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Manchester City And Real Madrid Play Incredible Semi Final First Leg

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Manchester City And Real Madrid Play Incredible Semi Final First Leg

OH MY GOD! That's the only reaction worthy of what we witnessed at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night, as Manchester City and Real Madrid played out an instant classic.

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If City's game in the quarter final was dull in terms of footballing quality then the first part of their semi final was everything opposite.

The match in Manchester was entertaining from the first minute to the last, as Kevin de Bruyne scored the quickest goal in a Champions League semi final, heading home inside two minutes.

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Pep Guardiola got his starting XI spot on and Gabriel Jesus, fresh from scoring four against Watford at the weekend, made it 2-0 in the 11th minute.

Real got back into the game before half time, thanks to Karim Benzema's stunning goal, which was his 13th of the tournament and eighth of the knockout stages so far.

City started the second half in similar fashion to the first, somehow missing a couple of chances that looked certain to be goals, before Phil Foden did make it 3-1 in the 53rd minute.

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Vinicius Junior then halved the deficit once again, as he showed off a brilliant turn of pace to get past Fernandinho, drive into the box and score.

The pendulum swung again towards City as Bernardo Silva struck a beautiful shot from outside the area to make it 4-2, after the referee had played a perfect advantage.

But Real refused to give up once again and Benzema scored the most brilliant of penalties, when he chose to Panenka the ball down the middle, after Aymeric Laporte had handled the ball from a cross.

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More chances came City's way, as Guardiola's side tried to take a two goal lead to the Bernabeu, but Carlo Ancelotti's side managed to hang on in one of the most pulsating of games anyone is likely to have seen in the Champions League.

Aside from scoring four times, and three times getting a two goal lead, the Premier League leaders had plenty of chances to kill the game.

At 2-0 alone both Riyad Mahrez and Foden had great chances to score, with Mahrez deciding to shoot rather than cross for Foden for his chance.

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However their failure to score more, and ability to let Real back into the game on three occasions, makes for a really intriguing second leg next week.

Foden's reaction sums up Silva's goal and the game. Image: PA Images
Foden's reaction sums up Silva's goal and the game. Image: PA Images

City were able to hold onto a 1-0 lead going to Madrid in the last round, when they took on Atletico Madrid, but Ancelotti's team will surely have more going forward than Diego Simeone's team did, although they themselves should have scored.

The fact there is no away goals this season will also help City, but they must be aware of Los Blancos' ability to comeback after a first leg loss away from home.

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In the last 16, Ancelotti's side found themselves two goals down in the tie, during the second half of the second leg, against PSG and came back to win, thanks to Benzema's 17 minute hat-trick.

Featured Image Credit: BT Sport

Topics: Champions League, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Karim Benzema, La Liga, Premier League

Ryan Sidle
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