Manchester City Holds Real Madrid At Santiago Bernabeu
By Chidi Nwoke, Abuja.
Manchester City held defending champions Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw in their thrilling UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg encounter, at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain.
The hosts started with Karim Benzema in attack, with Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo supporting on the wings. The visitors featured the in-form Erling Haaland up-front, while Jack Grealish and Bernado Silva were on the flanks as Manchester City looked to cause an upset.
City came out the stronger of the two sides, dominating possession in the early stages of the match. However, Real Madrid struck against the run of play after Vinicius Junior’s stunning strike found the back of the net in the 36th minute.
The strike was Real Madrid’s only shot on target in the first half.
In the second half, Manchester City looked for a way back into the game but were met by a resilient Real Madrid defence. City striker Haaland was well marked by defenders Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba.
However, midfielder Kevin De Bruyne equalised for Manchester City after his wonder strike beat compatriot Thibaut Courtois in the 67th minute.
The goal silenced the fans at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson made a great save late in the game to deny substitute Aurelien Tchouameni. However, there was no late drama in the encounter as the match finished 1-1.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 9, 2023
“We defended our box well, the effort was incredible. Now it’s like a play-off,” Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said after the match.
“We can defend better in some departments, maybe we can attack a little differently. Alaba and Rüdiger were so close to Erling, so there were very few spaces to find. Maybe we can adjust a couple of things for next week.”
Real Madrid next face Getafe at home in LaLiga on Saturday, before travelling to the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City in their UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg on May 17th.
Ahead of their rematch with Madrid, Manchester City will go to Goodison Park to take on Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.