It’s all to play for in Manchester next week after Real Madrid and Manchester City drew 1 – 1 in the Champions League semi final first leg.
Manchester City began the game imperiously, and probably should have scored the first goal. However, Real Madrid, under Ancelotti in particular, aren’t wedded to a particular style of play. This allows them to control the game without needing to dominate the ball, which they did with their physicality.
‘Physicality’ being the codeword for making it a nasty, scrappy game. Madrid disrupted City and lo and beyond, sucker punched them on 36 minutes.
Vinicius Jr’s incredible strike rifled into the top corner from the edge of the box, and Real Madrid had evoked their magic once again.
It was to be canceled out by a moment of equal brilliance from Kevin de Bruyne on 67 minutes. Another shot from the edge of the box, de Bruyne came onto the ball first time and piledrived it into the bottom corner.
It was two moments of outstanding, resplendent quality to punctuate a match in which both teams felt each other out. With neither team giving much away, the finely balanced tie has room to grow in the second leg.
Afterwards, Pep Guardiola praised his team for smuggling a point from the Bernabeu. “If you expect us to come here and win by six goals, it’s your problem. Madrid knows this competition more than anyone.”
“We were better when they scored, they were better when we scored. It was a tight game. Real Madrid in the semi-final is always a tough one. We turned up, we had good moments, it’s difficult with the quality they have on and off the ball. 1-1, final next Wednesday with our people.”