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Real Madrid 3-1 Manchester City: Match Review

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Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

The Santiago Bernabeu has been witness to back-to-back Champions League come-backs this season. The trend began with Real Madrid’s scintillating win over PSG that saw them overcome a deficit to earn a place in the quarterfinals.

Weeks later, they repeated their heroics against Chelsea after they slipped into a losing position after a poor first half.

When Manchester City visited the Bernabeu with a one-goal lead on aggregate, one expected Ancelotti’s side to capitalise on the home advantage to secure a comeback.

The newly crowned La Liga champions had two novelties in their starting lineup: Nacho at centre-back and Federico Valverde over Rodrygo in the attack.

From the get-go, Pep Guardiola’s side took control of proceedings. Karim Benzema had a half-chance in the fourth minute, but it was the Premier League side that had the better and more frequent openings.

Manchester City’s first big chance of the night arrived in the 15th minute when Kevin de Bruyne cut in and shot from distance. The ball was well-struck but was straight into the hands of Courtois.

The Bernabeu held its breath in the 18th minute when Los Blancos had an excellent chance to equalise. Ruben Dias’ clearance fell at the feet of Vinicius Jr, who attempted a direct shot on goal. Unfortunately, his effort went over the bar.

Bernardo Silva’s volley seemed set to glide past the Belgian goalkeeper and into the top corner in the 20th minute until the Real Madrid shot-stopper made an incredible effort to deny it. Minutes later, Gabriel Jesus blew his chance to give City the lead too.

The last big chance of the first half, too, fell to the English outfit when Phil Foden tried his luck on goal. Despite taking a sharp shot, he was denied by Courtois who parried the ball away.

The second half got off to a bright start for Real Madrid who should have tied the score on aggregate as early as the 46th minute. Vinicius Jr had the goal at his mercy but failed to put the ball in the net.

Five minutes into the second period, Courtois was forced to make another save to keep Los Blancos in the game.

There was mayhem in the Manchester City box when Ederson failed to collect the ball after making a charge. Kyle Walker and Rodri scrambled back and cleared the danger for their side, but Real Madrid should have had their first goal.

The most significant moment of the game eventually arrived in the 73rd minute. Bernardo Silva combined with Riyad Mahrez to set the latter free inside the box.

Mahrez did not hesitate to shoot the first time, and his effort rocketed past Courtois at the near post to give City a two-goal cushion on aggregate.

Benzema’s offside effort was saved by Ederson in the 82nd minute, and any hopes of a comeback slowly began to fade away for Los Blancos. As Real Madrid progressively found themselves under more pressure, City began to flourish.

The visitors almost scored a second goal on the night when Grealish put a shot past the Belgian international. However, Ferland Mendy cleared from off the line to keep his side in the game.

A glimmer of hope arrived in the 90th minute when Karim Benzema found Rodrygo inside the box with a clever pass. The Brazilian put the ball past Ederson to put Real Madrid within touching distance of a comeback.

Seconds later, the hosts completed another incredible comeback. Daniel Carvajal put a cross into the box, and Rodrygo rose into the air to score again. The score read 5-5, and the game was well and truly back alive.

Benzema tried his luck on goal in the first minute of extra-time, but could not put much power behind his strike.

Yet, the Frenchman did not give up and won his side a penalty just a minute later. He won the ball cleanly in the box before being taken down by Ruben Dias.

From the spot, he struck the ball clean as a whistle into the bottom right corner. Real Madrid led for the first time in the game, and the scoreboard read 6-5.

Fernandinho came close to scoring an equaliser in the final minute of the first half of extra time but could not stretch enough to seal the goal. The visitors struggled to find another goal on the night, and Real Madrid made it to the finals of the UCL.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid forward set for talks with Arsenal this week – report

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

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.

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