany, Maicon and co with ease and made it difficult for City in the complete first half.
Alonso showed his brilliance again with a difficult pass to Khedira, who sneaked past the defensive line and didn’t quite show his intelligence in finishing the move off with Joe Hart diving for the ball.
Maicon , Dzeko had a very bad night on field with their passes cancelling their possession, and offered Real Madrid good opportunities to counter.
There was only one free kick possible in the first half, which Kolarov guided well but on the wrong side of the post.
Madrid’s defensive line worked real hard. Maintaining a good line and clearing the danger at the right place at the right time.
Real Madrid were profligate in the latter minutes and did not look to put any good efforts on the goal.
Kolarov not having a great impact on the game, Real Madrid former youth player Javi Garcia came on for him in the second half.
David Silva in the second half had a more serious game, which improved City’s ball possession and attacks, but Madrid’s defense prevailed often with Xabi Alonso shielding the defense and Arbeloa, Coentrao doing a decent job nullifying the wings.
City’s only brilliant chance in the game came in 64th minute with Maicon’s pass deflected off Coentrao and Aguero’s boots, which was saved by Casillas’s dive and Pepe was quick to react to clear it off the 6 yard box.
But everything changed in the game for Madrid after Arbeloa was sent off recklessly by the referee for almost nothing and nothing at all. Replays show both Arbeloa and Aguero running for the ball and Arbeloa tripped off Aguero’s boots for a slight contact and Aguero diving afterwards which the Referee thought as Arbeloa’s fault and handed the second yellow card for Arbeloa and Aguero the penalty to equalize.
Mourinho immediately took the safety measures by bringing in Varane for Benzema. Tevez, Aguero and Silva looked to threaten the Madrid goal, with Silva working brilliant in both defense and offense and provided tough opportunities for City who failed to find the net against the ten men Madrid.
Cristiano in the 81st minute tried to break past four City men surrounding him, which was only stopped by Kompany’s man handling just as he did in the entire second half, and the referee ignoring it.
Aguero was replaced by Milner for more pace on the wings and Raul Albiol for Di Maria in the ending stages of the match.
There were 5 added minutes which Mourinho of course made fun of in the side lines. The best chance City had in those five minutes was from Silva’s ball over the defense which Tevez missed to put it past Casillas.
His fate in doubt.
It would be interesting to see if Mancini looks forward to win the match at Dortmund to qualify for the Europa league or he might just sit back at home and win the Premier League to make the owners happy.