Manchester City beat Real Madrid at home: four unanswered goals, pressure, total superiority in the Champions League semifinals. Carlo Ancelotti’s team could do nothing to counter Pep Guardiola’s powerful machine.
Madrid today sadly acknowledges the defeat and power of City, which Real Madrid could not resist, and Catalonia mocks its main rival. “Beating the wounded”, reads the Marca headline. “Until tears”, AS wrote on the cover, accompanying the headline with a photo of Karim Benzema wiping away his tears. At the same time, the Catalan Sport placed a photo of the happy City players on the front page and signed: City wiped the floor with Real Madrid.
📰 Brand: City crushed the champion
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City ousted the king of Europe by all standards: football quality, intensity, order and talent. Real Madrid could not compete with Guardiola’s team. Losing in midfield, where games and titles are usually decided, Real Madrid was left with four goals conceded, and this despite the fact that Courtois was able to reflect three more powerful blows from Haaland. Such was City’s world dominance that they didn’t even need the services of their top scorer. Rodri ruled, Grealish filled the space, De Bruyne invented and Bernardo Silva decided, it was a collective and undeniable triumph. Nothing came of it for Real: neither Ancelotti’s plan nor his most reliable players worked. Benzema, Modric, Valverde, Vinicius… Not a trace of a team that seemed to always know how to win. A tough defeat that forces the team to reconsider, from the bench to the big stars.
Main events of the match:
Real Madrid failed in the semifinal of the Champions League. City have just dishonored Ancelotti’s team
It has already been said more than once that this will be Manchester City’s year. They had a season full of epic, from signing a contract with Haaland to the comeback in the Premier League in the game against Arsenal and reaching the final, en route to the defeat of the European champion. Guardiola assumed that to win the Champions League he would have to overthrow the king. And he did it honestly, beating Real Madrid in all aspects. He will now travel to Istanbul as a favorite to open a new room in the stadium museum. City is a signature team that plays extraordinary, diverse, intense football that can win over anyone and adapt to the demands of each game. Money invested by the right people, the ones who understand football, leads to success. Although Guardiola has one more obstacle left, Inter, but he seems to be a small contender for this car.
📰 AS: The “Real” was a weakling who only Courtois saved
The city was better in every way. He made a full recovery after the first game, starting with Bernardo Silva and Grealish. Real Madrid constantly collided with De Bruyne. Real Madrid was a weakling that only the guardian angel Courtois saved from a major defeat.
Guardiola after this game should talk about his legacy, which has never been as crazy as this afternoon, when City reached the second Champions League final without even needing Haaland. In the previous one, two years ago, he did it in front of an empty and silent stadium due to the pandemic. This time his triumph was before the public. He did it by beating the lost Real Madrid who was in the Etihad. The white flag will fly at half mast for several days.
Ancelotti’s plan failed. Vinicius was in the shadow of Walker. Benzema played without inspiration and showed no participation. Rodrigo, Valverde, veterans, did not even resist defeat. Courtois is the only survivor of the accident because he was the only one trying to do something.”
Tactical analysis of the match:
Guardiola kept two of his promises against Real Madrid. His Manchester City is perfect
📰 Sport: “Bye-bye, Real!”
“Carlo Ancelotti’s team was already shipwrecked in the first half: Real Madrid was completely defenseless and couldn’t get back together after the break. All the Madrid players were well below their level. Where was Benzema? He just disappeared. The only one who was saved from burning was Courtois, although his saves this time could not save the team from a resounding descent.
Fate, although after many years of work, planning and effort (and, obviously, juicy financial investments), once again gave Guardiola the opportunity to be in the Champions League final. He hasn’t lifted the cup since 2011, when by far the best Barça of all time gave Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United a football bath at Wembley.
Why Guardiola called Xavi:
Guardiola called Xavi before the game with Real Madrid for a question. Details of the triumph of the City
Ten years ago, City weren’t even among the best teams in England, didn’t appear in any rankings, and now the club is on its way to its fifth Premier League win in the last six seasons and the Champions League trophy. And how they do it: with a unique, recognizable and high-quality football, where the ball and possession are important.
Madrid, on the other hand, ages at the same rate that Manchester City matures: now they are a great team, assembled at the stroke of a checkbook and carefully forged by Guardiola. City and Real have staged a changing of the guard in European football. Glory to the City, honor to Madrid.
In England, the mood is festive: headlines scream about City’s triumph: “Guardiola’s team masterclass,” “Blue murder,” “Silva gave Pep the Holy Grail.”
📰 Manchester Evening News: “The main stronghold of the city”
Forget Anfield and Old Trafford. Forget the Bernabéu and the Camp Nou. Ignore the San Siro, the PSG and Bayern ultras and the frenzy of Napoli. Is there anything more impressive than a match against Manchester City at the Etihad these days? Statistics show no.
Josep Guardiola’s team has played 26 Champions League games here without defeat, winning 24 of them. No other major European stadium can match this level of comfort for a home team. As Jack Grealish said after the draw: “At the Etihad, we feel unstoppable.” And they were.”
The defeat in the semifinals of the Champions League for Real Madrid is a trifle. It is a super club, the City is not it
📰 The Guardian: City’s best performance under Guardiola
“By the 70th minute, it was clear that Manchester City had to win and Real Madrid had to lose, and no change or tactic, no substitution could change that fact.
Real Madrid seems to understand it too. Ancelotti’s side may have only been losing 2-0, but the players were already bruised and scarred, scared and tired of finding themselves in dead ends where they always faced the blue jerseys. The fouls have become more deliberate and more desperate. Even the Spanish commentators at the back of the press box stopped shouting. On the biggest stage, in their favorite competition, the most dominant club in Champions League history was under excruciating stress and simply deflated. Only a flick of Thibaut Courtois’s fingers prevented the match from ending in complete humiliation, a score that would have become a Wikipedia page of its own.
It was probably City’s best performance under Pep Guardiola, a kind of footballing excellence, a museum piece. Not just a lesson, but an example of sport as a scorched earth strategy. After them nothing was left. The City fans deserve their unparalleled moment of triumph.”
Cover of The Guardian
📰 Independiente: “Silva’s goals gutted Real Madrid”
“There was a player whose goals were destined to make Manchester City champions of the Champions League. It was not Bernardo Silva. “Bernardo was never the top scorer,” Pep Guardiola shrugged in March after one of his favorite players scored at the Etihad for the first time since August. He sounded completely unconcerned. Silva, he said at the time, is “unique.” He was an aggressive pass rusher, a rhythmic passer, a guy who could speed up or slow down a game. The player he used as the unconventional left-back or “false nine” but who could always be relied on to make everyone else play better. But he didn’t score much. Then, after five goals in 51 games this season, two came in a quarter of an hour. against Real Madrid. In the semifinals of the Champions League. Only two, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski, have scored twice against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals. Silva gutted this “Real”.
The European champions were humiliated. The new European champions are about to be crowned.”
Column by Gregory Telingater on the power of the city:
A bag of money without history? City only have one game left to silence the haters