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Man City 1-1 Real Madrid (Agg 4-4, Madrid win 4-3 on pens): Champions League holders out after epic quarter-final

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Report as Manchester City are eliminated from the Champions League at the quarter-final stage; Kevin De Bruyne cancelled out Rodrygo’s early goal but Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic fail from the spot as Real Madrid win 4-3 on penalties

Jude Bellingham celebrates Real Madrid's penalty shootout victory over Manchester City
Image:Jude Bellingham celebrates Real Madrid’s penalty shoot-out victory over Manchester City

Holders Manchester City are out of the Champions League following a penalty shoot-out defeat to Real Madrid in an epic encounter at the Etihad Stadium.

After a 1-1 draw on the night that left the teams tied 4-4 on aggregate, Antonio Rudiger scored the winning spot-kick after Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic had their attempts saved to see the 14-time winners progress 4-3 in the shoot-out.

Rodrygo had given Carlo Ancelotti’s side the advantage on the night and in the tie with an early goal on the counter-attack but Kevin De Bruyne’s 76th-minute equaliser took the game into extra-time, in which neither heavyweight could deliver the knockout blow.

It was a backs-to-the-wall effort by Madrid and Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions were applauded from the pitch even in defeat. But their hopes of an unprecedented second successive treble are over. It is Madrid who face Bayern Munich in the last four.

Player ratings:

Man City: Ederson (7), Walker (7), Akanji (6), Dias (7), Gvardiol (7), Rodri (6), De Bruyne (7), Bernardo (6), Foden (6), Grealish (6), Haaland (5).

Subs: Doku (7), Alvarez (6), Kovacic (n/a), Stones (n/a).

Real Madrid: Lunin (7), Carvajal (7), Nacho (8), Rudiger (7), Mendy (7), Kroos (7), Valverde (8), Camavinga (7), Rodrygo (7), Bellingham (7), Vinicius (7).

Subs: Dias (6), Modric (6), Vazquez (6), Militao (n/a).

Player of the Match: Federico Valverde.

Antonio Rudiger celebrates after scoring Real Madrid's winning penalty against Man City
Image:Antonio Rudiger celebrates after scoring Real Madrid’s winning penalty against Man City

“We have to control him,” Guardiola had said of Jude Bellingham on the eve of this second leg but it was the England player’s sublime touch, bringing the ball down from the Manchester sky, that helped Madrid take the lead early in the game.

Bellingham fed Vinicius Junior and his cross was met by Rodrygo, the man who broke City hearts in that famous semi-final in 2022. He needed two attempts to beat Ederson but Kyle Walker, having recovered from injury to start, was not close enough to stop him.

That set the tone for the night. City, trying to become the first team other than Real Madrid in 34 years to retain this trophy, dominated possession, roared on by the home crowd as they searched for an equaliser. It demanded constant concentration from Madrid.

Erling Haaland almost found a quickfire response but headed over with one chance and then struck the crossbar with another. The rebound found Silva but the Portuguese was unable to sort his feet out in time and the ball trickled agonisingly wide of the post.

But Madrid were threatening on the counter-attack. The ability of Vinicius, in particular, to play out of the City press, was a worry throughout and one lightning breakaway resulted in Dani Carvajal having a free shot. Ruben Dias did brilliantly to block the effort.

Those counter-attacks were few and far between in a second half that was played out inside the Madrid half with City probing. It came after Guardiola turned to Jeremy Doku. It was Rudiger’s failure to clear that presented De Bruyne with the equaliser.

Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after equalising for Man City against Real Madrid
Image:Kevin De Bruyne celebrates after equalising for Man City against Real Madrid

The Belgian almost added another with a spectacular strike soon after but should have scored with a more straightforward chance, firing his shot over the bar. That meant extra-time and the smart money was on Madrid tiring. They were hanging on.

Rudiger had the opportunity to make amends, missing the best chance of the first period of extra-time. With Haaland withdrawn for the home side and both Vinicius and Rodrygo taken off by Ancelotti, the more familiar scorers were no longer on the pitch.

Madrid were the happier team with penalties – despite Luka Modric being denied. Silva tried to knock it down the middle but Lunin stayed there. Kovacic had his effort saved. Ederson took the fifth kick himself and scored but could not keep out Rudiger.

It was cruel end for City, who will feel they were the better team, but Madrid’s resolve was rewarded and will fancy their chances against less than ominous looking Bayern in the semi-final. City’s trophy defence is over. What impact will this have on their run-in?

Bernardo Silva reacts after missing his penalty in Man City's shootout with Real Madrid
Image:Bernardo Silva reacts after missing his penalty in Man City’s shoot-out with Real Madrid

Guardiola: I don’t have any regrets

“First of all, congratulations to Real Madrid,” said Guardiola afterwards.

“We did everything, I don’t have any regrets. Always, you try as a manager to create more and concede less. There were one, two or three transitions but that is normal. We played exceptional in all departments. Unfortunately, we could not win. That is how it is.

“Today, they defended deeper than the previous seasons. We created chances. But football is about scoring goals. From the penalty spot, they did it a bit better than us. Sometimes you win with penalties, sometimes not. The way we played, we should have done it before.”

Guardiola confirmed that the decision to substitute Haaland and De Bruyne, along with Manuel Akanji, came following requests from the players. “Erling and Kevin asked me to come out,” he revealed. “They could not continue. Same as Manu.”

With the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday, there is little time to dwell on this defeat. The treble is gone but the double remains within their reach. “After winning, recovery is easier than losing. That is the way it is.”

Bellingham: This was beautiful

“It’s a relief because you put so much into the game,” said Bellingham, speaking to TNT Sports.

“I have played against City when you have been close, you think you are going to get something out of it and then suddenly they snatch it away from you. You have to work really hard to beat them. To win the game was a massive reward.

“It is incredible. Moments like this are magic and it just comes down to mentality. When you get those details right and you get those little moments, like the penalties, when the lads keep their cool, it is magic. This was beautiful.

“My brother is here today and it is the first time he has been able to see me playing for Madrid. I feel really proud about that.”

Real Madrid’s win in stats

  • Real Madrid have qualified for the semi-finals of the European Cup / Champions League for the 33rd time in the club’s history, 12 more times than the club with the next-most semi-final appearances (Bayern Munich, 21).
  • Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has qualified for the semi-finals of the Champions League for a 10th time, the joint-most of any manager in the competition’s history (level with Pep Guardiola on 10).
  • Real Madrid have eliminated the reigning Champions League title-holders six times in knockout ties – at least twice as often as any other side in the competition’s history.
  • Manchester City had 88 touches in the opposition box against Real Madrid; the most on record in a UEFA Champions League match (since 2007-08). Their 33 shots were also the most in a knockout stage game in the competition since Liverpool (34) versus Atletico Madrid in March 2020.
  • Kevin De Bruyne has been directly involved in 24 goals for Manchester City in the knockout stages of the Champions League (13 goals, 11 assists), the most by a player for an English club in the competition (overtaking Wayne Rooney’s 23 for Manchester United).
  • Rodrygo has scored four goals for Real Madrid against Manchester City, his outright most against a single opponent in all competitions for Los Blancos.
  • Rodri completed the most passes (142), created the most chances (5), and recovered possession the most times (11) of any player in this game. He also completed more passes in the final third in this match (68) than Real Madrid did as a team (35).

What’s next?

Manchester City face Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday, kick-off 5.15pm. City then resume their Premier League title charge at Brighton on Thursday April 25, live on Sky Sports, at 8pm.

They then head to Nottingham Forest three days later on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 4.30pm.

Source: Sky Sports

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