Man City send Real crashing out of UCL

UEFA Champions League

Manchester City secured a spot in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League after defeating Real Madrid 2-1 at the Etihad on Friday night.

Los Blancos skipper Sergio Ramos missed out through suspension with Eder Militao, Eden Hazard, Rodrygo and Toni Kroos returning, whereas Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan resumed duty for City.

The Citizens drew first blood inside nine minutes after sloppy defending from Raphael Varane allowed Gabriel Jesus to deliver a ball to Raheem Sterling to turn home.

After a slow start, Madrid clawed back two minutes to the half-hour mark after Karim Benzema managed to beat Fernandinho to Rodrygo’s cross before heading past Ederson Moraes.

Another possession turnover from the visitors by Casemiro were almost punished again this time by Joao Cancelo, but Los Blancos shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois parried nine minutes to the break.

Sterling was denied a brace after flashing into the side-netting from a tight angle two minutes from halftime following good work by Kevin De Bruyne.

Chances either end following the midway point saw Benzema hoofing into the stands before Sterling was unable to profit from Gundogan’s ball this time around at the other end.

Madrid looked to take the game by the horns inside the 61st minute when Rodrygo made way for Marco Asensio, while Bernardo Silva entered for the hosts later on.

However, Los Blancos still fell behind after another error from Varane played out Jesus who got the better of Courtois from a tight angle after intercepting a back-ward header seven minutes later.

Madrid pushed to draw level following the closing passages, but the Citizens became the first side to give Zinedine Zidane his first Champions League knockout exit as manager in the tournament.

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