HomeSports And EntertainmentCoaches Speak As Real Madrid Expel Man City In Tense Penalty Shoot-Out

Coaches Speak As Real Madrid Expel Man City In Tense Penalty Shoot-Out

City’s dream of a second successive Champions League crown was ended by Real Madrid, who secured a dramatic 4-3 penalty shoot-out win at the Etihad after the sides had drawn 1-1 in 120 minutes and 4-4 on aggregate in the quarter-final second leg.

Real struck first, with Rodrygo firing Carlo Ancelotti’s side into a 12th minute lead.

City though took the game to the 14-times European champions, seeing Erling Haaland hit the bar and carving out a plethora of chances.

City’s pressure finally told 14 minutes from time when Kevin De Bruyne smashed home from close range after Antonio Rudiger had failed to clear substitute Jeremy Doku’s cross.

That sent the tie into the drama of extra time and with no more goals forthcoming it set up the tension of a penalty shootout.

Though Luka Modric missed Real’s first spot kick, Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic were both unsuccessful from the spot with Antonio Rudiger converting Real’s final penalty to seal victory for the visitors and send Carlo Ancelotti’s men into the semi-finals.

It was the third season in a row that these two titans of European football had locked horns in the knockout stages of the continent’s premier tournament.

An expectant and vociferous Etihad full house of fans only added to the sense of occasion and expectation for a contest that would have graced the final at Wembley in six weeks’ time.

Guardiola summoned fresh blood with time running out bringing on Mateo Kovacic and John Stones and the Croatian so nearly made an instant impact only for Rudiger to make a crucial block as Kovacic prepared to press the trigger.

But after 120 minutes the sides could not be separated which led to the drama and tension of penalties.

Though Modric saw Real’s opening penalty saved by Ederson, both Bernardo and Mateo Kovacic also saw their spot kicks kept out.

With the score tied at 3-3 it all came down to Rudiger’s final spot kick and the defender converted to book Real’s ticket into the last four.

Antonio Rudiger’s coolly converted spot-kick in the penalty shootout at the end of this pulsating quarterfinal tie sealed a 4-3 win on penalties for Real after a 4-4 aggregate draw over the two games. City dominated both fixtures — emphatically so in the second leg — but Real are Real, the 14-time European Cup/Champions League winners, and they have a history of getting the job done. Even Guardiola’s treble winners couldn’t overcome them.

 

“We defended really, really well tonight,” Real coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “This was about survival. Madrid is a club based on always fighting to stay in situations where there seems to be no way out — but we always find a way.”

A year ago, City routed Real 4-0 in the semifinal second leg on their way to winning the Champions League for the first time against Inter Milan in Istanbul. Their victory and performance hinted a shift in the balance of power in Europe, of the old powerhouses being eclipsed by this team of talents built by the wealth and expertise of its Abu Dhabi owners. But while City have become the dominant force in England, ahead of the historically more successful Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, the Champions League is much more difficult terrain to conquer.

The City boss said Haaland, De Bruyne and Manuel Akanji were all substituted against Real Madrid because they “could not continue” and “asked to come out.”

“Now we rest and tomorrow [Thursday] we come back and on Friday we travel to London to play the game,” said Guardiola. “We will see how people will react and of course the recovery is easier when winning than losing, but it is the semifinal of the FA Cup and we will try to compete as much as possible.”

The loss put an end to City’s quest for a second treble in a row, but domestically Guardiola’s side leads the Premier League and can still win the FA Cup.

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