Sunday , June 4 2023
Julian Alvarez and Bernardo Silva celebrate Manchester City's fourth goal against Real Madrid

Man City reach Champions League final after Real Madrid win – 6 talking points

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MANCHESTER CITY 4-0 REAL MADRID (5-1 AGG): Pep Guardiola’s side will take on Inter Milan in the Champions League final in Istanbul after knocking out the holders

Manchester City have reached their second Champions League final after beating Real Madrid 4-0 on Wednesday night.

It was all to play for the Etihad, with the first leg of the semi-final tie finishing 1-1 in the Spanish capital eight days ago. A pulsating first-half performance from Pep Guardiola’s side allowed them to establish a two-goal advantage, with Bernardo Silva hitting a brace.

From there, City didn’t look back. An own goal from Eder Militao and Julian Alvarez’s late strike settled the tie, with City’s hopes of winning a Premier LeagueChampions League and FA Cup treble – emulating Manchester United in 1999 – more alive than ever.

City will face Inter Milan in the final in Istanbul on June 10 after the Italian giants defeated local rivals AC Milan 3-0 on aggregate in the other semi-final tie. Here are the main talking points from City’s unforgettable display against the dethroned European champions.

Games of this magnitude are usually either cautious or chaotic. Thankfully, this was the latter. City flew out of the blocks in search of an early goal, with Real trying desperately to keep up.

That was evident from Eduardo Camavinga’s naughty challenge on Silva that was missed by 2022 World Cup final referee Szymon Marciniak, but not by the outraged home fans. The Portuguese ace retaliated by shoving Toni Kroos over a corner flag.

Moments later, Erling Haaland went around Thibaut Courtois but the angle was too tight for a shot. Rodri then had a good chance to test the goalkeeper but pulled his effort wide.

Haaland vs Courtois

Thibaut Courtois produced an outrageous first-half save to deny Erling Haaland
Thibaut Courtois produced an outrageous first-half save to deny Erling Haaland ( Image:
Getty Images)
There was nothing Courtois could do about Silva’s opener, though.

City made the breakthrough in the 23rd minute, when Kevin De Bruyne threaded a ball in between two defenders for Silva to run onto. The former Monaco winger then waited for Courtois to commit before hammering the ball down the middle.

City fans went wild in response, but those cheers were almost silenced moments later when Kroos unleashed a thunderous long-range effort. The home fans were relieved to see the ball flick Ederson’s fingertips before smashing into the crossbar.

Guardiola’s side needed a second goal… and it was Silva who did the business again. Ilkay Gundogan’s shot deflected off a desperate sliding defender and looped up into the path of the little livewire, who composed himself and waited for the ball to drop.

The ball sat in the Manchester sky for what seemed like an eternity, but that split-second gave Silva time to pick his spot and calmly slot a header into the top corner. City fans would’ve been forgiven for looking at flights to Istanbul after that.

City finish the job

Karim Benzema and Rodrygo did little to stop a rampant City
Karim Benzema and Rodrygo did little to stop a rampant City ( Image: Getty Images)

The second half was a more cagey affair, but City were always in control. Haaland almost made it 3-0 when he got in behind the defence, only for Courtois to produce another ridiculous save to deny the Norwegian. Haaland’s furious reaction spoke volumes.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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