UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals 2023, Manchester City vs Real Madrid, 2nd Leg Review: Historic night for Citizens as Bernardo brace paves way for Istanbul date with Inter Milan
UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals 2023, Manchester City vs Real Madrid, 2nd Leg Review: The atmosphere in the stadium helped a lot to get the best out of City's players. The continuous cheering and hooting had really intimated the Madrid players, and this also factored into why they lost the match. In addition to that, City showed a masterclass with the ball and obliterated Madrid's defence.
UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals 2023, Manchester City vs Real Madrid, 2nd Leg Review: It was poetry in motion as Manchester City completely outplayed Real Madrid out of the Champions League on Thursday. City defeated Real 4-0 (5-1 aggregate) as they rampaged through Real defence in the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg at the Etihad Stadium. And by the standard City played, it really manifested that the Etihad is City's fortress.
Real Madrid wasn't able to create that many chances, and if they managed to create any threat towards the City's goal, the Citizens would stop them on their heels. The atmosphere in the stadium helped a lot to get the best out of City's players. The continuous cheering and hooting had really intimated the Madrid players, and this also factored into why they lost the match. In addition to that, City showed a masterclass with the ball and obliterated Madrid's defence.
The clash was not just between two of the biggest football clubs in the world but also between two of the biggest tactical minds to grace the beautiful game. City manager Pep Guardiola got the better of his counterpart Madrid's manager, Carlo Ancelotti. This was acknowledged by Ancelotti, who said that City was better than Madrid this year in the post-match press conference.
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The banter Madrid received was uncalled for by many critics and fans of the sport, but City shut those critics out by creating a rampage and scoring four goals past Madrid's defence.
The match initially started with both teams looking at-par with each other. But within a few minutes, City started to show why they have been called the 'Team of the Year' by Spanish publication 'Marco'. City came close to scoring the first goal in the 13th minute of the match when winger Jack Grealish crossed the ball in the middle of Madrid's penalty box.
Erling Haaland leaped onto that ball and tried to head the ball in, which was saved by Madrid's shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois and cleared out by defender David Alaba. In the 20th minute, City's Kevin De Bruyne crossed a ball into the far side of the penalty box, which was headed back in the middle by Manuel Akanji. Haaland again leaped in and headed the ball towards the goal, but Courtois again made a brilliant save to deny him.
In the 23rd minute, De Bruyne made a beautiful pass inside Madrid's penalty box, finding Bernardo Silva, who took two touches before smashing the ball towards the near post and giving City their opening goal. Madrid came close to equalising in the 34th minute with a cracking shot by Toni Kroos outside the box, but it hit the top bar and was parried away.
City doubled their scoreline with another goal by Bernardo Silva in the 37th minute. He headed the ball, which came in as a deflection from Madrid's defender Eder Militao when he blocked a shot from City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. In the 50th minute, Madrid was denied a goal by goalkeeper Ederson, who stopped a direct free-kick shot by Alaba.
In the 73rd minute, Haaland got an opportunity to take City three-up but was again denied by Courtois. Eventually, City made it three with a goal from Akanji, who headed the ball in from a free-kick. The ball was deflected off Militao before going into the net.
Manchester City sealed the deal with the fourth and final goal of the game in the 90+1 minute through Argentinian substitute Julian Alvarez. Alvarez scored the goal off a beautiful through pass by Phil Foden, and he scored the goal with his first touch on the ball.
Manchester City will play against Inter Milan at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul on June 11th for the UEFA Champions League Final. Inter defeated AC Milan 3-0 in aggregate on Wednesday to earn their spot in the Champions League Final.