(Football News) Real Madrid and Manchester City collided at the Santiago Bernabeu for the 1st leg of the Champions League semi-final. The game was very entertaining as expected and it ended all square ahead of the return leg at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester. Carlo Ancelotti made 2 changes to the line-up that won the Copa Del Rey final. Antonio Rudiger came back in for the suspended Eder Militao. According to reports Luka Modric had a very high risk of injury as he had rushed himself but the player despite knowing that wanted to play. Aurélien Tchouaméni had to drop to the bench.
Manchester City on the other hand line-up as expected with Erling Haaland up front and Kevin De Bruyne in behind. Nathan Ake’s hamstring injury relapsed and he was unavailable for selection. Manchester City started the game really well as they kept the ball really well. Whenever Real Madrid did get the ball they couldn’t get out of their own box as City were pressing high. Despite the domination, Manchester City didn’t create a good enough chance as they failed to penetrate Real Madrid’s defense which was pretty strong.
As the half progressed Los Blancos started to stitch counterattacks together. One of those counterattacks worked as Vinicius Jr opened the scoring in the 36th minute. Luka Modric and Eduardo Camavinga played a brilliant one-two to beat City’s press before the latter drove forward and passed it to Vinicius who hit a powerful shot from outside the box.
Real Madrid looked much more comfortable in the 2nd half as Vinicius Jr was causing havoc on the left-hand side. The hosts had a couple of decent chances to double their advantage but couldn’t score. Manchester City got the equalizer against the run of play as Kevin De Bruyne’s incredible shot from distance beat fellow Belgian international Thibaut Courtois. The rest of the game was pretty cagey as both teams were a little cautious. On paper, it was a better result for City than it was for Real Madrid. However, Madrid did a couple of things that showed that they can handle Manchester City defensively.
There were doubts over Toni Kroos’ position as a number 6 but he had a really good game defensively and offensively. Eduardo Camavinga once again put in a solid and complete performance at left back while Vinicius was once again instrumental. The Brazilian became the 2nd player after Cristiano Ronaldo to score/assist in 11 consecutive UCL starts. Antonio Rudiger, who was only in the line-up because Eder Militao was suspended, locked up Erling Haaland and didn’t allow him any space. The Norwegian ended up with fewer touches of the ball than both the goalkeepers.
The return leg next week at the Etihad will be another fascinating one. Manchester City do have the home advantage but Real Madrid isn’t the kind of team that would lose their nerves away from home. Eder Militao’s return will be a big boost especially due to his ball-playing ability. However Ancelotti will have a headache over who to drop as Antonio Rudiger performed really well in this game. As for City, the only potential change will be the return of Nathan Ake if possible.