No Victor! No Vanqished! The Battle Between Real Madrid And Manchester City Still Hangs In The Balance

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An encounter that could have gone either way, went no way as Real Madrid and Manchester City played out a draw at the Santiago Bernabau.

Real Madrid starting lineup and formation

Real Madrid XI (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Camavinga; Modric, Kroos, Valverde; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.

Manchester City starting lineup and formation

Manchester City XI (3-2-4-1): Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Akanji; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Bernardo, Haaland, Grealish.

After the Champions League anthem was played, the game began.

It was a keenly contested affair between the two teams with contrasting styles and history. Manchester City got the game’s first big chance on the 11th minute after a wonderful hold-up play from Haaland.

Erling Haaland gave room for Bernado Silva to carry the ball from the right before finding De Bruyne on the edge of the box.

However, Thibaut Courtois was able to save the right footed attempt.

Real Madrid went into the lead via a lovely goal from Vinicius
Real Madrid went into the lead via a lovely goal from Vinicius

Real Madrid who always looked threatening every time they attacked on the night had a great chance on the 25th minute.

Vinicius drove the ball in customary fashion and  sent a low cross into the area aiming for a contact from Karim Benzema but a sublime sliding block from Dias gave City a breath of fresh air.

6 minutes after the half of the hour mark, Vinicius Junior took Real Madrid in front with a swashbuckling shot from outside the box which beat Ederson.

In a UEFA Champions League game filled with intense battles, it took until the third minute of additional time for the game’s first yellow card to suffice.

Toni Kroos got his name into the referee’s book after a poor high challenge on fellow countryman Ilkay Gundongan.

It ended 1-0 in favor of Real Madrid after the first 45 and the encounter appeared like it was headed Madrid’s way.

Real Madrid got the second half underway due to Manchester City beginning proceedings of the first half.

7 minutes to the hour mark, Courtois came up clutch for Los Blancos saving a shot from Kevin De Bruyne.

Real Madrid
Erling Haaland equalized for Manchester City with a sublime effort

De Bruyne dashed in behind the Real Madrid backline and directed his effort across the goal but Courtois spreads himself well and stopped the effort of the Belgian.

In the 67th minute, Kevin De Bruyne brought the game to parity with a thunderous strike from outside the box.

Ilkay Gundongan laid the ball for the Belgian to smash an irresistible shot that went beyond countryman Thibaut Courtois. 

With 19 minutes before the end of normal time, IIkay Gundongan picked up a yellow card after bringing down Dani Carvajal on the edge of City area.

Ederson was called to action in the 78th minute and he pulled out a great save out of his kitty saving a header from Karim Benzema.

Toni Kroos sent in a cross into the box but the Brazilian shot-stopper of the Citizens came in handy to keep the game level pegging.

Eduardo Camavinga fouled Rodri in the center of the pitch and center-referee Artur Dias was quick to show a yellow card to the Frenchman.

In the 81st minute, Carlo Ancelotti brought on Marco Asensio for Rodrygo and Aurelien Tchouameni replaced Toni Kroos.

4 minutes before the end of the encounter, Bernado Silva was brandished a yellow card following a rash tackle on Vincius Junior.

A minute later, Luka Modric exited the field for Spaniard Nacho Fernandes as the game approached its ending.

Pep Guardiola however didn’t make any change in the game possibly because he didn’t want to distort the rhythm of his players.

The last big effort in the game was made by Real Madrid after Frenchman Tchouameni fired a bullet of a strike at goal but his effort was parried away by Ederson.

Both teams settled for a draw in the first leg as all attention turns to the Etihad where a team which would book their place in Istanbul would be known.

Fellow countrymen of Manchester City shot-stopper Ederson Moraes and Real Madrid goalie Thibaut Courtois were the only individuals who managed to get their efforts into the net, the second leg definitely should be dramatic.

Kevin De Bruyne won the Man Of The Match Award for his amazing performance on the night.

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