Manchester City will take a slender advantage to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, after the two teams battled to a seven-goal thriller at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.
City started strongly and Kevin De Bruyne put them ahead inside two minutes, heading home from close range. Gabriel Jesus doubled the advantage with barely ten minutes to the game as Real looked to be on the verge of collapsing and losing the tie.
The hosts had opportunities to make it 3-0 but failed to convert and were punished by Karim Benzema. With less than a half-chance remaining, the Frenchman turned in a wonderfully glancing volley from the edge of Ederson’s box to pull one back.
Phil Foden restored City’s two-goal lead just after halftime, after he had wasted a good opportunity. However, the visitors responded again as Vinicius Junior scored another stunning goal to cut the deficit in half, with a run and finish reminiscent of Gareth Bale’s against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final at Mestalla.
But Bernardo Silva hammered a fourth goal into the top corner for City when Los Blancos appeared to have come to a halt, anticipating a freekick.
Benzema’s night was far from over, though, as he scored an amazing panenka penalty into the roof of Ederson’s net with eight minutes remaining in the match.
Seven goals were scored in total, yet many departed the Etihad convinced that countless more could have been scored. The second match is scheduled for Wednesday, May 4, when Real Madrid will host Guardiola’s team.