May 23, 2024

De Bruyne Hammer saves Manchester City at Real Madrid

His dream goal saved Manchester City from a tie in the semi-final first leg: Kevin De Bruyne. Photo: Cornerstone

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti’s tactics worked perfectly for a long time. Vinicius scored the lead and the Madrid were still the better team after that – until Kevin De Bruyne equalized with a long-range strike.

05/09/2023, 19:3009/05/2023, 23:42

Nicholas Helbling
Nicholas Helbling

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Then suddenly Kevin De Bruyne hit hard. The Belgian’s shot sails over the ground from 20 meters and is then unblocked past Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who sees the ball coming late. Manchester City are equal in the first leg of the semi-finals and can secure a place in the final next week at home.

Pep Guardiola’s side serve well with a 1-1 draw. With the exception of De Bruyne’s cracking game, City’s infamous attack around star striker Erling Haaland has remained largely harmless. Not so for the hosts, who let the English dictate the game at first, but caused danger again and again with their quick game switch. Just like in the 36th minute, when Eduardo Camavinga with Luka Modric freed himself in his own half and started a counterattack. A few seconds later, City Keeper Ederson hit. Vinicius completed the counterattack on a pass from Camavinga with a shot to watch.

In general, the Brazilian – often in combination with Karim Benzema – continues to throw the opponent’s defense line upside down. Ederson had to tackle several times and made powerful saves from long-range shots by Federico Valverde and Aurelien Choameni. But the most dangerous is Benzema’s header, which could have made it 2-1 if the Brazilian goalkeeper had not behaved brilliantly. Only in the 25th minute did Ederson’s safety back up have a chance. But Robin Dias crossed Vinicius low before the ball reached Benzema, who was poised to score.

At this point, Man City owns 72 percent. The visitors started the game much better, with Haaland and Rodri twice checking Courtois from distance, but this posed no real danger. As a result, the Premier League leaders lose control of the match, fall behind and have to give the ball to Real Madrid more and more in the second half. The hosts called for a penalty in a number of situations where the ball bounced off the arm of a City defender, but referee Artur Dias saw no reason to intervene. However, the tactics of Carlo Ancelotti and his team worked perfectly – until the 67th minute and De Bruyne hammered.

Even after a draw, Real Madrid remains initially the most active team. You can feel they are under pressure to win at home. But apart from a chance or two, there was no longer any danger. This is also due to Manuel Akanji, who allows little from the left side of the defence. The 27-year-old has only been played once by Federico Valverde, otherwise Akanji convinces with his positional play.

So Manchester City goes to the second leg next Wednesday without a mortgage. With home advantage, the second final participation in the “First Division” after 2021 must be secured. But the “Sky Blue” also know that the defending champions and 14-time Champions League winners must always be reckoned with.

Real Madrid 1-1 Manchester City (1-0)
SR segments (POR). 63,485 spectators.
Portals: 36. Vinicius Jr. 1-0. 67. De Bruyne 1-1.
real madrid: Courtois. Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Camavinga; Valverde, Modric (87 Nacho Fernandez), Kroos (84 Chuamine); Rodrygo (Asensio 81), Benzema, Vinicius Jr.
Manchester city: Ederson. Walker, Stones, Dias, Akanji; De Bruyne, Gundogan, Rodri; Bernardo Silva, Haaland, Grealish.
comments: Real Madrid without Militao (suspended) and Mendy (injured). Manchester City without Aki (injured).
Warnings: 45- Cross. 69. Ancelotti (Real Madrid coach). 71. Gundogan. 79. Camavinga. 86- Bernardo Silva.

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Multiple goalscorers in the UEFA Champions League

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Multiple goalscorers in the UEFA Champions League

Source: imago / pro sports / imago images

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