Real Madrid Ousts Man City in Epic Champions League Clash


Manchester City’s Champions League journey came to an end in the quarter-finals after a thrilling penalty shoot-out loss to Real Madrid. Despite Kevin De Bruyne leveling the score after Rodrygo’s early goal, misses from Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic in the shoot-out handed Real Madrid a 4-3 victory.

Real Madrid progresses to the semi-finals to meet Bayern Munich. Antonio Rudiger secured the win with the decisive spot-kick following a tense 1-1 draw, resulting in a 4-4 aggregate deadlock.

Rodrygo‘s early goal put Carlo Ancelotti’s team ahead in both the match and the overall tie, thanks to a counter-attack. However, Kevin De Bruyne’s 76th-minute equalizer forced the game into extra time, where neither team could secure a decisive win.

Despite a strong defensive display from Madrid and recognition for their efforts on the field, even in defeat, Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions failed to progress. Their dreams of achieving an unprecedented second consecutive treble have been dashed. Real Madrid will now face Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.

Player evaluations:

Manchester City:

  • Ederson (7),
  • Walker (7),
  • Akanji (6),
  • Dias (7),
  • Gvardiol (7),
  • Rodri (6),
  • De Bruyne (7),
  • Bernardo (6),
  • Foden (6),
  • Grealish (6),
  • Haaland (5).


  • Doku (7),
  • Alvarez (6),
  • Kovacic (no rating available),
  • Stones (no rating available).

Real Madrid: Lunin (7), Carvajal (7), Nacho (8), Rudiger (7), Mendy (7), Kroos (7), Valverde (8), Camavinga (7), Rodrygo (7), Bellingham (7), Vinicius (7). Substitutes: Dias (6), Modric (6), Vazquez (6), Militao (no rating available). Player of the Match: Federico Valverde.

Upcoming fixtures for Manchester City:

  • April 20: FA Cup semi-final versus Chelsea at Wembley
  • April 25: Travel to play Brighton,
  • April 28: Away game against Nottingham Forest,
  • May 4: Host Wolves at home,
  • May 11: Visit Fulham for an away match,
  • May 14: Away fixture against Tottenham,
  • May 19: Home game against West Ham

City’s exit unfolded in the following manner:

Guardiola’s pre-match comment about Jude Bellingham, “We have to control him,” set the stage. However, it was Bellingham’s remarkable ball control, smoothly bringing down the ball from the Manchester sky, that led to Madrid’s early lead.

Bellingham then set up Vinicius Junior with a pass, whose subsequent cross found Rodrygo, the player who dashed City’s hopes in the unforgettable semi-final of 2022. Despite Ederson’s efforts, Rodrygo eventually scored after two attempts, with Kyle Walker, making a return from injury to start, unable to thwart him.

That set the tone for the evening, with City striving to become the first team other than Real Madrid in 34 years to successfully defend the title. They controlled possession, spurred on by the home crowd’s encouragement in their quest for an equalizer, requiring Madrid’s full concentration.

Erling Haaland came close to an immediate response, narrowly missing with a header and then striking the crossbar. Bernardo Silva was unable to capitalize on the rebound, unable to adjust his footing in time, resulting in the ball agonizingly rolling wide of the post.

However, Madrid remained dangerous on the counter, with Vinicius particularly adept at evading City’s pressing, causing constant worry. One swift counterattack led to Dani Carvajal having an open shot, only for Ruben Dias to make a crucial block.

Such counterattacks were infrequent in the second half, as the majority of the play took place in the Madrid half with City searching for opportunities. This change occurred after Guardiola brought on Jeremy Doku. Rudiger’s failure to clear the ball resulted in De Bruyne scoring the equalizer.

This set the scene for the evening, as City aimed to accomplish a feat not achieved by any team other than Real Madrid in 34 years: defending their title. They maintained control of possession, spurred on by the passionate support of the home crowd in their quest for an equalizer, demanding full attention from Madrid.

It was a disappointing conclusion for City, who may feel they were the superior team, but Madrid’s resilience paid off, and they will feel optimistic about their chances against a seemingly less formidable Bayern in the semi-final. City’s hopes of defending their title have been dashed. What impact will this have on their upcoming fixtures?

Guardiola shared his reflections on the match without harboring any regrets. “Firstly, congratulations to Real Madrid,” he said afterward. “We left everything on the pitch, and I don’t have any regrets. As a manager, you always strive to create more opportunities while conceding fewer goals.

It’s common to experience one, two, or three transitions, but overall, we put in an exceptional performance across all areas. Unfortunately, we couldn’t clinch the victory. That’s just the nature of the game.

“Today, Madrid adopted a deeper defensive strategy compared to previous seasons. We managed to create chances, but ultimately, football boils down to goal-scoring. They were more clinical from the penalty spot than us. Sometimes you win through penalties, sometimes you don’t. Considering our performance, we should have secured the win earlier.”

Guardiola confirmed that the decision to substitute Haaland, De Bruyne, and Akanji stemmed from the players’ requests. “Erling and Kevin requested to come off,” he disclosed. “They were unable to continue, similar to Manu.”

With the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley looming on Saturday, there’s little time to dwell on this defeat. While the treble is no longer within reach, the double remains a possibility. “Recovery is easier after a victory than after a loss. That’s just how it goes.”

Ancelotti acknowledged City’s strength, acknowledging that it compelled Real Madrid to withstand pressure and aim for victory through penalties. “We defended admirably. It was about survival,” he remarked. “Real Madrid is a club that always fights to overcome adversity, and we managed to find a way. By the time the penalty shootout arrived, we were fully confident of progressing.

“This is the mindset you need to succeed at City. You work diligently, make sacrifices, and secure victory however you can.”

Bellingham expressed his joy over the win, describing it as a relief due to the immense effort invested in the game. He reflected on past encounters with City, where victory seemed attainable before slipping away, underscoring the challenge of defeating them. Securing the win held significant meaning for him, describing such moments as magical and attributing them to a strong mentality.

He emphasized the importance of attention to detail and maintaining composure, particularly during crucial moments like penalties. Bellingham also took pride in having his brother witness his performance for Madrid for the first time.

Real Madrid’s advancement to the Champions League semi-finals marks their 33rd appearance in the club’s history, a record 12 times more than the next club with the most semi-final appearances, Bayern Munich (21). Manager Carlo Ancelotti‘s achievement of reaching the semi-finals for the 10th time equals the record held by Pep Guardiola.

Real Madrid has eliminated reigning Champions League title-holders six times in knockout ties, a feat at least twice as frequent as any other team in the competition’s history.

In the match against Real Madrid, Manchester City recorded 88 touches in the opposition box, the highest on record in a UEFA Champions League match since 2007-08. Additionally, their 33 shots were the most in a knockout stage game in the competition since Liverpool’s 34 against Atletico Madrid in March 2020.

Kevin De Bruyne has been directly involved in 24 goals for Manchester City in the Champions League knockout stages, contributing 13 goals and 11 assists. This surpasses Wayne Rooney’s record of 23 goal involvements for Manchester United, establishing De Bruyne as the player with the most goal involvements for an English club in the competition.


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