Thrills in the top flight: Manchester City narrowly beat Real Madrid in a true goal festival. Nevertheless, there will be plenty of excitement in the second leg. 

Pure excitement: Manchester City won the semi-final first leg of the Champions League against Real Madrid in spectacular fashion. In an unbelievably intense match, the royals won 4:3 (2:1) against a Real Madrid that never gave up – and thus go into the semi-final second leg at the Santiago Bernabéu next Wednesday with a narrow lead.

While Kevin De Bruyne (2nd minute), Gabriel Jesus (11th), Phil Foden (53rd) and Bernardo Silva (74th) scored for the “Skyblues”, Real strikers Karim Benzema scored to make it 1:2 and 3:4 (33rd, 82nd via penalty) and Vinicius Junior scored to make it 2:3 (53rd).

How the game went

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola made one change from the round of 16 second leg: İlkay Gündoğan was only on the bench for the time being. Jesus took his place up front. Immediately after kick-off, the home team from Manchester set an example: With a lot of offensive drive, the English wanted to take the lead early – and they succeeded. De Bruyne scored with a flying header after a cross from Riyad Mahrez to make it 1:0 (2nd minute).

Only a few minutes later, the “Citizens” attacked via Foden and the left side. He passed to De Bruyne, who passed the ball to Jesus, who pushed the ball past Thibaut Courtois from close range (11th). Real defender David Alaba did not look good. Manchester City continued to dominate the game, but Foden missed more chances.

Karim Benzema scored to make it 1:2 in the meantime.

Benzema strikes ice-cold

City and Real played a strong game forward, with Guardiola’s team looking the better side. But Real Madrid did not give up and in the 33rd minute Carlo Ancelotti’s team won the ball in midfield and played it over to striker Benzema on the left, who made the most of the chance to make it 1-2. Real came back before the break, but were too unconcerned in front of goal.

The second half of the match started wildly. In the 53rd minute, Fernandinho started an attack on the right and crossed to Foden in the centre of the penalty area. The 21-year-old slotted home to make it 3-1. But just two minutes later, Vinicius Junior stormed in front of the goal on the left and casually slotted home to make it 2:3.

But it was City’s Silva who extended the gap to two goals again. He shot the ball dryly into the top left corner (74.). The final point?

No way. Real’s Benzema was to end the goal spectacle with a penalty in the style of Antonin Panenka (82nd) – and thus ensure great suspense before the second leg.