Real Madrid, Kings of Europe- 13 times winner of the Champions League, were downed by the brilliance of 3 individuals from Manchester City (KDB- STERLING- GABRIEL JESUS).
This win by City at Santiago Bernabeu is probably their greatest achievement in European football & this win is their biggest win in their history.
Banter aside, this win is no joke, it is huge especially when City were back against the wall, a goal down & literally weren’t playing like they usually do.
Laporte’s injury in 33rd minute gave a blow to Mancity but Pep went in this game with a very pragmatic approach of a 4-4-1-1 formation.
City suffered at Anfield with this formation and got beat 3-1 but here the situation was different and the opposition’s style of play was different.
Real Madrid after their lead in the second half, were on top but the way Manchester City turned it around, it was absolutely brilliant.
Manchester City, now have a huge advantage in the second leg with 2 crucial away goals, this puts them firmly into the next round comfortably but it isn’t over yet.
You can never count Real Madrid out, they are the European Royalty but still.
Less pressure on Pep as Manchester City has the upper hand
To be honest, Pep Guardiola, outclassed Zinedine Zidane.
Pep didn’t go for his illustrious expansive style of football but went with a more pragmatic approach, it surprised Zidane.
Starting off from the formation, yes, even though City did play tiki-taka but it wasn’t their usual style that we regularly see.
It was more of a conservative yet effective possession football.
Playing Bernardo Silva up-top (for his technique of holding the ball & picking out cute passes) and a midfield of 4 was to contain the threat by Madrid & to not allow a counter, considering City’s vulnerability to counter-attacking & Madrid has some serious pace on wings.
Jesus on the left midfield always switched to the no.9 when in the box.
It was a very genius tactical set-up, a very good fluid formation.
This performance overall has taken some pressure off of Pep Guardiola because this is the trophy wanted by not only himself but also by Manchester City.
Their focus has turned solely to this trophy & with the ban and on-going stories, it is a huge lift for them, this win.
Manchester City at Santiago Bernabeu literally outfoxed Real Madrid, only 3 shots on target out of 9, by the home side.
Whereas Mancity had more possession (52%), more shots (16/8), and more passes (594).
Intelligent pressing was the key for both sides but City edged it..
Manchester City were the victim of their own doing, to be realistic, their over complication & over-efficiency of passing, costed them the goal. This isn’t the first time it caused them trouble & probably won’t be the last.
Madrid pressed them well and got their reward for the forced error, Madrid were gaining confidence because of their pressing & City wasn’t able to materialize anything until they got the chance and pounced on the error to take the lead via Isco in 60’, assisted by Vinicius Junior (who by the way was on fire).
Madrid for the brief period of 5-10 minutes looked really potent to score and came close but City regained composure and took control.
Manchester City didn’t give up & continued on, their driving force & talisman, Kevin De Bruyne stepped up big time & he as always pushed into the box to deliver a beautiful cross which was headed in brilliantly by Gabriel Jesus, credit to the lad for cleverly outclassing Ramos who misjudged the flight of the ball and Jesus sneakily from behind headed it in.
City got one back & they were in complete control.
Madrid literally were rocked & shocked, it became a matter of slipping up & that is what happened.
Real Madrid at home gifted the game to ManCity but it was the pressing by Manchester City that forced them into the error.
They contained Madrid brilliantly even after the score was 1-1.
Sterling was brought on for Silva and it was him who tricked Carvajal into a tackle for a penalty which was slotted home by De Bruyne in 83’.
ManCity from 1 down to almost conceding more were now leading the game with 2 away goals.
To pour salt onto the wounds, City were on it. They wanted more & kept pushing on, they pressed and forced Madrid back, caused them to panic and made Madrid lose the plot.
It was the press which led to a Madrid error, left Jesus on to an open goal but Ramos tripped him down to receive a straight red in the 86’.
One can say it was harsh, I believe there was very little contact & should have been a yellow but the referee had made up his mind.
Had it not been this late in the game, we would be looking at 3 goals for City or even more with the way things were unfolding. Only the FT whistle saved Madrid.
Pep Guardiola’s nemesis & friend is Jurgen Klopp, they both fight & enjoy their battles & learn from each other, last night’s game showed a glimpse of Guardiola picking up the pragmatism Klopp prefers.
And on top of that the pressing styles these two possess, whence going up against each other has helped them a lot, and we saw that last night.
Pep Guariola, is without a doubt, a master tactician and he showed his flexibility.
The first legs of Champions League hasn’t been good for the English sides but Manchester City maintained the English League’s stature & has made a huge statement.
Pep & his team showed the desire, fight, pragmatism & hunger to comeback & win.
They didn’t back down & forged ahead to secure a tremendous win, the biggest in their history.
Now, they need to get the job done at Etihad.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, have somewhat of a mountain to climb with the way things are going for them, they won’t have Ramos in the second leg & they lack the firepower which they used to have.
I don’t understand why wasn’t Bale started & why was the changes not made by Zidane in the game other than Bale coming on.
It’ll be really difficult to overturn the deficit away for Zidane’s men but Madrid can do it, if they play really well.
For Manchester City, it is theirs to lose. They should be confident and look to get the job done!