How Man City Thrashed Real Madrid to set up UCL Final
Pep Guardiola’s team crushed their opponents 4-0 in the second leg of the semifinals, securing a spot in the final with an aggregate score of 5-1 over the two legs.
Real had no chance as the away team at Etihad, despite their strong lineup. Through dominant attacking play, Manchester City gradually suffocated their opponents to reach the Champions League final for the second time. Inter Milan will be the final hurdle for Guardiola’s team to overcome in order to win the prestigious European club competition for the first time.
Real still demonstrated their class in this semifinal matchup, even though they were considered the underdogs. However, failing to secure a victory in the first leg put them in a difficult position.
On the other hand, Man City maximized the advantage of playing at home, taking a commanding two-goal lead in the first half with contributions from Bernardo Silva. In the second half, Manuel Akanji and Julian Alvarez added to the scoreline, sealing the victory for the English team.
Guardiola made no changes to the starting lineup, while Carlo Ancelotti made only one change with Eder Militao returning from suspension, replacing Antonio Rudiger. However, unlike the first leg, Man City took the initiative and created early scoring opportunities. In the 13th minute, Erling Haaland headed the ball into the box following a cross from Jack Grealish. Real managed to avoid conceding thanks to the reflexes of Thibaut Courtois and a clearance off the goal line by David Alaba.
Courtois once again denied Haaland, pushing the Norwegian striker’s header out of play. But the Belgian goalkeeper was helpless against Silva’s close-range shot. This was a situation where Real’s defensive system was torn apart by Kevin De Bruyne’s through pass, while Silva showcased his astute positioning.
Toni Kroos responded with a powerful long-range strike for Real, although it was their first shot of the match. However, two minutes later, Real’s defense was exposed on the right flank, allowing Ilkay Gundogan to receive a pass from Grealish inside the penalty area. Although the shot from the German midfielder was blocked by Militao, the ball rebounded to Silva, who headed it into the top corner of the empty goal.
Unlike the first half, where Man City had 72% of ball possession, the second half saw a more balanced game. However, despite having 52% of possession and creating six shots compared to just one in the first half, Real faced a similar outcome. They were unable to break through the solid defensive wall and the superior physical strength of their opponents.
Ederson made a diving save to push Alaba’s free-kick over the crossbar, and there was a chaotic moment in the 83rd minute when both Karim Benzema and Dani Ceballos failed to convert their chances, resulting in a rare dangerous moment for the away team.
On the other end of the pitch, Haaland had an unlucky day. He couldn’t beat Courtois in a one-on-one situation after receiving a backheel pass from Gundogan. However, the diverse attacking options ensured that Man City didn’t rely on any individual player.
From De Bruyne’s free-kick, Akanji’s header deflected off Militao, catching Courtois off guard. Two minutes after replacing Haaland, Alvarez calmly finished past Courtois following a through pass from Phil Foden that completely bypassed Real’s defense.
The 4-0 scoreline is the largest margin of victory in a Champions League semifinal match. It is also Real’s heaviest defeat in the history of the competition, matching their 0-4 loss to Liverpool in March 2009. Manchester City previously lost to Chelsea in their first-ever Champions League final in the 2020-2021 season. They hope to rewrite history in the final match on June 10th at Ataturk Stadium (Turkey).
Keep following Live Football Schedule to update the latest Champions League fixtures, results, and news as well as enjoy a live soccer game today!