Manchester City

Manchester City edged Real Madrid 4-3 in a seven-goal Champions League thriller staged at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.

The win means that City has preserved their fine Champions League record at the Etihad Stadium, having not lost at home in Europe since 2018.

As was expected from the attacking lineup, the hosts took the lead just after 90 seconds when Riyad Mahrez breezed past a sea of Madrid defenders before picking out Kevin De Bruyne, who headed home for the quickest goal ever scored in a UCL semi-final.

Even before Madrid could settle, they found themselves two goals down when Gabriel Jesus, who scored four at the weekend against Watford, expertly turned David Alaba in the penalty area to net his side’s second with 11 minutes gone.

But City were made to pay for their poor finishing when they were pegged back by Karim Benzema, the Frenchman’s 40th goal of the season, to reignite the contest before HT.

The Pep Guardiola side continued to attack and was unlucky not to maintain their two-goal cushion when Mahrez smashed the post before Dani Carvajal valiantly denied Phil Foden’s rebound effort just minutes after the restart.

Guardiola’s side had appeared to establish their trademark midfield stranglehold in the second half and it was not long before Foden nodded in a floated Fernandinho cross but Madrid once again struck back via Vinícius Júnior’s magnificent run and composed finish to punish a wasteful City.

While Bernardo Silva smashed a stunning effort past Thibaut Courtois to restore the two-goal advantage there would be a final twist as Benzema stepped from the spot, after Laporte had been judged to have handled the ball in his box, to net an ice-cold Panenka penalty for a 4-3 final score.


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