Real Madrid 1-2 Man City: The Citizens produce stunning comeback to prevail in the Spanish capital

Manchester City produced a scintillating comeback to defeat 13-time champions Real Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Isco gave Real Madrid the lead on the hour-mark but Gabriel Jesus headed City level with over 10 minutes remaining.

Dani Carvajal was penalised for fouling Raheem Sterling inside the box and Kevin De Bruyne converted from the spot to give his side the advantage.

Things went from bad to worse for Real Madrid when Sergio Ramos was given a straight red card for a last-man challenge on Jesus.

Defensive City Earn Goalless Draw at the Break

Manchester City played very defensively during the first half and played without an orthodox striker.

Gabriel Jesus was expected to lead the line for Man City but he mainly played on the left wing for most of the first half. Kevin De Bruyne was usually the furthest player forward and practically played as a false 9.  

Chances were at a premium and the majority of the game was played in the centre of the park. Jesus came closest for the visitors when Thibaut Courtois produced an impressive save to thwart him from close-range.

Man City deprived Real Madrid of space by playing narrow between the lines and closing down intensively. Creative midfielders such as Luka Modric and Isco struggled to make an impact in the final third.

The hosts looked to generate opportunities with the combination play between Ferland Mendy and Vinicius Junior down the left. This nearly paid dividends when Ederson produced a stunning save to thwart Karim Benzema’s downward header. Vinicius looked destined to convert the follow-up but lost his footing just before he pulled the trigger.  

Jesus had the only other chance for Man City on the cusp of half-time. De Bruyne swung a promising corner into the box and his volley, which looked to be heading wide, was cleared by the Real defence.   

Benjamin Mendy looked out of his depth during the opening 30 minutes. He conceded possession on numerous occasions and will be unable to play in the second leg after receiving a booking for a foul on Modric.

Aymeric Laporte also limped off with an injury just after the half-hour mark and was replaced by Fernandinho.  

City stage stunning late comeback

Man City started the second half promisingly with Riyad Mahrez having three opportunities before the hour-mark. The Algerian international curled wide from range and then stung the palms of Thibaut Courtois at the near post.

But his closest chance came when a long ball completely bypassed the Real Madrid defence. Ramos hesitated as Mahrez evaded the offside trap but Courtois produced an impressive save to palm the ball to safety.  

His save proved even more valuable when Isco struck the hosts into the lead on the hour-mark. Sloppy passing between Nicolas Otamendi and Rodri led to them conceding possession to Vinicius, who squared the ball to Isco to apply a tidy finish into the far bottom corner.  

Fernandinho made a crucial block with 20 minutes remaining to prevent Ramos from doubling their lead. Mendy crossed the ball to the far post, Isco pulled the ball back inside the box and Fernandinho heroically threw his body in front of the ball to divert Ramos’ strike over the bar.  

Guardiola threw on Sterling for the final 15 minutes and played Jesus through the middle. This change sparked an immediate renaissance and City began to flood forward in numbers as they searched for an equalizer.

De Bruyne scooped a sensational cross into the penalty area and Jesus generated enough power on his header to guide the ball past Courtois.

They continued the momentum immediately after the restart and the decisive moment in the match came when Carvajal recklessly hacked down Sterling inside the penalty area in the 82nd minute. De Bruyne accepted the responsibility from the spot and sent Courtois the wrong way to complete an incredible comeback.

Real Madrid’s agony was compounded when Ramos was dismissed with four minutes remaining. Jesus was set to break one-on-one with Courtois until Ramos caught Jesus with the slightest of touches to take him down just outside the penalty area.

Man City not only take a 2-1 lead into the second leg at the Etihad Stadium but they also boast two away goals, which could go a long way when Real Madrid travel to Manchester.


Teams

REAL MADRID: COURTOIS, CARVAJAL, VARANE, RAMOS (Red Card 86′), F. MENDY, VALVERDE, CASEMIRO, MODRIC (VAZQUEZ 84′), VINICIUS (BALE 75′), BENZEMA, ISCO (JOVIC 84′). SUBS: AREOLA, MILITAO, MARCELO, BALE, KROOS, VAZQUEZ, JOVIC.

MAN CITY: EDERSON, WALKER, OTAMENDI, LAPORTE (FERNANDINHO 32′), B. MENDY, DE BRUYNE, RODRI, GUNDOGAN, MAHREZ, JESUS, B. SILVA (STERLING 73′). SUBS: BRAVO, CANCELO, FERNANDINHO, D. SILVA, STERLING, FODEN, AGUERO.  


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