Champions League Quarterfinal!
Real Madrid's striker Rodrygo (R) in action against Manchester City's defender Josko Gvardiol (L) during the UEFA Champions League quarter finals first leg soccer match soccer match between Real Madrid and Manchester City at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain, 09 April 2024. EFE-EPA/JUANJO MARTIN

Champions League Quarterfinal!


Sports Desk, Apr 10 (EFE).-

Real Madrid and Manchester United played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal in Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday in a game that had everything but a winner.

In the biggest club fixture so far this year, both sides exchanged leads in each half before leaving the field optimistic about their chances in the second leg at Etihad in eight days’ time.

City’s third visit to Madrid in as many years created an electrifying atmosphere, with Bernardo Silva putting the visitors ahead within two minutes.

Real responded robustly and took control of the game within 15 minutes after Ruben Dias’ own goal and a deflected prod from Rodrygo.

Pep Guardiola’s side managed to slow the game successfully and stage a comeback in the second half owing to two stunning goals from Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol before Federico Valverde’s brilliant volley rescued a draw for Real.

City could not have expected to start the game better than how Silva capitalized on the late reaction of goalkeeper Andriy Lunin to let a free-kick in after Jack Grealish was brought down by Aurelien Tchouameni.

Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to play Tchouameni as center back backfired as the Frenchman received a yellow card after the foul, which now rules him out of the second leg.

Real was quick to recover from the double setback by a stroke of luck, as Eduardo Camavinga’s shot from 25 yards out in 12 minutes took a big defection off Dias and wrongfooted Stefan Ortega to go in.

It gave the hosts momentum, and two minutes after the equalizer, they took the lead, with Rodrygo running onto Vinicius Junior’s pass and poking a shot between Stefan Ortega’s leg after a deflection off Manuel Akanji.

Former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro (L) speaks with the media near the correctional center, before reporting to the Federal Correctional Institution in Miami, Florida, USA, 19 March 2024. EFE/EPA/CRISTOBAL HERRERA-ULASHKEVICH CRISTOBAL HERRERA

City brought a change in their technique in the second half as Foden moved to right after remaining largely anonymous in the first half.

This proved to be a masterstroke as the talented midfielder whipped a thunderous shot into the top corner to bring City level in 66 minutes.

Five minutes later, City were ahead with another brilliant goal from Gvardiol, who unleashed a thunderbolt that curled in to leave the home crowd stunned.

Real did not take much time to respond again, as Valverde received a Vinicius pass and volleyed the ball into the far post to secure a draw and deny City any advantage in the second half.

City coach Guardiola, however, was still happy with his ream’s efforts.

“I think that was a really good, entertaining match, which dignified this competition. Both teams wanted to attack in different way. What I liked most was how we played in the second half at 2-1 down,” he said.

“We showed composure, we controlled the game really well. In Manchester it will be a sell-out in our stadium, our fans will try to help us score the 1-0, then we’ll do the rest. The team that wins next week goes to the semi-final.”

Real’s Ancelotti was not very discontent either.

“This was a well-balanced game, both teams really competed to the limit; it was a hard-fought draw. For as long as we pressed them, we were in very good shape,” he said.

“We tried hard to take advantage of our capacity to play quick-transition football.”

The return leg between the two teams will now be held in Manchester on Apr. 17. EFE


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