The first leg of Real Madrid’s pivotal semi-final Champions League clash would be disputed in Manchester. Pep Guardiola’s men were the better team for large stretches of the match, squandering countless opportunities. It is not an exaggeration to say City could have been four or five up at halftime. Despite the difficulty in dealing with Manchester City’s offensive threat, Madrid managed to claw back some goals through the individual quality of Karim Benzena and Vinicius Junior. A total of seven goals were scored, leaving everything to play for in the second leg.
Full match player ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—5: Tough match for the Belgium. Conceded 4 goals and only made 1 save. Arguably should have done better on the Bernado Silva goal getting beat at his near post.
Dani Carvajal—4.5: Left to fend for himself given the disastrous game from Alaba and Militao. Made a goal line clearance on a Foden shot, but should have done better on the first and fourth goals from City.
Eder Militao—2: Constantly took the backline out of shape with risky gambles and lumped the ball upfield to no one when pressed.
David Alaba—2: Like Militao, took risky gambles trying to win the ball. One such gamble led to a second goal for Manchester City in the first half. Was substituted at half time.
Ferland Mendy—4.5: Struggled with defending Mahrez who created the first goal and missed another big chance. Mahrez was a constant thorn in Madrid’s side.
Toni Kroos—6: Had to play as the defensive midfielder in Casemiro’s absence and was overrun for majority of the first half. Kroos and the team found more of their footing in the second stanza.
Fede Valverde—7: A tough first half, where Fede lost track of De Bruyne on the oepning goal just 90 seconds into the game. His second half was inspired — produced deft touches beat City’s press, carried the ball with purpose, and doubled down defensively to help Carvajal.
Luka Modric—6: Quiet in the first half was overrun like most of the team, but found his footing in the second including a lovely nutmeg on Bernardo Silva followed by a through ball to Benzema.
Vinicius Junior—8: Scored a brilliant individual goal to help Madrid claw their way back into the game. Decision making in the final third left a lot to be desired, but was a nuisance for City to have to defend against.
Rodrygo Goes—4: Failed to replicate his good form from the last few matches.
Karim Benzema—8.5: Two goals — including a paneka penalty after just missing two penalities over the weekend. Give him one chance and he will take it. Another huge performance in the Champions League.
Nacho—5: City still found their way through Madrid’s backline with ease despite the change at halftime.
Eduardo Camavinga—7: A great cameo off the bench — unfazed by the stage.
Dani Ceballos—7: Another positive substitution, Ceballos kept the ball and was unbothered by City’s press.
Marco Asensio—N/A: Played the last few minutes of the match for Vinicius Junior.