Man City Book UCL Quarter-Finals With Convincing Win Over Real

Manchester City booked a place in the Champions League Quarter-Finals on Friday night with a convincing win over Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium.

Both teams lined up for their first European outings since February. City had claimed an impressive 2-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first-leg – a game that saw Kevin de Bruyne score one and set one up, whilst Madrid had Sergio Ramos sent off, excluding him from the return trip to Manchester.

A red hot day in the UK saw both sides slowing down ever so slightly, but the goals soon came. City lined-up with a three-strong attack of Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, and Phil Foden, whilst Madrid boasted an equally as strong front-three of Rodrygo, Karim Benzema, and Eden Hazard.

It was City who struck first though, and through Sterling. After a few ranged attempts from City early on, they were gifted a goal by Madrid defender Raphael Varane – the Frenchman took too much time on the ball before Jesus snatched it off him, squaring it to Sterling who then scored his 100th goal for the club.

José Guardiola’s side kept hounding Madrid who looked weak at the back. Sterling had another opportunity after 17 minutes when his lobbed effort dipped just high of the bar. Madrid looked as though they were missing Ramos – who was in attendance at the Etihad –  but they started to show some threats through Hazard.

The Belgian has had a tame first season in Spain but he slid through Benzema for a half-chance, before having one of his own saved by Ederson. It was Hazard’s opposing winger, Rodrygo, who would gift Benzema the perfect scoring opportunity though.

A delightful cross found Benzema rising in the box, who drove a header into the back of the net for 1-1, with the aggregate score then standing at 3-2 with an hour left of play. Both sides had half-chances before the break.

City started quickly after half-time with Sterling having a shot from close range pushed behind by Thibaut Courtois. Real then had a free-kick claim waved away after Rodrygo collided with Joao Cancelo just outside the City box.

Both teams were creating chances and Madrid were pushing for a second, which nearly came when Toni Kroos picked out substitute Marco Asensio who eventually found Benzema, but for Ederson again keep City in-front.

Another Madrid mistake at the back allowed Jesus to seal City’s spot in the next round – Varane again was at fault when he headed back to Courtois, only for Jesus to intercept and finish the game with 20 minutes to go.

City kept pushing though and had a penalty claim on Sterling dismissed by both the referee and VAR, whilst the Madrid defense continued to look nervous in the face of the City attack.

David Silva then came on for what was his last appearance for the club, as Madrid made a triple substitution in search of a way back into the game – Hazard was withdrawn after a subpar evening.

The Spaniard almost gave himself the perfect send-off with a free-kick that went just over the bar, but Madrid wouldn’t trouble City in the final stages, and the English side progressed to the Quarter-Finals where they face Lyon.



August 7, 2020 – Champions League 2019-20 Round of 16
MANCHESTER CITY-REAL MADRID 2-1 (Manchester City advance on aggregate 4-2)

SCORERS: 9′ Sterling (M), 28′ Benzema (R), 68′ Gabriel Jesus (M)

MANCHESTER CITY (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri (89′ Otamendi), Gundogan; Sterling (81′ Silva), Foden (67′ Bernardo Silva), Gabriel Jesus (Bravo, Stones, Zinchenko, Mahrez, Garcia, Doyle, Harwood-Bellis, Palmer, Bernabé) Coach: Guardiola
REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal (83′ Lucas Vazquez), Varane, Eder Militao, Mendy; Modric (83′ Valverde), Casemiro, Kroos; Rodrygo (61′ Asensio), Benzema, Hazard (83′ Jovic) (Areola, Nacho, Vieira, Diaz, Isco, Vinicius, Altube, Javi Hernandez) Coach: Zidane

NOTES: Yellow Cards: Modric (R)