Man City qualified for the quarter-finals of the resumed UEFA Champions League courtesy of goals from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus which gave them a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid and secured a 4-2 aggregate win.
Man City dumped the newly crowned Spanish champions out, having led the tie 2-1 after an impressive victory at the Santiago Bernabeu back in March before Europe’s premier club competition was halted by the deadly Coronavirus pandemic, and went on to extend their advantage as early as the ninth minute, after Gabriel Jesus easily bullied Raphael Varane in possession, robbed him of the ball and squared an easy chance for Sterling to side foot home.
Manchester City continued to dominate possession and create more opportunities but the game’s second half was for the visitors. Karim Benzema, captaining the side in the absence of suspended skipper Sergio Ramos, gave the Los Blancos hope when he levelled for the visitors in the twenty-eighth minute, clinically converting the teenage Brazilian winger’s excellent cross with a thumping header past Ederson in the Man City goal.
The match eventually went into half time with the scores level at a goal apiece. The second half started in much the same way the first half had, with City comfortably on top and having better sights of goal.
Much of this was due to a Sergio Ramos sized hole in the backline as both Varane and Eder Militao looked shaky, with the former at fault again for Man City’s second of the night in the sixty-eighth minute due to his poor attempt at a headed back-pass.
The grave error came after he failed to clear a long ball from Rodri to Thibaut Courtois, which was intercepted by Jesus, who this time did the business himself, firing past Courtois.
Despite dominating the Champions League in the latter part of the previous decade with four titles in five years, three of which came consecutively under the tutelage of current manager Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid have now failed to progress past the second round for the second year in a row having been knocked out in humiliating fashion by Ajax in April last year.
Man City continued to dominate possession and create more opportunities
With the La Liga already wrapped up, Real Madrid’s season is now fully over and the club must focus on strengthening and maintenance, with the consolidation of their position at the top of the Spanish league a major objective and a renewed assault on the trophy they’ve claimed more than any other club also high on the agenda.
As for Man City, progress provides more opportunity for the club to go on and win its first Champions League title, a scenario which would etch its name among Europe’s super clubs in ink.
Manchester City has won everything there is to win domestically since Sheikh Mansour bought the club from former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, and have dazzled fans with breathtaking displays under Pep Guardiola. A Champions League trophy is all that has remained elusive with a semi-final appearance in 2016, the furthest they’ve gone in the competition to date.
However, Guardiola will be pleased with his side’s overall performance against the record champions and will be encouraged as he aims at winning a first Champions League title since leaving Barcelona.
Author: Timothy Ainebyoona
Timothy is a dynamic analyst passionate about news and all things sport.