Pep Guardiola stated he needed to reiterate to his gamers they’d overwhelmed Real Madrid 4-3 in a Champions League traditional on Tuesday regardless of the frustration of not killing off their semi-final tie on the Etihad. Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva have been on track for Guardiola’s males, who held a two-goal lead thrice. But Karim Benzema‘s double and an excellent particular person effort from Vinicius Junior gave Madrid hope of one other well-known Champions League fightback on the Santiago Bernabeu on May 4.
Guardiola lamented letting Liverpool escape “alive” within the Premier League title race after a 2-2 draw on the Etihad 9 days in the past and can have related regrets after a blistering opening that would have seen City go 4-0 up inside half an hour.
“I want to try to convince to my players that we won the game and we have to go to Bernabeu to play like we did today,” stated Guardiola.
“It doesn’t matter if we would have won by one goal or four, in the Bernabeu you have to show who you are otherwise there is no chance. It is a good test for us.”
Madrid, the file 13-time European champions, have been enjoying of their thirtieth semi-final to City’s third, however the English champions lived as much as their tag as pre-tie favourites early on.
Jesus pounced to make it 2-0 after simply 10 minutes when David Alaba did not take care of De Bruyne’s cross.
“We started the game very badly, we were too soft in conceding the goals,” stated Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti.
“After that the team showed what they have shown recently, a great reaction.
“We need to defend higher. If we defend higher within the seocnd leg we’ll win. If we do not, we will likely be out.”
The Spanish champions-elect were without Casemiro and his absence showed as City cut through midfield on the counter-attack at will.
Guardiola was furious with Mahrez after he selfishly smashed into the side-netting with Foden awaiting the cross for a tap-in.
Moments later it was Foden who was guilty of wasting a glorious chance when he dragged wide another pinpoint De Bruyne through ball.
– Benzema rouses Madrid –
Benzema dragged Madrid back from the dead to see off Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea in the previous two rounds and again rose to his side’s rescue before half-time.
The Frenchman cushioned in his 40th goal of the season off the post from Ferland Mendy’s cross.
“We by no means gave up,” said Benzema. “Sometimes you need to grin and bear it and we did that. City are a terrific staff however stored working laborious and obtained the three objectives.”
Yet, Madrid’s good work in steadying the ship towards the end of the first half was undone in another slow start after the break.
Mahrez hit the post when one-on-one with Courtois before Dani Carvajal blocked Foden’s follow-up on the road.
And the City captain had a major role to play in two goals in two minutes at either end.
Firstly, he picked out Foden to restore City’s two-goal lead.
But the 36-year-old showed his age as Vinicius sprinted clear of his Brazilian compatriot from the halfway line before slotting past Ederson.
City continued to create chances at an alarming rate for Ancelotti but it took something special when they did finally get a fourth.
Oleksandr Zinchenko was fouled on the edge of the area, but Romanian referee Istvan Kovacs played advantage and Silva thrashed into the top corner.
Again City failed to put the tie to bed as Mahrez was inches away from finding the far corner from the narrowest of angles.
But there was a final twist eight minutes from time when Aymeric Laporte handled inside the area.
Benzema was the coolest man in the stadium as he chipped the spot-kick down the middle to leave the tie on a knife-edge headed back to the Spanish capital.
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