Real Madrid Stuns Manchester City With 4-3 (Penalty) Victory In Champions League QF

Real Madrid emerged victorious over defending champions Manchester City in a penalty shoot-out at the Etihad Stadium in a thrilling Champions League quarter-final clash.

Real Madrid wins 4-3 on penalties after Kevin De Bruyne cancelled out Rodrygo’s early goal and Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic missed penalty kicks. This results in Manchester City’s elimination from the Champions League at the quarterfinal round.

Real Madrid Stuns Manchester City With 4-3 (Penalty) Victory In Champions League QF

The sides were level 4-4 overall after a 1-1 draw that evening. Antonio Rudiger converted the game-winning penalty kick after Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic’s efforts were saved, sending the 14-time champions to a 4-3 shootout victory.

Carlo Ancelotti’s team had taken the lead early in the match thanks to a counterattack goal from Rodrygo, but Kevin De Bruyne’s equalizer in the 76th minute forced extra time, during which neither heavyweight was able to deliver the game-winning strike.

Even though they lost, Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions were praised from the field for their gutsy performance. However, their dreams of an extraordinary second consecutive treble are now dashed. In the last four, Madrid will take on Bayern Munich.

Guardiola had stated of Jude Bellingham, “We have to control him,” before this second leg began, but it was the England player’s exquisite touch—bringing the ball down from the Manchester sky—that gave Madrid the early advantage.

Vinicius Junior was fed by Bellingham, and Rodrygo—the guy who tore apart City fans during that historic 2022 semifinal—met his cross. After recovering from an injury to begin with, he needed two tries to beat Ederson, but Kyle Walker was unable to stop him.

That established the evening’s mood. As they looked for an equalizer, City, hoping to become the first team other than Real Madrid to win the title in 34 years, controlled possession and were cheered on by the home fans. Madrid have to focus on it all the time.

Erling Haaland came dangerously close to responding quickly, but he missed his first attempt and then smacked the crossbar with his second. Silva was able to control the rebound, but he was unable to stop the ball from trickling painfully wide of the post.

However, Madrid was posing a threat in the counteroffensive. Throughout, there was concern about Vinicius’s ability to play outside of the City press. On one occasion, a quick breakaway gave Dani Carvajal a free shot. Ruben Dias blocked the attempt with great skill.

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The second half of the match was played entirely inside the Madrid half, with City pressing Madrid, and there were few and far between counterattacks. Guardiola turned to Jeremy Doku before it happened. Rudiger’s inability to clear the ball allowed De Bruyne to score the equalizer.

Soon after, the Belgian came dangerously close to adding another with a stunning strike, but he missed a simpler chance to score. Extra time was required, and Madrid was the wise money’s pick. They clung to each other.

Rudiger lost out on the first extra-time period’s finest opportunity to make apologies. The most well-known scorers were off the field after Ancelotti substituted Vinicius and Rodrygo and withdrew Haaland for the home team.

Despite Luka Modric’s denial, Madrid was the team with the most joy after scoring penalties. Lunin held his ground despite Silva’s attempts to bring it down the middle. Kovacic’s work was spared. Ederson scored on his own after taking the fifth kick, but he was unable to stop Rudiger.

Though Madrid’s perseverance was rewarded, they will fancy their chances against a less than menacing-looking Bayern in the semi-final. It was a sad end for City, who will feel they were the better team. The City trophy defense is finished. How will this affect their encounter?

Guardiola After The Match

“First and foremost, congrats to Real Madrid,” Guardiola remarked following the match.

“We accomplished everything, and I have no regrets. As a manager, you always strive to produce more and give up less. One, two, or three transitions occurred, but that is typical. We performed admirably in every area. We were unable to prevail, regrettably. That’s the reality.

They played deeper defense today than they did in prior years. We made opportunities. But goal scoring is the essence of football. They performed little better than we did from the penalty spot. Penalties can help you win sometimes and lose other times. We need to have played this manner earlier.”

Guardiola affirmed that the players’ requests led to the decisions to replace Haaland, De Bruyne, and Manuel Akanji. “I was asked to come out by Erling and Kevin,” he disclosed. “They had to stop. The same as Manu.

Not much time to think about this loss, as the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday takes place against Chelsea. The double is still within their grasp, but the treble has vanished. “Recovery after a win is simpler than after a loss. That’s just how things are.”

Bellingham: This Was Truly Beautiful

Bellingham stated, “It’s a relief because you put so much into the game.”

“I’ve played against City in situations where you were close and you thought you would win, but they quickly took it away.” To defeat them, you have to put forth a lot of effort. It was a huge prize to win the game.

“It’s amazing. These kinds of moments are magical, and all it takes is mindset. It is beautiful when you get those tiny moments right, like the penalties, when the boys maintain their composure. This was really lovely.

This is the first time my brother has been able to watch me play for Real Madrid, and he is here today. I’m quite proud of that.”

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