History, prestige and stardust weren’t enough for Real Madrid as they were comprehensively beaten by Manchester City on Wednesday night.
Manchester City progressed to the Champions League final with an emphatic 4- 0 victory over the storied Spanish giants.
In truth, the only jeopardy in this entire tie came from the notion that Real Madrid are Real Madrid. They came from two goals down against City in last year’s semi final. They always find a way, always produce something special.
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If Real Madrid were going to find a way, they would have needed to possess the ball at some stage. Manchester City, as they do to every team at the Etihad, simply did not let them have it.
There was a period between City’s second goal on 37 minutes and their third on 76 minutes when the possibility of a Real Madrid comeback still existed, but only because of what’s happened before.
On the pitch, City’s third and fourth goals felt inevitable and just given the balance of play. Madrid didn’t get close to them all night, and had Courtois to thank for not being further behind sooner.
They still have to win the final, but this feels like City’s ascension to a true Champions League heavyweight. They dispatched the current Champions because they are the better team, and are favourites against Inter in the final.
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City have been trying to win the Champions League ever since Pep Guardiola took over as manager. They’ve never played the competition with this much assurance and authority.
City now have the chance to wrap up the Premier League title with two games remaining. Then all they have left is the F.A Cup final on June 3rd and the Champions League final on June 10. It looks like the treble is very much on.