Advantage City after Etihad thriller – but will they rue missed chances?

Champions League reaction

Manchester City go into the second-leg, at the Bernabeu next Wednesday, of their Champions League semi-final tie with Real Madrid boasting a slight advantage after beating the Spaniards 4-3 in an absolute classic encounter at the Etihad on Tuesday night.

City got off to the perfect start, with a Kevin De Bruyne diving header putting the Blues one-up after not even two minutes on the clock – the fastest EVER goal in a Champions League semi-final.

94 SECONDS ON THE CLOCK! ⚡️

Riyad Mahrez with an unbelievable delivery and Kevin De Bruyne with an expertly guided header 🎯

An incredible start for Man City!#UCL pic.twitter.com/nuiF7OqsXb

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 26, 2022

Fast forward eight minutes or so, and it’s 2-0 to the home team after Gabriel Jesus continued a purple patch of form with his fifth goal in two games, giving his side a commanding early lead.

From there, it looked like City were going to run riot and put the tie to bed early – but a certain Karim Benzema, who is aging like a fine wine, had other ideas.

Against the run of play, the Frenchman did what he does best and found the back of City’s net for the first time on the night in superb fashion.

We had to wait until the 52nd minute (shocking, I know!) for the game’s fourth goal, when Phil Foden, after a stunning cross from Fernandinho on the right wing, headed home to put his team 3-1 up.

But once again, Real refused to lie down. After a brilliant turn on the half-way line, Vinicius Jr wasn’t for stopping as he charged down on the City goal and slotted the ball past Ederson. Game on – again!

Carlo Ancelotti decided to tighten things up after that, which saw City with plenty of the ball but unable, for a little while at least, to break the Madrid defence.

That was until the 73rd minute, when Bernado Silva hammered the ball into the top corner from just inside the Real box. Game over, surely?

Nope. A penalty, for the visitors, was awarded with just 10 minutes left to play after Laporte unfortunately handled the ball in the box. Up steps Benzema, his side 4-2 down away from home, with a Panenka to make it two on the night for him and three for Real. Cool as ice.

Yep, of course. ❄️

Of course Benzema delivered a panenka in a Champions League semi-final 😵

This game really has it all! It’s now 4-3! #UCL pic.twitter.com/TMkdfmveuC

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 26, 2022

Chances for both sides followed, but the game finished 4-3, leaving us all wanting more. Not long to wait ladies and gents…

City have been cut to 11/10 (from 5/4) at Betfred to win the Champions League after tonight’s win – while Real Madrid have drifted out from 6/1 to 9/1.

Champions League Betting Odds

Author: Lucille White