Real Madrid vs Manchester City Quarter Final first leg review 

The Champions League quarter-final between Real Madrid and Manchester City was a spectacle. The two titans ended the first leg in a gripping 3-3 draw, captivating viewers worldwide.

This was the kind of fixture that had the football world buzzing with anticipation. Both teams had been dominant in their respective group stages, finishing top. Many were tipping this to be a potential Champions League final preview, and the match certainly lived up to the hype.

Real Madrid’s Dominance in the First Half

“City were looking shabby in the first half…they were playing into Real Madrid’s hands” ~DrogBaba

In the opening 45 minutes, it was Real Madrid who took the game to their opponents. Carlo Ancelotti’s side were dominant, controlling the tempo and dictating the play. Manchester City just seemed to be playing into Real’s hands, happy to keep possession but not creating any clear-cut chances.

Bernardo Silva’s smart finish delivered the opening goal. Beyond that, City scarcely menaced Real’s goal in the first half. The midfield trio of Kroos, Camavinga, and Bellingham for Real excelled, nullifying City’s offensive efforts.

Kroos dominated, maintaining possession and fortifying Real’s defense. His performance was a masterclass, showcasing his status as a top global midfielder.

Real Madrid’s Comeback Kings Strike Again

“These comebacks by Real Madrid in UCL aren’t flukes they’ve happened again & again, this is no fluke” ~DrogBaba

Real Madrid swiftly recovered from Lunin’s error, which Silva exploited. Camavinga scored twice in rapid succession, and Rodrygo’s elegant finish made it 2-1, putting them ahead.

& then Phil Foden scored a stunning goal to put them back level. That strike from Foden was something special – the kind of moment that marks him out as one of the best young players in the world right now.

Man City wasn’t finished yet. Josko Gvardiol stepped up, conjuring a spell of brilliance, wrong-footing the ball into the top corner to edge City ahead 3-2.

But Madrid did what they alwayds do and leveled the score late in the second half all thanks to a thunderbolt from Valverde.

The match was a spectacle, marked by spectacular goals, tactical clashes, and Real Madrid’s hallmark rallies.

Tactical Analysis

Tactically, it was a fascinating battle. Real Madrid seemed to have a clear plan to hit City on the counter-attack, and they were effective at it. Time and again, they caught City’s defense napping, creating many 3-on-2 or 2-on-1 situations.

Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, and Valverde were a constant threat with their pace and directness. Kroos was the conductor, controlling the tempo and recycling possession brilliantly. It was a classic Real Madrid performance – solid at the back, clinical on the break.

For City, Erling Haaland was largely peripheral, showing that they can’t just rely on him to bail them out. Without Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker, City’s defense weakened, particularly against Real’s counter-attacks.

Manager Pep Guardiola will surely be looking at ways to tighten up his team’s defensive structure ahead of the second leg. City can’t afford to be so open and exposed again if they want to progress to the semi-finals.

The Battle of the Midfielders

“City lacked KDB’s presence heavily …especially in the first where they didn’t have much control” ~DrogBaba

One of the key battles in this match was undoubtedly in midfield. Real Madrid’s Kroos, Camavinga, and Bellingham dominated, setting the pace and stifling City’s offense.

Kroos, in particular, was a real maestro, spraying passes left, right, and center with effortless precision. He seemed to have an extra half-second on the ball, always making the right decision and keeping possession ticking over for Real.

In contrast, City’s midfield didn’t quite have the same influence. Rodri and Kovacic struggled to stamp their authority on the game, with Haaland often isolated up front. The young duo of Camavinga and Bellingham outshone their more experienced counterparts.

This midfield battle was crucial in shaping the flow of the game. Real Madrid’s dominance in this area allowed them to dictate the tempo and hit City on the counter-attack time and again. City’s inability to get a grip on the game in the middle of the park was a big factor in their downfall.

The Rise of Vinicius Junior

“For me, the MOTM of this game was Vini Jr” ~DrogBaba

One player who has truly emerged as a genuine superstar this season is Vinicius Junior. The Brazilian winger excelled, challenging City’s defense with his speed, finesse, and aggressive play.

Vini, always great against City, aided Rodrygo and Valverde, generating repeated chances for Real Madrid. His assist to Valverde’s was inch-perfect, and he was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself.

At just 22 years old, Vinicius is coming into his own. He’s added a clinical edge to his game, and his confidence is sky-high. For me, he stands with Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland as one of football’s thrilling young stars.

If Vinicius can continue this level of performance, he’s going to be a huge threat to any team that Real Madrid face, both domestically and in Europe. City will certainly need to find a way to shackle him in the second leg if they want to progress.

The Brilliance of Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol

“I don’t think so we’ll see such a goal from Gvardiol with the weak foot ever again” ~DrogBaba

Real Madrid was in control often, but Manchester City’s two brilliant plays shifted the match’s momentum.

First, there was Phil Foden’s stunning strike to put City back level. Receiving the ball on the edge of the box, the young Englishman unleashed an unstoppable shot that flew into the top corner. It was a goal of the highest quality, showcasing Foden’s technique, vision, and composure.

And now it looked like City were growing into the game, up stepped Josko Gvardiol with a moment of magic. The Croatian defender, taking the ball on his wrong foot, rifled an absolute thunderbolt into the net to put City into the lead

It was a strike that left everyone watching in awe. Gvardiol had no right to score from that position, but he just backed himself and produced a moment of pure genius. Those are the kind of moments that leave a lasting impression and will live long in the memory.

Foden and Gvardiol’s goals were true highlights in a match that was chock-full of them. They demonstrated the kind of individual quality and match-winning ability that these top players have. It’s no wonder fans and pundits alike were raving about this game.

The Importance of Defensive Solidity

“City being so vulnerable to counterattacks this season has made all the difference” ~DrogBaba

Amidst the spectacle of attack and individual flair, the defensive diligence of both teams is not to be ignored. Central to their triumphs lies a robust defense.

For Real Madrid, the partnership of Tchoumeni and Rüdiger was crucial in keeping City at bay for long periods. They were disciplined, organized, and won their battles. Kroos and the other midfielders also played a big part in shielding the back line.

Although Tchoumeni will miss the next game Militao being back should cover Real Madrid’s CB pairing in that aspect.

City faced defensive challenges, notably against Real’s swift counter-attacks. Without Kyle Walker, the gaps left by City’s fullbacks were readily exploited by Vinicius and Rodrygo.

Pep Guardiola is sure to fortify his team’s defense before the next match. A tighter, firmer defense could greatly improve City’s odds of reaching the semi-finals.

In the Champions League, a solid defense is key, given the slim line between victory and defeat. Both teams are aware that a well-measured approach to attack and defense is essential to prevail in this captivating contest.

The Importance of the Second Leg

“Given the injuries & absentees city will take this draw in Bernabeu every day” ~DrogBaba

The tie is perfectly poised heading into the second encounter. Neither team has a clear advantage, and both will be desperate to secure their place in the semi-finals.

For Real Madrid, the feeling will be one of disappointment. They were the better team for large stretches of the first half and will feel they should have won the first leg. Ancelotti will be urging his players to be more ruthless in front of goal and to maintain their defensive solidity for the full 90 minutes.

Manchester City, on the other hand, will be the happier of the two teams. Securing a draw at the formidable Bernabeu, they understand a slim victory at the Etihad suffices for advancement. Yet, the threat of Real Madrid’s comeback prowess looms, necessitating vigilance.

The second leg is sure to be another enthralling encounter.Both teams, seasoned and skilled, could win the Champions League. The outcome is uncertain, but the upcoming match is a must-see for fans.


What a match this was! The match between Real Madrid and Manchester City was a memorable Champions League encounter, ending in a thrilling 3-3 draw. This result sets up an exciting second leg with everything still to play for.

Real Madrid and Manchester City battled to a 3-3 draw in a Champions League match to remember. The tie remains open, with the second leg promising more excitement. It’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top in the return fixture.

Football fans who didn’t see the match missed a spectacle, with Valverde, Foden, and Gvardiol providing moments of brilliance. This is what the Champions League is all about!

I can’t wait to see how the second leg unfolds. Real Madrid will be kicking themselves for not taking their chances and securing a first-leg advantage. But City know they’ll have to be much tighter defensively if they want to progress.

Buckle up, folks – the second leg of this tie is going to be unmissable!

What do you think?

Written by Drog BABA

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