Man City have passed the difficult test at the Bernabeu when holding Real Madrid with a score of 1-1. Let’s take a look at the highlights of this dramatic match.
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Man City overcomes the ultimate challenge at the Bernabeu
Coach Carlo Ancelotti insists he is completely satisfied with the 1-1 draw against Man City. However, this is a result that gives Man City an advantage. The problem is that Man City is showing the necessary bravery of a team that can win the championship.
When Vinicius hit Ederson’s net, the spirit of Pep Guardiola’s teachers and students faced a heavy challenge. Sad memories in the Champions League began to emerge, when Man City was in danger of tripping again at decisive stages. Doubts become even greater when no player in the current Man City squad has ever won the Champions League.
Real Madrid have shown their old age in the playing field they dominate. Los Blancos actively ceded control of the ball to Man City, focused on defending and then shot down the opponent with a single shot.
But Man City overcame all doubts to shine at the Bernabeu. When Erling Haaland is locked down, someone else needs to speak up. And De Bruyne did not hesitate to accept this responsibility. In the situation that Man City lost the game, the Belgian midfielder launched a cannonball to equalize the score.
Man City have won all 14 matches at Etihad in 2023. If they continue to win the second leg, Man City will advance to this year’s Champions League final. And with what has been shown, the fact that The Citizens won the ticket to go on is completely worth it.
Real’s defense makes Haaland silent
The match against Real Madrid can be considered the biggest test for Erling Haaland in this explosive season. But the Norwegian striker could not shine as usual.
Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba did their research and gave Haaland very little room. The Man City striker is caught in a physical battle. Despite making great efforts to keep the ball to help Man City develop the game, Haaland could not progress to positions where he could score.
Haaland only launched 3 shots with an expected goal index of 0.3. He could hardly cause any problems for Thibaut Courtois during his 90 minutes at the Bernabeu.
Vinicius is the star of the show
While Haaland was restrained on all sides and suffered helplessness, Vinicius shone despite similar circumstances. The Brazilian delivered a decisive shot to give Real Madrid a crucial lead. Vinicius is known to be a technical player, but he also knows how to create moments of power, like the cannonball against Man City recently.
Kyle Walker worked hard to contain Vinicius and had a not-so-bad game. But Vinicius still knows how to overcome difficulties to bring advantages to his team.
Although knowing that Man City is holding many advantages in the second leg, Real Madrid always has a chance when the name Vinicius appears in the squad.
Pep Guardiola did not make a substitution
On the bench of Man City, there are many stars who want to enter the field and change the game. But coach Pep Guardiola did not make a change of people but completely believed in the 11 players he selected from the beginning.
Obviously Man City does not have a weak bench. Riyad Mahrez assisted both of Ilkay Gundogan’s goals against Leeds over the weekend. Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez are both capable of contributing goals if brought on from the bench.
It is impossible to understand clearly the intentions of coach Pep Guardiola in the match at the Bernabeu. However, Man City actually had a good result. They will also be in good shape for this weekend’s Premier League game when many players can be considered rested against Real Madrid. Maybe the failure of Pep Guardiola’s substitution is also a calculation in the plan to win the historic treble this season.