Good evening and welcome to the live coverage of the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final clash between Manchester City and 14-time UEFA Champions League winners, Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium.
The first leg saw the reigning Premier League and La Liga champions play out a 1-1 draw at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu with goals courtesy of Vinicius Jr. in the 36th minute and Kevin De Bruyne in the 67th minute.
Madrid haven’t claimed a victory at the Etihad Stadium in their last four visits there, having drawn and lost two each. The task awaiting the Spanish Giants is quite difficult, given the fact that Pep Guardiola’s men are undefeated at home since 2018, with their last defeat coming at the hands of French outfit, Lyon in September 2018.
The lineups for both teams will be presented shortly.
Madrid has made one change to the side that hosted the Citizens last week, with Eder Militao being preferred to Antonio Rudiger in defence, having served a one game suspension.
Pep Guardiola, on the other hand, has named an unchanged 11 from the team that graced the Bernabeu last Tuesday.
Madrid retains their 4-3-3 formation in possession, with a 4-4-2 out of it, to enable captain Karim Benzema and Vinicius Jr. to make a break on the counterattack. City have opted to rely on the same formation that has seen them be successful throughout the season, with a 3-2-4-1 in possession and a high and aggressive 4-4-2 out of it.
Tonight’s fixture is of paramount importance to both sides as Manchester City is in pursuit of a historic treble, while Real Madrid looks to continue their dominance in the European competition, having missed out on retaining the La Liga, with arch-rivals FC Barcelona laying claim to the throne.
The first-half will begin shortly. We are live and underway, as the first half kicks off.
1′: City kick off and maintain possession of the ball. The hosts progress into Madrid’s half.
2′: An overextended pass from midfielder Rodri, leads to a throw in for Real Madrid which will be taken by Eduardo Camavinga.
4′: A pass from Rodri finds Kyle Walker who strikes a shot. However, the shot goes well over the goal. Goal kick for Real Madrid.
5′: City’s high press leads to Vinicius Jr. giving the ball away on the left wing to Manuel Akanji, which leads to a cross from De Bruyne from the right flank. However, Thibaut Courtouis arrives right in time to gather the ball.
7′: A great ball by De Bruyne finds Haaland, who dribbles past Courtois and passes the ball into the 18-yard box. Unfortunately, the Norwegian can’t find a teammate in the middle.
8′: A great dribble by Rodri puts him past Toni Kroos and David Alaba in the box. The Spaniard’s shot is just wide.
9′: Bernardo Silva commits his third foul of the game as he brings down Camavinga once again.
12′: Jack Grealish finds John Stones in space in front of the Madrid midfield, with acres of space to shoot. The Englishman’s shot is unfortunately wide.
12′: SAVE AND GOAL LINE CLEARANCE! Thibaut Courtouis does very well to save Haaland’s header, following a great cross from Jack Grealish from the left wing to find the Norwegian in the box.
17′: Ilkay Gundogan floats in a cross from the right half space with the hopes of finding Haaland in the 18 yard box, but the German’s pass was too strong.
19′: Freekick for Manchester City following a foul on skipper Ilkay Gundogan by fellow German international, Toni Kroos. Kevin De Bruyne takes the free kick and strikes it, but his effort was just wide. Goal kick for the Los Blancos.
21′: Bernardo Silva finds De Bruyne on the overlap down the right flank. However, Luka Modric arrives in time to make a tackle and send it for a corner.
21′: SAVE! COURTOUIS! A short corner routine from De Bruyne and Silva sees the former put in a cross to the far post, finding Manuel Akanji. The Swiss International’s header falls back to Haaland who directs it towards goal. But a spectacular save from the Courtouis once again, deflects Haaland’s header for another corner. The Madrid goalkeeper is effectively keeping his side alive in the tie.
23′: GOALLL! BERNARDO SILVA! The 28-year-old puts the City ahead in the tie with a splendid finish from the right flank, to beat Courtouis on the near post. Kevin De Bruyne is credited with the assist, having found the Portuguese winger running in behind Kroos, in a tight pocket of space inside the box.
27′: Haaland shoots wide with his right foot, having received a pass from Gundogan right on the edge of the box.
31′: David Alaba gives the ball away as the last defender, but Eder Militao does well to recover and passes the ball back to Courtouis, before being fouled by Haaland, who pushes the Brazilian in the back.
33′: Rodrygo does well to find Karim Benzema running in behind the City defence, but the winger’s pass was just too strong for the Frenchman, and Ederson does well to clean up.
35′: CROSSBAR! TONI KROOS STRIKES THE BAR! Kroos strikes the crossbar with a thumping strike from long range, having been found in space by Benzema from the left wing.
37′: GOALLLLL! BERNARDO SILVA AT THE DOUBLE! The Portuguese winger bags himself a brace and puts the hosts in the drivers seat with a header from within 10 yards, after Courtouis makes a save from Gundogan’s shot. The winger puts Guardiola’s men up 3-1 on aggregate.
39′: Foul. Rodrygo gives City a foul having lost the ball in the middle of the park, to stop City from counter attacking.
40′: Another foul for City. This time by Camavinga, who brings down Bernardo Silva.
41′: De Bruyne takes the freekick, but an underwhelming low cross from the Belgian is cleared away by the Madrid defence leading to a City corner.
44′: Attempt Saved. Bernardo Silva drives inside and fires one in, but his shot is comfortably collected by Courtouis.
45′ +1′: Corner for City. Jack Grealish takes it from the left side, but his cross is fended away by the Madrid goalkeeper.
HALF TIME: MANCHESTER CITY 2-0 REAL MADRID (3-2 AGGREGATE)
The hosts dominate the first 45 minutes of football in this anxiously anticipated second leg of the UEFA Champions Semi-Final, and have two goals to show for it, courtesy of two moments of brilliance from Bernardo Silva. Jack Grealish has been on top form as well, as he remained a persistent threat down the left wing.
Madrid have looked out of their depth, with their stars failing to turn up on the biggest night of the season, despite fully comprehending the magnitude of the fixture. The visitors now have a strenuous task ahead of them, as they look to get back into the game. Can the Los Blancos repeat their antics from last season’s campaign, and perform yet another ‘remontada’?
Stay tuned for the second-half..
46′: We are back and underway for the second half.
47′: Camavinga fouls Haaland, who does well to shield the ball from the Madrid left-back.
50′: YELLOW CARD. Ruben Dias is booked for a foul on Vinicius Jr., after the Portuguese centre-half brings down the pacing winger, as he aimed to break through City’s backline.
51′: SAVE! Ederson tips the ball over the bar from a David Alaba free kick from about 25 yards out, to give the visitors a corner. The Austrian’s whipped strike is soundly dealt by the Manchester City keeper.
55′: YELLOW CARD. Carvajal is booked for deliberately bringing down Jack Grealish after the Englishman’s prolific dribbling night continues down the left flank.
59′: Madrid continue their pursuit for their first goal of the evening, but all attempts are detected and nullified by the City defence, before the reigning champions can even get a shot off.
61′: Jack Grealish wins a foul for Manchester City at the edge of their box, after being fouled by Luka Modric, who is nutmegged by the Englishman.
62′: YELLOW CARD. Gundogan becomes the second Manchester City player to be booked on the night, having brought down Vinicius Jr. in the middle of the park, to stop a Real Madrid counter.
63′: SUBSTITUTION. Luka Modric is substituted for Antonio Rudiger in a tactical substitution by Carlo Ancelotti. The change grants Camavinga the freedom to be slotted into his preferred role in midfield, with Alaba moving into left-back, and Rudiger taking up the Austrian’s responsibilities at centre-half.
66′: Camavinga does well in his first contribution in midfield, as he pursues De Bruyne through the middle and makes a crucial tackle to stop the Belgian’s pass from finding Haaland, who was making a run-in-behind the Madrid defence.
70′: SUBSTITUTION. Carlo Ancelotti makes his second substitution of the night as Marco Asensio is brought in to replace Toni Kroos.
73′: SAVE! Thibaut Courtouis makes yet another save to keep Madrid in the game, after a well worked move by Haaland and Gundogan, whereby the City skipper’s backheel pass into the Norwegian striker’s path left him one on one with the Belgian keeper. However, Courtouis’s large frame helped tip Haaland’s right footed attempt, onto the crossbar, from a deflection of his leg.
75′: YELLOW CARD. Camavinga becomes the second Los Blancos player to be booked on the night as he fouls Grealish, who draws another foul while driving inside.
76′: GOALLLLL! OWN GOAL-EDER MILITAO! Guardiola’s side all but seal their ticket to Istanbul. The free kick conceded by Camavinga proves to be costly for Real Madrid, as Kevin De Bruyne’s cross from the set piece, finds Manuel Akanji, who’s headed touch leads to a deflection of Militao, with the ball winding up in the back of the net. City go 3-0 up on the night.
79′: SUBSTITUION FOR MANCHESTER CITY. Riyad Mahrez replaces Gundogan, after the latter’s instrumental performance to command his side’s midfield and enable them to the what is likely a guaranteed victory.
80′: SUBSTITUION FOR REAL MADRID. Carlo Ancelotti makes a trifecta of changes as Dani Carvajal, Eduardo Camavinga and Rodrygo all make way for Lucas Vazquez, Dani Ceballos and Aurelien Tchouameni respectively, with the former trio of players having a disappointing night at the Etihad Stadium.
83′: DOUBLE SAVE! Ederson makes two convincing back to back saves, as he first stops Benzema’s chipped effort. The Brazilian immediately returns to his feet and renders Dani Ceballos’ right footed shot from 10 yards, null and void.
84′: SUBSTITUTION. Kevin De Bruyne makes way for Phil Foden, in the wake of an immense performance to guide City to the Champions League finals.
89′: SUBSTITUION. Erling Haaland’s night comes to a close, as the Norwegian makes way for Julian Alvarez.
90+1′: YELLOW CARD. Jack Grealish is booked for fouling Lucas Vazquez and kicking the ball away.
90+1′: GOALLLL! JULIAN ALVAREZ! The super-sub bags his second goal of the Champions League campaign with a tidy finish into the bottom left corner, following a terrific pass from fellow substitute Foden, who shrewdly picked the Argentinian’s run, in-behind the Madrid defence.
Manchester City’s rampant style of play enabled them to run riot against the reigning Champions League champions, with a 4-0 win on the night and a 5-1 win on aggregate.
Pep Guardiola’s men are now set to appear in their second final in a span of three years, as they have officially punched their ticket to Istanbul for a historic clash with Italian giants, Inter Milan on June 10th.
Thank you for joining me on this live blog, and until next time, goodnight from the Etihad Stadium!