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Dhaka Tribune

Real exact revenge on City to reach UCL semis

Real beat City 4-3 on penalties to reach the Champions League semi-finals Wednesday after the last-8 tie ended 4-4 on aggregate

Update : 18 Apr 2024, 04:20 AM

Real Madrid exacted revenge on Manchester City to reach the Champions League semi-finals 4-3 on penalties after withstanding a barrage at Etihad Wednesday.

Rodrygo Goes gave the visitors an early lead before Kevin De Bruyne hit back for the holders to leave the match level at 1-1 on the night and 4-4 on aggregate.

However, City's defence of the competition came to an end after Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic saw spot-kicks saved by Real's unlikely hero Andriy Lunin.

The Ukrainian, who has deputized this season for the injured Thibaut Courtois, had been at fault for City's early opener in a thrilling first leg but more than made amends.

City had not lost at home in the Champions League since 2018 but the holders were held at bay by a heroic defensive effort by the 14-time European champions despite having 34 attempts on goal.

Real were blown away by an early City blitz in a 4-0 defeat at Etihad 11 months ago as Pep Guardiola's men went on to win the competition for the first time.

City also edged a semi-final first leg thriller 4-3 on home soil two years ago only to be stunned by a late Real fightback in the return leg.

This time Carlo Ancelotti's men flipped the script with an assured start that was rewarded in the opening goal.

Jude Bellingham plucked the ball out of the sky with an immaculate touch to set Real roaming down the right.

Vinicius Junior picked out the unmarked Rodrygo and he tapped in the rebound after his first effort was parried by Brazilian international teammate Ederson Moraes.

If City were slow to warm to their task they quickly had Real penned against the ropes but failed to land a telling blow for 76 minutes.

Erling Haaland failed to score for a fourth consecutive clash between the sides but has rarely come up closer than when his looping header came back off the crossbar and left Bernardo no time to adjust to turn in the rebound.

Lunin was forced to turn behind De Bruyne's shot from outside the box and the tenacious Antonio Rudiger deflected Jack Grealish's effort into the side-netting.

The Real goalkeeper saved two more from Grealish at the start of the second half before Guardiola sacrificed the England international for the extra pace of Jeremy Doku.

That proved an inspired change as Rudiger failed to deal with a Doku cross and presented the ball perfectly for De Bruyne to smash into the roof of the net 14 minutes from time.

De Bruyne should have turned the tie around single-handedly as he then blazed a glorious chance over.

However, City's dominance of the ball and territory did serve to sap Real's energy as their lethal counter-attack was largely subdued after the first half.

Guardiola made another big call as Julian Alvarez replaced Haaland for extra-time.

But the Argentine was no more effective at picking holes in the mass ranks of Madrid defence as it was Real who had the best chance of the extra 30 minutes.

Rudiger sliced over with a clear sight of goal after staying forward from a rare Real corner.

But the German defender was still to have the decisive say as he slotted in the final penalty of the shootout.

RESULT

Man City 1 (De Bruyne 76) Real Madrid 1 (Rodrygo 12) - after extra-time

- 4-4 on aggregate; Real Madrid won 4-3 on penalties

SEMI-FINALS

Dortmund v PSG

Bayern v Real Madrid 

- 1st leg: April 30/May 1

- 2nd leg: May 7/8

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