Champions League: Manchester City wins first semi-final game against Real Madrid

Champions League
Seven goals in the semifinals: Manchester City beat Real Madrid in an offensive spectacle

Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva celebrates his goal to beat Real Madrid 4-2 – but it wasn’t the last of the Champions League semi-finals

© Martin Rickett/PA Wire/DPA

In the first semi-final game of the Champions League, Manchester City quickly led 2-0 against Real Madrid. But both teams showed their offensive qualities impressively.

Star coach Pep Guardiola and Manchester City have a good chance of reaching the final of the Champions League again. In an offensive spectacle, the leaders of the English Premier League won the semi-final first leg against Real Madrid 4-3 (2-1) on Tuesday evening. Kevin De Bruyne (2nd minute), Gabriel Jesus (11th), Phil Foden (53rd) and Bernardo Silva (74th) ensured the narrow lead for the second leg on 4 May at the Bernabeu Stadium. Karim Benzema (33rd/82nd/penalty) with a brace and Vinicius Junior (55th) scored for Madrid.

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

Real Madrid initially struggled

On the other hand, the offensive artists from Real around ex-world champion Toni Kroos, director Luka Modric and star striker Benzema did not initially get a chance. Manchester cleverly blocked the spaces and effectively stopped the build-up game of the leaders of the Spanish Primera Division. Coach Carlo Ancelotti’s team only got into the game better after about half an hour by pressing themselves.

But because Real continued to react carelessly in defense, 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 the previous rounds against Paris Saint-Germain and defending champions FC Chelsea with three and four goals respectively, converted a Ferland Mendy cross into a goal despite the difficulties.

Benzema with brace against Manchester City

After the break, Alaba stayed in the dressing room. The Real defense, which had not yet been reorganized, was duped by Mahrez in the 48th minute, who then hit the post. Foden’s follow-up shot was blocked by Dani Carvajal in front of the line. In the 53rd, the England international did better, heading in a Fernandinho cross. The Madrilenians responded promptly: Vinicius ran alone on the left side from the center line towards the city goal and completed it with a precise low shot.

Bernardo Silva restored the two-goal lead with a powerful shot under the bar, before Benzema reduced the penalty again for Real with a converted hand penalty, thus keeping Madrid’s chances of the final alive.

tkr/Martin Kloth

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