Manchester City demolishes Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium with a 4-0 scoreline. Real Madrid, impassive throughout the match, displayed a poor performance and was unable to generate danger apart from two long-range shots from Kroos and Alaba. Bernardo Silva was a nuisance for Madrid throughout the game, scoring two goals and causing problems for the defence.
Manchester City will return to a Champions League final two seasons later. The team coached by Pep Guardiola was an offensive powerhouse, too intense for a Real Madrid side where only Thibaut Courtois delivered a performance worthy of the stakes: a place in the Champions League final.
Real Madrid simply appeared inept as a unit. Manchester City’s relentless pressure prompted them to lose the ball in dangerous spots other than the central circle, causing frustration for an offensive zone that couldn’t get a grip of the ball. Nonetheless, Courtois, the rescuer, made many incredible saves, including one that stopped Haaland’s close-range header from becoming the opening goal of the night.
However, the Belgian goalie was powerless to stop the siege. Bernardo Silva eventually entered the box and didn’t hesitate: he deceived the keeper by firing towards the near post, and the ball struck the back of the net, much to the pleasure of the Etihad Stadium crowd. Only 10 minutes later, Courtois produced another spectacular save from Gundogan, but the rebound fell to Silva, who headed it in. At halftime, the score was 2-0, but it felt like much more.
Real Madrid improved slightly after the break. Nobody knows what will happen with Real Madrid in the Champions League, but Los Blancos always seem capable of turning around any situation they face in the top European competition.The supporters were on edge after Alaba’s frightening free kick, but Ederson pushed it out for a corner… and that was the end of the reaction. Simply put, there was no fuel left to move the Madrid giant.
In the final minutes of the match, the scoreline could have been further widened. An own goal by Militão seemed to be the final blow, but substitute Julián Álvarez wanted to join the party. 4-0 was the result of Manchester City’s best performance in European competition, seeking revenge for what happened exactly a year ago.
End of an era in Madrid?
There are still players at Real Madrid who have contributed so much to the club, but they may have given everything their legs could offer. After the game, some supporters criticised Benzema, Kroos, and Luka Modric for their poor performance. They were formerly the driving powers behind Real Madrid’s five previous Champions League victories; but they had a bad day on the pitch and may be offering their final services to the squad due to their age.
Guardiola: “We had to swallow the poison”
Guardiola was overjoyed during the news conference, but not without remembering what happened a year ago. “We had to swallow the poison,” Guardiola explained. “All of the pain we experienced in one year, for one season, was present today.” I have a feeling that for one year we had a fear in our stomach about what happened last season, but today we went out with everything we had.”
Now, Manchester City will have to wait until June 10th to play the Champions League final against Inter Milan, who eliminated AC Milan in the other semifinal of the competition. Despite being considered favorites, Guardiola wanted to emphasize the difficulty of playing against the opponent: “A final against an Italian team, people will say we are favorites, and that is the worst that can happen.”
Ancelotti, on the other hand, had to respond to questions about his long-term viability. At Real Madrid, winning the Copa del Rey is never enough. However, the Italian hopes to return next season. “The president made it clear two weeks ago that there are no doubts about my staying,” he stated.