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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 11 May 2021


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Hello, and welcome to our liveblog.

Both these sides come into this game on the back of problematic domestic campaigns.

By their high standards, Man City have had a poor season. The reigning Premier League champions sit 22 points behind leaders Liverpool, suffering six losses.

Real Madrid are also second in their domestic table, though they still have a realistic chance of winning it, as they trail Barcelona by only two points.

While Man City had an important win over Leicester at the weekend, the Spanish side are also winless in their last two La Liga games, drawing with Celta Vigo and losing to Levante.

One thing in their favour is coach Zinedine Zidane’s remarkable Champions League record — he has won the trophy three times and has never lost in 12 ties.

Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, has been criticised for underperforming in the competition in recent years. He may have won the trophy twice, but the last of those triumphs was just under a decade ago, at the end of the 2010-11 campaign.

Confirmation of tonight’s teams…

Who do you think will advance in this tie?

Poll Results:

Real Madrid (363)
Man City (227)

real-madrid-v-manchester-city-uefa-champions-league-round-of-16-first-leg-santiago-bernabeu Manchester City fans in Plaza Mayor ahead of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match. Source: Nick Potts

real-madrid-v-manchester-city-uefa-champions-league-round-of-16-first-leg-santiago-bernabeu Fans with half and half scarves ahead of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match. Source: Nick Potts


We’re underway…


It’s been a tight, intriguing start to this game.

Real Madrid are pressing City very high and attempting to prevent them playing out from the back.



Still no real chances to speak of.

City have been very defensive by their standards, with much of the game so far being played in the middle of the park and neither side taking control of proceedings.


First sign of danger for City.

Vinícius Júnior breaks free from Walker down the left, but Laporte is well positioned to head his cross away to safety.


spain-soccer-champions-league A fan wearing a protective mask takes a picture with her cell phone prior the match. Source: Manu Fernandez


City are playing with an unusual formation.

De Bruyne is the most advanced attacker, with Jesus starting wide on the left.

The Belgian has many talents, but pace on the counter and hold-up play aren’t two that spring to mind, so unsurprisingly, the visitors aren’t currently looking particularly effective in that department right now.


Out of nothing, City create a big chance!

De Bruyne plays a defence-splitting pass to Jesus, who cuts onto his right foot, but Courtois gets down well to save the Brazilian’s powerful shot.



Mahrez lays it to De Bruyne inside the area, but Modric gets back well to put pressure on the City star, who blazes his first-time finish well over.

City are beginning to look a bit more threatening now, while Real Madrid have offered very little from an attacking perspective.


Suddenly, Madrid get a great chance.

A cross by Mendy falls to the head of Benzema, who forces a really good save by Ederson.

The rebound falls to Vinícius Júnior, who makes a mess of the finish, slipping as he tries to hit it in.


Big blow for City.

Laporte has picked up a knock. He hobbles off and is replaced by Fernandinho.



Big chance for City!

De Bruyne’s deep corner can only be parried to Courtois, before Jesus’ shot from the edge of the area deflects off Ramos, but then is blocked on the line by Casemiro.

Real Madrid breathe a big sigh of relief.


Half-time, and it’s been a slightly disappointing game from a neutral’s perspective.

There’s been a sense of caution about both teams’ play, as also evidenced by City’s rather defensive-oriented starting XI.

The visitors will definitely be the happier of the two teams at the break though. Real Madrid have had very few chances, while Guardiola’s men have created a few decent opportunities down the other end.



The second half has begun…


Valverde has been booked for cynically pulling back Gundogan.

Much like the majority of the first half, it’s been a scrappy stop-start second period so far.


Chance for City on the counter.

Casemiro gives it away, allowing De Bruyne to sprint towards goal. He then squares it to Mahrez, whose curled shot from the edge of the area goes narrowly wide.


Modric becomes the latest Madrid player to be booked, and rightly so.

Mahrez is too quick for him, and he chops down the former Leicester player.


Vinícius Júnior sprints towards goal, but ultimately overruns it, before going down all too easily in an unsuccessful attempt to win a penalty.

Down the other end, Courtois makes an excellent save, after Mahrez is played through on goal.


Real Madrid take the lead against the run of play.

Kyle Walker concedes possession in sloppy fashion.

It allows Vinícius Júnior to break. He then squares it to Isco, who finishes with aplomb, leaving Ederson with no chance.


Madrid are starting to sit back and allowing City to dominate possession.

This could be a long final 25 minutes for the home fans.


Mendy crosses to Isco, who squares it back to Ramos, but the defender’s goal-bound shot is deflected over thanks to Fernandinho’s block.

That goal has really boosted Real Madrid. They’re playing with more confidence now.


City make a change.

Bernardo Silva, who hasn’t had much influence, is replaced by Raheem Sterling.


Now Real make a change.

Vinícius Júnior, who made the assist for the goal, is replaced by Gareth Bale.


City are very much back in this tie.

It’s an excellent cross by De Bruyne and Jesus escapes the attentions of Ramos to head home, with Courtois only able to help the ball into the net when he arguably could have done better.

There are claims of a push by Jesus on Ramos, but after a VAR check, the goal is given.

Moments later, Jesus heads just over from Mahrez’s cross, as City threaten a winner.




City take the lead and it stems from a stonewall penalty, with a really rash challenge from Dani Carvajal taking down Sterling.

De Bruyne scores the ensuing spot kick, sending Courtois the wrong way to turn this game on its head.


Jesus bursts through on goal and is taken down just outside the box by Ramos.

It’s stemmed from an overly short passback from Casemiro that the Brazilian latched onto.

Mahrez’s subsequent free kick is low but straight at Courtois.




Sterling dribbles away from a few players, but his subsequent shot is tame and straight at Courtois.

That said, the England international has had an impact since being introduced, most notably winning the penalty.

As I type, Mahrez falls asleep, allowing Mendy to sneak in at the back post and latch on to a deep cross, but his first-time finish drifts just wide.


Man City get their first-ever victory over Real Madrid in Europe.

It was a deserved win in the end. The hosts took the lead against the run of play, but City showed good resilience to come back and prevail.

Pep Guardiola’s side were utterly dominant in the end, and their main regret will be not scoring a third.

Both Mendy and Ramos will be suspended for the second leg, with the latter sent off for a cynically stopping Jesus from bursting through on goal in the dying stages.

Right, that’s all from me for now.

You can read our match report here.

Thanks for reading and commenting, and we’ll have more reaction to follow.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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