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Manchester City v Real Madrid

'Fantastic spectacle!' - Man City tugged into Real Madrid's insane Champions League orbit during semi-final thriller

1:45 AM GMT+4 27/04/2022
Bernardo Silva Manchester City Real Madrid Champions League 2021-22
Pep Guardiola's men were brilliant at times but could not bury their Spanish adversary in the first leg on Tuesday

Manchester City became the latest team to participate in a Champions League thriller against Real Madrid this season, defeating Carlo Ancelotti's side 4-3 in the semi-final first leg on Tuesday.

It was nothing new for the visiting Blancos, who have now played in four straight matches in the competition with at least four combined goals scored.

For Manchester City, though, it was unusual chaos amid a European knockout campaign in which they had rarely been put in danger at the back.

What happened in the first leg?

Manchester City were electric in the opening exchanges and took a 2-0 lead inside 11 minutes after goals by Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus.

But Real Madrid refused to let the tie get away from them, with Karim Benzema netting twice and Vinicius Junior adding another as they repeatedly answered the blows dealt by Manchester City.

Guardiola's squad will now head to the Santiago Bernabeu with a slight advantage, but given the chaos of the first leg, anything appears possible in the return fixture.

How did Man City react after the match?

"It was a fantastic game for both sides," Guardiola told BT Sport. "Football is a fantastic spectacle.

"We did many good things, but unfortunately we conceded the goals.

"We could have scored more. We played a fantastic game against an incredible team. Our build-up was so nervous, but they pressed really well and were strong. We are so proud. But this is about reaching the final, and football sometimes happened. We are going to Madrid to try to win the game. What we have done with and without the ball, I cannot ask for anything else."

Phil Foden, meanwhile, reflected on the great show put on for fans at the Etihad Stadium.

"For the fans watching it was obviously a great game of football," he said. "We are playing a side that have won the Champions League many times and if we give the ball away they are going to punish us. It is something we need to work on in the second leg. The tie is still on.

"It was a great game. End to end. We started really well and could have killed them off. In these games, we need to take more chances."

Real Madrid's insane UCL run

It's been a knockout stage of incredible highs and ugly lows for the Spanish giants, who may feel fortunate to only be down a goal after the first leg considering the number of big chances they allowed.

In the last 16, they dropped the first leg to Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 after Kylian Mbappe scored a dramatic winner four minutes into stoppage time but clawed back in the second leg to eliminate PSG 3-2 on aggregate.

The quarter-final managed to be even crazier, with the Blancos nearly going out despite defeating Chelsea 3-1 in the first leg at Stamford Bridge. They required extra time to reach the semi-final, with Benzema scoring in the 96th minute to lift his team.

And now against Manchester City, Real Madrid appear destined for another wild second leg.

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