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June 15, 2024
Real Madrid earns Champions League draw against Manchester City in ‘amazing’ all-time classic encounter
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Real Madrid earns Champions League draw against Manchester City in ‘amazing’ all-time classic encounter

Jun 15, 2024


Stunning goals, frantic action and moments of pure quality; Tuesday’s Champions League quarterfinal between Real Madrid and Manchester City simply had it all.

After more than 90 minutes of breathless action, the first leg finished 3-3 in Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, perfectly setting up the return leg on April 17.

And while there was no winner on the night, those watching the encounter were treated to a feast of action which started almost from the get go.

“Amazing and that is exactly what the Champions League is about,” former Liverpool star and CBS pundit Jamie Carracgher said after the game.

“We probably are looking at the two best teams in the competition, the history of Real Madrid and Manchester City, the champion at the moment.

“That was just a privilege to watch and I can’t wait for the second leg.”

It all started less than two minutes into the game when City took the lead through a brilliant free kick from Bernardo Silva.

As the midfielder stood over the set-piece, almost everyone in the stadium was expecting a cross into the box. Silva, though, had other ideas and went for goal instead, catching Los Blancosgoalkeeper Andriy Lunin unaware. The Ukrainian shot-stopper tried to get back across to stop the effort and perhaps should have done better.

The early goal set the tone for the game and it wasn’t long before the host was level. Exactly 10 minutes after Silva gave City the lead, Madrid had equalized after Eduardo Camavinga’s long-range effort took a wicked deflection off Rúben Dias.

The Madrid faithful erupted in celebration and barely had time to sit down before their side had taken the lead just two minutes later.

Rodrygo raced onto a wonderful through ball from Vinícius Jr. and kept his composure to nudge his effort past Stefan Ortega in the City net.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola celebrates with Phil Foden after the forward scored a stunning goal.

After a crazy start to the game, the action began to simmer down before half-time as both sides looked to take control. However, all that changed after the restart.

In the 66th minute, City superstar Phil Foden produced one of the all-time great Champions League goals.

The Englishman created himself a small pocket of space on the edge of the Real Madrid box before unleashing a simply brilliant left-footed effort which he wrapped into the top corner of the net.

It was an unstoppable shot which underlined just how special Foden has been for City this season.

“I just felt the sweet connection and it’s something I always practice in training where you receive it on the edge of the box,” Foden told TNT Sports after the game.

“Sometimes, they don’t go in, but I’m just thankful today to see it go in the top corner.”

Perhaps inspired by what he had just seen, defender Joško Gvardiol then gave City the lead just five minutes later with his own long-range effort – the Croatian cutting in from the left and producing a stunning strike which hit the far corner of the net.

But the game wasn’t finished and Los Merengues started pushing for an equalizer.

Foden's goal was perhaps the best in a high-quality match on Tuesday.

The 14-time European champion eventually found it through Federico Valverde, who struck a superb volley into the corner of the net in the 79th minute. The goal was yet again dripping in world-class quality.

“It was an incredible game. There was so much quality on display, two extraordinary teams,” Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said after the match.

“We’re happy with how we played and we hope for a repeat performance on their patch.

“We could have won it at 2-1, and lost it at 2-3. It was a fair result given what the two teams showed in the game.”

After such a feast of action, all eyes will now switch to the return leg next Wednesday with a place in the Champions League semifinals at stake.

And, if the first leg was anything to go by, the deciding fixture will be simply unmissable.

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