UEFA Champions League Cup
UEFA Champions League Cup (Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)

Football | Champions League 2023 | Semi-Finals | Roundup

By Robert Wheeler

  • Man City draw with Real Madrid
  • Kevin De Bruyne on the scoresheet
  • Second leg at the Etihad next week
MADRID, SPAIN – Manchester City came back to claim a draw with Real Madrid, which puts them in good stead for the return leg at the Etihad next week.


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De Bruyne rescues draw for City

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It used to be that a 1-1 draw away from home in a European knockout match was very credible. However, now the away goals rule has been scrapped, Manchester City’s result still keeps the tie in the balance, even if they will be the favourites at the Etihad next Wednesday.

Vinicius Junior finished off a fast counter-attack by firing into the top corner to give Real Madrid the lead. The Brazilian scored the winning goal in last year’s final against Liverpool and is becoming one of Madrid’s new ‘Galacticos.’

Los Blancos had done a good job of keeping Erling Haaland quiet in the match. However, it was Kevin De Bruyne who put City level with a fantastic strike from outside the box. The finish was very reminiscent of the goal that Vinicius had scored in the first half.

Ederson produced two great saves to deny Karim Benzema and Aurelien Tchouameni giving Madrid the lead again. The match finished level and with two phenomenal goals, this is what the Champions League is all about.

Despite the result, Pep Guardiola was still not happy with his side and told BT Sport “We can defend better and attack better.” Their manager is a perfectionist they will need to not overthink himself, as he so often does at this stage in the competition.

Speaking on the BBC, former Tottenham Hotspur and Marseille forward, Chris Waddle, said “It’s a positive result for Man City. But is it a great result? Will Real Madrid enjoy going to the Etihad with nothing to lose?”

The tie does remain in the balance but with home advantage next week, City will be expected to get the job done. However, anything can happen in the Champions League, especially at this stage in the competition.

City are on for a truly historic season if they can do the treble by winning this tournament, securing the league title and defeating Manchester United in the FA Cup final. The Red Devils are the only side in the Premier League era to do the treble, so if Guardiola’s side can match United’s great side of 1999 then they will go down as one of the greatest teams ever.

Guardiola’s side thought they were through the last time they faced Madrid, only for late goals to see them go out. City cannot switch off against Carlo Ancelotti‘s side and they will still need to play the best they have this season if they are to go through.

The winner of this match will be the favourite to lift the trophy. City or Madrid will face Inter or Milan in the final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey.

Manchester City host Real Madrid in the second leg at the Etihad next Wednesday, kick-off 20:00.