Manchester City Tops European Giants in UEFA Champions League Showdown
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After a 5 month delay, the UEFA Champions League was back in action on Friday as Manchester City took on the 13-time champions, Real Madrid. The first leg of the aggregate took place in Madrid on Wednesday, February 26th, with the visiting Manchester City able to come away with a thrilling 2-1 victory.
Those two away goals put the club in the driver’s seat in Manchester as they looked to hold on to their slim advantage against the European Giants. Manchester City’s forward Raheem Sterling put his club in front 1-0 in the 9th minute of play, capitalizing on a mistake by Real Madrid in the backfield. Sterling’s early goal put Manchester City up 3-1 on aggregate with two away goals, making the uphill climb a lot steeper for the Royal Whites.
However, Real Madrid was able to ease the deficit by one in the 28th minute of play when Karim Benzema met Rodrygo’s beautiful cross with a header that hit the back of the net. Benzema’s goal put the Merengues back in business as the aggregate score was 3-2 and they now had an away goal of their own.
Manchester City continued to put pressure on Real Madrid’s defenders and were able to capitalize on a second mistake by Madrid’s center-back Raphael Varane as his pass back to goal keeper Thibaut Courtois was intercepted by Gabriel Jesus, whose eventual shot cruised past the keeper into the goal. Jesus’ goal put the game out of reach with Manchester City advancing to the quarter finals and Real Madrid’s season coming to a disappointing end.
Manchester City will face Olympique Lyonnais on Saturday, August 15th at 12 PM PST in Lisbon. The UEFA Champions League quarter finals will eliminate the usual two-legged, home-and-away format in response to the pandemic and the 5 month delay. This will give the tournament a World Cup vibe for the last three rounds, which should bring a lot of excitement to each and every game.