Champions League round of 16
Manchester City comes from behind to overturn a complicated situation and leaves the Spanish capital with precious 2-1 victory against Real Madrid.
De Bruyne was the best player for City as the Belgian delivered the equalizer to Gabriel Jesus and then converted a winning penalty with less than 10 minutes. Real Madrid finished the game down to 10 as captain Sergio Ramos sacrificed himself for the team to prevent City from scoring a third goal.
The game was scoreless at the break with several chances for each team. Isco gave the lead to Real Madrid at the 60′. The Whites kept putting pressure on the Mancunians with a couple chances to go 2-0 up. City did not let that happen and found resources to score to late goals in the last 15 minutes. They are now in a strong position to advance onto the quarterfinal stage of the competition.
Coach Guardiola hails his team’s fighting spirit:
I’m happy for the victory – but the performance as well to try to play against this team with a good personality. After scoring we found our rhythm and we scored the second.Today we are happy but it’s still not over. For our people hopefully we can do a good performance.
“This club has only been to semi-final. To win at the Bernabeu is brilliant and we hope it will help us in the future to believe in ourselves.”
The Spanish manager made some strong choices, starting Gabriel Jesus instead of Aguero who was on the bench. It eventually paid off:
“There is not in the world one striker to have the intensity like Gabriel. He is so fast and so good – we decide to play without a proper striker because of the way they defend,” added City coach.
Pressure on Real Madrid and Zidane
Real Madrid is in a midst of a crucial stretch in its season. Not only Zidane and his squad will need to win and score at least two goals in Manchester but also the El Clasico is coming up on Sunday against Barcelona. Another loss could largely jeopardize any La Liga title chances and Zidane’s tenure as head coach.
“With the game we played, and the good football, it is tough to lose like this again. We are all upset because we played well until the final ten minutes then it all changed. The errors hurt because we deserved more. Against a rival like this we need to concentrate until the end. Before the final ten minutes we did what we could to win and played well.
“There were two good teams out there. It was a a good game. We had chances and so did they thanks to our mistakes. We scored in our worst moment of play as they had started the second half strong. After the goal we did well, but the ten or twelve minutes at the end were bad from us. They could have had a third. The last minutes were tough for us. We lacked concentration”.
on El Clásico
“Sunday’s is an amazing match and we’ve now got to rest up well and put in a great performance on Sunday. I hope that the fans come and help the team to get over this. We give our all out there, but we’re on a bad run and we’ve got to get through this however we can. Sunday’s game gives us a chance to alter this run of form”.