The first leg of the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League at Etihad was a game to remember. Seven goals headlined the clash between Real Madrid and Manchester City, but it was finally the latter who emerged victorious.
Despite being in shambles defensively, the visitors showed a lot of character to pull back three goals on the night. They now face the daunting challenge of having to defeat Pep Guardiola’s side by at least a two-goal margin at the Bernabeu.
Karim Benzema scored the opening goal for Real Madrid before converting from the spot for his team’s third goal. Speaking to the media after the game, he highlighted the importance of the fans for next week’s must-win game.
“We will need our fans at the Bernabeu more than ever before.”
The 34-year-old missed two penalties in Real Madrid’s last game against Osasuna. However, he managed to convert from the spot last night at Etihad and said he retained confidence in his abilities.
“If you don’t take a penalty you will never miss it. I have a lot of confidence in myself.”
Speaking about his ambitions for the current season, he maintained that he placed the team over individual awards.
“Ballon d’Or? I want UCL and La Liga.”
Madrid have pulled off two unbelievable comebacks in the competition this season, and Benzema said that the team would never give up.
“We are very excited about this UCL and the important thing is that we never give up.”
Vinicus Jr scored the team’s second goal on the night, but expressed his disappointment at the result after the game.
“I can never be happy with a loss.”
Talking about his teammate Benzema and his imperious form, the Brazilian said,
“There are no words to describe how my brother Benzema plays. I hope he ends up winning La Liga, the Champions League and the Ballon d’Or.”
Source: Real Madrid TV
Real Madrid forward set for talks with Arsenal this week – report
With less than six months left on his contract, Marco Asensio looks to be on his way out of Real Madrid very soon. The Spaniard has not yet started talks to extend his contract with the Spanish giants, which has garnered the eyes from several top clubs across Europe.
One of the clubs interested in his signature happens to be Premier League leaders Arsenal. Mikel Arteta is said to be a fan of the player, and will try to be bring him to North London on a free transfer this summer.
According to Mirror, Asensio’s agents will fly to London this week to get an a better understanding Arsenal’s interest in the player. Talks are scheduled with Arsenal, among possibly other clubs.
Asensio’s priority remains to extend with Arsenal, but not at ‘any cost’. The winger is looking for raise with his new contract to go along with a four-year deal. The report states that he currently earns around €130,000 per week at Madrid.
The 27-year-old has been waiting for an official offer from Los Blancos for a while, but the club will wait for March or April before taking a decision on his extension.
Asensio took a while to grow important for Carlo Ancelotti this season, but has been featuring regularly on the right-wing lately. He even scored in 2-0 win against Valencia in midweek, taking his tally to two for the season, excluding three assists as well.
Arsenal are definitely looking to add more firepower to their squad for next season, having already brought in Leandro Trossard in the winter. Asensio could serve as the perfect backup to Bukayo Saka, who has been in incredible form all season.