Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid conceded lead, match and captain against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in a round-of-16 match at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium today. The lead through Isco’s opener was overturned by Jesus and de Bruyne goal. As it was not enough, Real Madrid captain was shown direct red for obstructing Jesus, on his run for City’s third.
Real Madrid vs Manchester City – Context
- Pep Guardiola had a typical set up to start against Real Madrid. He started with Gabriel Jesus on the left and Bernardo Silva in the front. He kept both Sterling and Aguero on the bench as Manchester City started against the most successful team in UEFA Champions League in recent time.
- Real Madrid made three changes from the squad that played against Levante on the weekend. Firstly Eden Hazard left out because of an ankle injury that he sustained in the last game. Junior replaced him. Valverde and Mendy also joined in starting-eleven in place of Kroos and Marcelo. Gareth Bale was also included in the squad.
Real Madrid vs Manchester City – Goals
- After a boring first half, the Real Madrid capitalised on a defensive mix-up between Rodri and Nicolas Otamendi to take the lead. Vinicius Junior raced towards goal before sending the ball across to Isco to slot home.
- The English club would hit back, as a fantastic solo effort from De Bruyne set up Gabriel Jesus to head in past Courtois to pull City level at 1-1 at 78th minute of the match.
- Just minutes after entering the pitch, Raheem Sterling won a penalty as he was taken down by Dani Carvajal inside the area while trying to clear a ball. De Bruyne stepped up and coolly slotted it to the right of Thibaut Courtois to provide City 2-1 lead.
What the scoreboard won’t tell
- Pep Guardiola’s strategy for starting eleven and the changes he made, have foxed Real Madrid. City started slow, with Jesus at the left side, the team were operating deep, it got all changed with the introduction of Sterling in the second half. Sterling started operating from left, and Jesus came in the middle. That perhaps puzzled Real Madrid and they could not adjust to the game quickly enough.
- Pep Guardiola’s team were looking comfortable despite the loss of their key defender, Laporte, to injury in the first half.
- Real lost the match within the span 78 minutes to 86 minute, as they conceded two goals and a red card between this period. Zidane mentioned this after the match.
- Gabriel Jesus who was preferred over Sergio Aguero, rose to the occasion to beat Sergio Ramos, the Real Madrid captain in two game-changing moments. One during the first goal and second, during the red card. Both the situation went in favour of Jesus, but the margin of error were indeed very small, and the decision could go either way.
- Junior, Ramos and Mendy all missed easy chances from close range. Junior’s makes havoc against opposing team along left flank but his quickness, in front of goal, is always questioned. Ramos, coming forward to score is understandable when the team is trailing, but when it is leading by a narrow margin against one of the biggest club, he should practice more caution. Mendy is now preferred choice over Marcelo, but the later is far more proficient in front of the opposition goal.
Result and Conclusion
- Manchester City have beaten Real Madrid for the first time in their history. Real Madrid now have no options but to go all out when they play City in Etihad next month.
- Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos received his fourth Champions League red card – only Edgar Davids and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have as many (both four). He would miss the return-leg match.
- Karim Benzema became the sixth player to make 100 appearances for Real Madrid in the Champions League, after Iker Casillas (150), Raul (130), Sergio Ramos (124), Roberto Carlos (107) and Cristiano Ronaldo (101).
We had a good game for 75 minutes… We needed 10 more minutes of concentration in a very difficult match and, in the end, we paid for it.Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid Manager
We’re annoyed by the defeat, but the tie lasts 180 minutes… We were good for 70 minutes. Now we have to go there and win if we want to go through.Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid Manager
They had the ball (possession), but they weren’t causing us any harm and then that moment came in which Gabriel Jesus leans just enough on Sergio so that he can’t get there and he scores (the goal).Emilio Butragueno, Director, Real Madrid
They always treat us the same here. In the match against Levante, a yellow card for Sergio (Ramos) for his first foul isn’t normal… Do they give us bad calls? Yes. We’re the team with the most Champions League and league (title). It’s always going to be like that.Vinicius Junior, Real Madrid Footballer
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