Real Madrid 1 - 1 Manchester City (Vinicius; de Bruyne). Here’s our quick reaction at the final whistle. Still to come: Player ratings, post-game quotes, post-game podcasts, stats breakdown, and a ton more.
In an adrenaline-fuelled 90 minutes at the Bernabeu, Real Madrid and Manchester City take a draw. It was a tale of two halves.
Manchester City held the overwhelming majority of the ball in the first half. From the first minute, they pressed aggressively, and tried to pin Real Madrid in their own half. To the credit of Carlo Ancelotti’s men, they weathered City’s possession relatively well. Toni Kroos, who has received plenty of scrutiny for his defensive performances as a single pivot, proved his worth as the ‘six’ — working hard to track runners into the box, cover for both flanks, block shots, and of course, helping the team escape pressure.
Elsewhere, Dani Carvajal and Eduardo Camavinga both did well in their individual duels against Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva in their respective match-ups on the wings, and Antonio Rudiger put in a tremendous shift putting a body on Erling Haaland.
All that, along with Karim Benzema dropping deep quite a bit to provide reliable hold-up play, meant that Real Madrid scored from their only shot in the first half, an absolutely unreal effort from Modric, Camavinga, and finally, the superstar, Vinicius Jr:
VINÍCIUS JÚNIOR SCORES A GOLAZO WITH REAL MADRID'S FIRST SHOT OF THE GAME! pic.twitter.com/MgGEYFjqkk— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 9, 2023
Real Madrid went into half-time with a slim lead. They then re-emerged in the second half bringing their line higher up the pitch — getting the crowd into the game with some excellent build-up play, good counter-pressing, and solid chances to double their lead. But, despite their best efforts to capitalize on their momentum, they conceded an equalizer to Kevin de Bruyne, who was free at the top of the box for a masterful strike:
KEVIN DE BRUYNE GOLAZO. pic.twitter.com/R7kfG01H2B— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 9, 2023
The game, from that point on, was quite chaotic (as it was, to be sure, for most of the game). Real Madrid’s ability to win the ball in midfield, and their step up interceptions, were impressive. City had trouble dealing with Real Madrid’s energy in the second half, but also did look a bit threatening in transition the other way. If you could detach yourself from the emotional roller-coaster of watching Real Madrid play in such a massive game, this was a fantastic game of high quality football worthy of a Champions League final.
We’ll break this down in much more detail in the coming hours, both in written and podcast form. Join us on Zoom tonight.