In the first half the advantage for Ancelotti, in the second half the answer for Guardiola: return to Manchester in a week
May 9 – Madrid
Appointment in Manchester next Tuesday. The replica of the incredible semi-final that finished 6-5 a year ago for Madrid starts with a 1-1 draw thanks to goals from Vinicius and De Bruyne. The first between Pep and Carlo. Madrid scored when City were better, the sides turned around in the second half and the English leveled when they were suffering. Compared to a year ago there is another big difference: the venue for the return match.
Ancelotti said yesterday that he wanted to go to Manchester with an advantage, even a moral one, a feeling of superiority that might not even be represented by the result. He can see the glass as half full: why Madrid started defending well and then took charge of the match with authority, why they will have Militao at the Etihad, why Haaland did nothing in his debut at the Bernabeu, why his players lined up yesterday they have won 29 Champions Leagues and Guardiola’s 11 zero, and the experience in these magical European evenings weighs like a boulder. The challenge between the two coaches with the most semifinals of all, Pep 10 and Carlo 9, is very open but Real comes out better from the Bernabeu.
Mandatory, and therefore those foreseen. Ancelotti does not have Militao disqualified, and so Rudiger paired with Alaba with Camavinga fixed on the left. Kroos to pivot between Valverde and Modric, the Brazilian kids on either side of the mother hen Benzema. Guardiola does not recover Aké: Walker on the right in Vinicius’ area with Ruben Dias and Akanji. Stones advanced to Rodri’s line, the line four with Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne, Gundogan and Grealish behind Haaland.
The start is red and black, like the colors of the strange shirt worn by City today. Possession to the bitter end, many passes and five shots in the mirror in a quarter of an hour by City, the best shots from distance by De Bruyne and Rodri, rejected for a corner by Courtois, careful and long.
E GOAL DEL MADRID
The Bernabeu crowd booed the English bull, worried and irritated, Madrid waited with that typical calm of Ancelotti. And at Rodri’s first mistake, a danger is immediately created by Vinicius. City got scared. Ancelotti pushed Valverde back and Modric advanced and in the 36th minute the blancos passed: exceptional ride by Camavinga, one-two with Modric and unloading on Vinicius who slipped into central position: big right foot, Ederson beaten and Vinicius’ first goal from outside the area in the Champions League , on his 15th European goal.
SIX FOULS, NO YELLOW
City seemed in shock, and did not appreciate the laxity of the Portuguese referee Artur Dias, who allowed Carvajal to make 6 fouls on Grealish without remedying the yellow card, which could also have been for Rudiger and which he saw at the end of the first Kroos time for a very tough entry on compatriot Gundogan.
SINKING AND ASCENDING
City felt the pinch. After the break he tried to play in a more direct way but the results were relative, and the worries behind continued. Alaba was perfect closing on Haaland, but the home side piled up corners in series and kept their opponents fearful in their own box. But as in the first half, the team in difficulty found the goal: with Vinicius and Madrid engaged in protesting for an alleged foul from the side that was not allowed (there was none) City sank, Gundogan served De Bruyne and the Belgian from 18 meters burned Courtois with a bestial right fielder. Ancelotti protested and was booked.
Guardiola didn’t make a single substitution, Ancelotti put in Asensio, Tchouameni and Nacho and the Frenchman in the 90th minute with a right foot from 25 meters forced Ederson to make the best save of the evening. Madrid went to Manchester happy and with some regrets for not having fully taken advantage of the dry night at Robocop Haaland, City returned home full of thoughts.
May 9, 2023 (change May 9, 2023 | 23:05)
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