Tuesday’s Champions League first leg (4-3) between Manchester City and Real Madrid produced an extraordinary performance that has already ranked the meeting among the best of the season. Take a look at five highlights from this 2021-2022 season.
Manchester City – Real Madrid, Half First Leg Champions League (4-3)
The spectacle was worth watching at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday during the first leg of the Champions League semi-final between Manchester City and Real Madrid. Pep Guardiola’s team won (4–3), dominating proceedings on aggregate, but Carlo Ancelotti’s player survived for qualification, thanks to another double from Karim Benzema.
Seven goals have been scored during the semi-finals for the third time in the history of the competition. If the abolition of the away goal rule has undoubtedly contributed to this avalanche of goals, it is also necessary to underline the intentions of Pep Guardiola’s men once again. The Citizens took only 93 seconds to open the scoring after a breakthrough from Riyad Mahrez, who found a header from Kevin de Bruyne on his cross. Gabriel Jesus signed the second achievement of the evening after a defensive error by David Alaba (11th).
Manchester City scored a total of 16 goals and could have scored more, such as the failures of Riyad Mahrez (23rd, 46th), the first of which angered their coach. In contrast, Karim Benzema only needed half a chance. With a volley on a cross from Ferland Mendy, the French striker reduced the score (33rd). He was again from the penalty spot with Panenka (83rd), who kept his team alive before the return half. Phil Foden (53rd), Vinicius Jr. (55th) and Bernardo Silva (73rd) also took part in the historic attack celebration.
Real Madrid – Chelsea, quarter return Champions League (2-3)
Thanks to a hat-trick from winner Karim Benzema at Stamford Bridge (3-1), Real Madrid marched with confidence to return to the Champions League quarter-finals against Chelsea. The defending champion, the Blues, however, nearly reversed the trend, who quickly regained hope thanks to Mason Mount (14th).
At a corner, Antonio Rudiger scored a 2–0 goal (51st), temporarily bringing Chelsea back into parity in a double clash. Real Madrid then trembled from the advantage given by Marcos Alonso (63rd), who sucked up Dani Carvajal before finding the opposite corner. If the goal was denied for handball, Timo Werner had fun scoring the third goal of the game, this time in the Madrid defense (74th).
Carlo Ancelotti managed a winning coaching run with Rodrigo (79th) falling short of the score, receiving a miracle from outside Luka Modric. In extra time, it was Karim Benzema who played the savior once again, cruising Chelsea with a header (96th) from a cross from Vinicius Jr.
Real Madrid – PSG, 8th return Champions League (3-1)
Launched to race the Ballon d’Or this season, Karim Benzema distinguished himself with another top-class performance in the previous round against PSG. Despite the advantage gained by PSG in the first leg (1–0) and the first hour of play for the Parisians on the return, “KB9” emerged to score a hat-trick and qualify his team.
After pressing Gianluigi Donnarumma (61st), Karim Benzema, answering Kylian Mbappe, concluded in foxing surfaces to equalize at the Santiago Bernabeu. On his cloud, Karim Benzema drove point home (76th, 78th) in the span of a few seconds, reaffirming that he is wearing the Real Madrid team this season.
If this round of 16 comebacks didn’t mark spirits beyond measure by the game proposed by both teams, the scenario was insane with an incredible reversal of the situation. In the space of a few minutes, the face of the two formations had changed, for PSG’s new pathetic elimination in Europe.
Manchester City-Liverpool, Premier League (2-2)
Manchester City and Liverpool have already faced each other three times this season, ahead of a possible Champions League final where they could meet again. Both clubs are already engaged in a ruthless duel for the Premier League title. Only the Reds have won the FA Cup in a straight clash (3–2).
Both clubs failed to make a decision twice (2–2) in the league. But the match on 10 April delivered an incredible duel, allowing Manchester City to maintain a one-point lead over Liverpool in the standings. The intensity was extraordinary and the draw said nothing of the spectacle it had to offer.
Kevin De Bruyne, one of the craftsmen of the Skyblues machine, found the opening (5th) after the first sequence in favor of his team. Diogo Jota (13th) hurried to level, but on the contrary, Joo Cancello was irresistible. The Portuguese served as center Gabriel Jesus, who only had to convert for a 2–1 goal (37th). As the resumption resumed, the Mohamed Salah-Sadio Mane pair stood outside (46th) to give Liverpool a precious point, which contributed greatly to Liverpool’s appearance in the FA Cup final a few days later.
Spain – France Nations League (1-2)
In the wake of a surprise semi-final against Belgium (3-2), France won the Nations League last October against Spain (2-1). If the game against the Red Devils clearly deserves a very honorable mention, the Blues of Didier Deschamps even managed to make their way up to La Rosa to grab a title.
With Real Madrid and France team jerseys, Karim Benzema is a man of major events. Hard to forget his surprise curling shot at the entrance of the penalty area (65th), practically impossible to capture for Unai Simone, one of the most beautiful goals of the season, and valued by all. Is.
Denied the ball against the selection of Luis Enrique, the French team relied on their other great striker, Kylian Mbappe, to take the advantage (80th). After a failed Euro, with an elimination in the Round of 16 against Switzerland (2–1), the French team turned the page by receiving a new trophy almost a year before the World Cup in Qatar.