Manchester City took a narrow option for the Champions League final after beating Real Madrid 4-3, still alive thanks to a brace from Benzema in the first leg of the semi-finals on Tuesday at the Etihad Stadium.
Real Madrid have retained all their chances of qualifying in Madrid after the first leg of the anthology against Manchester City. And that, of course, is this season’s miracle worker due to its star striker, Karim Benzema. Manchester City led twice in this game by a two-goal margin, looking to consolidate their hold on a meeting in which they dominated on points. But Merengue, even on one knee, never gives up. Benzema revived him twice. “We didn’t give up,” tasted Benzema over Canal+’s microphone. “These are big teams, sometimes you have to be disappointed, we did it.”
“It is a defeat that leaves us alive to return to the Bernabeu,” Carlo Ancelotti remarked at a press conference. I think we are capable of causing problems for them upon return. I was initially disappointed, it True? First we lost a lot of doubles in this period, we conceded two goals whereas with a little application, we could have stopped them. But we reacted very well to keep our chances (…) Karim ( Benzema) played an extraordinary game but he does it all the time. He has the personality to take this kind of penalty, it was great to try at that time.”
Ancelotti: “We started the match very poorly”
Completely absent for the first 20 minutes, Real found themselves two goals behind after 12 minutes of play, a feat unheard of in their long history in the Champions League. If Real knew then to keep the ball a bit, Mahrez would have preferred to play an opportunity “in person” in the 25th, leaving Pep Guardiola furious on his bench, and Phil Foden, very close to making the break. The Algerian continued to torment Madrid’s defence, but he found the position (48th) and finished a slalom with a shot that was slightly over-crossed, so that the Blues would go to Madrid with little advantage.
Audacity smiled at Benzema, but not necessarily at Manchester City, who came out disappointed with a performance full of aggressive determination. “We started the match very poorly, we were too soft, admitted Carlo Ancelotti in a press conference. We conceded two goals and there the team showed what they have shown recently. We have done very well from there. Responded. We stayed in the game until the end, we fought, but the evaluation of the game is simple: we have to defend better. We were very good with the ball, we had chances, but in a game that ended with a goal Going to the second target, you have to defend better, that’s very important.”