Real Madrid find a way to stay alive despite being second-best against dominant Manchester City

Real Madrid lost 4-3 to Manchester City in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals.
Real Madrid lost 4-3 to Manchester City in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals.
Emmanuel Ayamga

Usually, when Manchester City take a 2-0 lead after just 11 minutes of play, they are likely to end the game with a cricket score.

The Cityzens were certainly in such a mood when they stunned Real Madrid in the opening minutes of the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final tie on Tuesday evening.

Early goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus gave Pep Guardiola’s side the perfect start and they made the most of it by dominating Los Blancos.

Manchester City’s failure to make the most of the flurry of chances that came their way came back to haunt them. Real Madrid fought back to escape the Etihad Stadium with an encouraging 4-3 defeat.

🏁 FT: @ManCity 4-3 @realmadriden⚽ De Bruyne 2', Gabriel Jesús 11', Foden 53', Bernardo Silva 74'; @Benzema 33', 81' (p), @ViniJr 55' #UCL | #Emirates

Blancos show great resilience

In all honesty, Real Madrid were very lucky to still be in the game at half-time. Los Blancos were completely dominated by the hosts, who created several chances.

At 2-0, Mahrez had a glorious chance but the Algerian’s selfishness wouldn’t allow him to set up Jesus. He opted to go solo and ended up blasting the ball into the side net.

However, once Karim Benzema scored to make it 2-1, Carlo Ancelotti’s side had renewed hope. Thrice, they trailed by a two-goal margin but were resilient enough to fight their way back to reduce the deficit.

Many teams would have capitulated and downed their tools after Manchester City’s blistering start. But Los Blancos kept their heads up each time they conceded and had their reward in the end.

Only two players in top-flight European football have scored 40+ goals across all competitions this season:✅ 33-year-old Robert Lewandowski🆕 34-year-old Karim BenzemaThe finest wines. 🍷

Real Madrid still alive in tie

Manchester City left Real Madrid off the hook by squandering several chances, which means Los Blancos are still very much alive in this tie.

The Spanish giants weren’t at their best in the first leg. However, they will have to be better at the Santiago Bernabeu when they play in front of their home fans. Ancelotti said in the aftermath of the game, as quoted by Marca.

"We have to be ready. We are going to fight for another magical night. A bit frustrated, it's true. In the first half, we lost a lot of individual duels. They scored two goals that could have been avoided with a little more attention. It happened, we reacted and we have the game alive for the second leg."
"We were in the game until the end, we competed. We have to defend better. We did well with the ball, with many chances. For the second leg, we have to defend better, it's too important."

With the away goal rule now scrapped, a 4-3 win is not too difficult to overturn. Real Madrid, despite being second-best for large spells on Tuesday, found a way to stay alive. They will now have to finish the job at the Bernabeu next week.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar


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