Citizens thrash Real Madrid to reach Champions League final in style


Manchester City defeated Real Madrid 4-0 in the second leg of their Champions League semifinal on Wednesday, advancing them to their second-ever finals.

The team led by Pep Guardiola dominated the entire match at the Etihad Stadium, earning them a spot in Istanbul where they will play Inter and try to win their first European Cup. When they were not in their comfortable Santiago Bernabeu home, Los Blancos were completely outplayed and provided virtually nothing.

City got out to a really strong start, and with seven minutes left, they nearly took the lead. Erling Haaland was forced wide by Thibaut Courtois despite Kevin De Bruyne’s ability to get past him and around the goalkeeper. When the ball ultimately returned to Rodri, he moved past a few trailing legs before dragging a shot just wide of the goal post.

Soon after, the Etihad believed their hosts had taken the lead when Haaland headed down a cross from Jack Grealish that appeared to be heading into the goal, only for the ball to ricochet off of Courtois’ hip and bounce clear.

Real Madrid was once more saved by Courtois, who stretched his lanky frame to push the ball to safety and made an even better save from another Haaland header.

However, the pressure paid off, and City took the lead after 23 minutes. Bernardo Silva was on the move when De Bruyne’s deft inside pass found him. Silva swerved to the left before shooting high at the near post.

When Toni Kroos thundered a shot off the crossbar from over 30 yards, Real Madrid managed to give the home crowd some cause for concern.

City went back down the other end to add their second of the evening after looking for that warning. Ilkay Gundogan was set up by Grealish, who entered from the right flank. Silva headed in the rebound after Eder Militao blocked his shot.

In the last seconds of the first half, David Alaba nearly prevented Real Madrid from falling behind by two goals when Manuel Akanji drove in a shot.

After the break, the guests cautiously and gradually regained their footing but failed to make any real progress. Alaba’s breathtaking free-kick from a comparable distance that Kroos hit the upright forced Ederson into a save.

Late in the game, Courtois made another outstanding save to keep the score low. Haaland took Gundogan’s backheel in stride, and the Real Madrid goalkeeper deflected his low shot onto the bar.

With fifteen minutes left to play, Man City added their third goal. Akanji nodded on De Bruyne’s free-kick, which Militao helplessly deflected into the goal.

Real Madrid finally created a significant opening as they caught Man City off guard on a swift breakaway with the pressure off. Dani Ceballos, a substitute, managed to get a shot off from a difficult angle, but Ederson blocked it.

After coming off the bench, Julian Alvarez scored City’s fourth goal, comfortably finding the bottom corner and securing their spot in the Champions League final. This sealed the onslaught for City.

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