Real Madrid 3-3 Manchester City: Six-goal thriller sets up enthralling Etihad second leg

Real Madrid and Manchester City played out a highly-entertaining, bums-off-seats, six-goal draw at the Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday. The Cityzens will now hope to recreate their semifinal heroics when they welcome Carlo Ancelotti’s side to Manchester, but los Blancos haven’t been eliminated from the quarter-final stage of a historical UEFA Champions League competition in two decades.

As it happened

Victorious in a staggering 10 successive UEFA Champions League matches, City flew out of the blocks at the Bernabéu, as directly from Aurélien Tchouaméni’s foul on Jack Grealish – meaning the Frenchman will miss the second leg – Bernando Silva sublimely struck the resulting free-kick past Andriy Lunin at his near post after only 109 seconds in the Spanish capital.

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Lunin somewhat redeemed himself not long after as he fended away Erling Haaland’s fierce strike to safety from the same position that he was beaten by Silva. Fortuitously, Real were back on level playing terms in the 12th minute, as Eduardo Camavinga’s ambitious effort from distance wrong-footed Stefan Ortega on its way into the back of the net – via a heavy deflection off the leg of Rúben Dias for an own goal.

Unbelievably, Carlo Ancelotti’s side turned the match on its head less than two minutes later, as Rodrygo slotted strike-partner Vinicius Junior’s defence-splitting pass beyond the onrushing Ortega – courtesy of a slight diversion off Manuel Akanji.

Amid a last-ditch defensive interception that undeniably denied Jack Grealish an equaliser for City, Federico Valverde and Vinicius both fired straight into the arms of Ortega as referee François Letexier blew his whistle for half-time to conclude an awe-inspiring end-to-end opening 45 minutes.

To start the second half, Vinicius fired inches over the top of the crossbar in the 56th minute when it appeared easier for the brilliant Brazilian baller to hit the back of the net – before Phil Foden fired a fearsome strike at Lunin. However, the Ukrainian keeper had no answer to City’s equaliser soon after.

Following his awe-inspiring Premier League hat-trick against Aston Villa a week ago – surely one of Gareth Southgate’s main midfield men at this year’s UEFA European Championships in Germany – let rip with a stunning shot from the fringes of the area that rocketed into the top corner of the net.

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Jaw-droppingly, Guardiola’s side seized back the lead five minutes later, as Toni Kroos’ uncustomarily reluctancy to close down Joško Gvardiol gave the Croatian defender the time and space to unleash an unstoppable strike past Lunin.

Not to be outdone, Valverde brought Madrid level in the 79th minute with an equally-delicious volley – courtesy of Vinicius’ expert pass – that had spotted the inconspicuous run of the box-to-box attacking midfielder.

Foden was forcibly leaving the pitch after Tchouaméni had accidentally left a boot print on the achilles of the England international, and neither side could ultimately muster a late match-winner in a stunning evening on the Spanish capital.

The lineups

RMA: Lunin; Carvajal, Tchouaméni, Rüdiger, Mendy; Kroos, Camavinga, Valverde; Bellingham, Vinicius, Rodrygo

MCI: Ortega; Stones, Gvardiol, Akanji, Dias; Rodri, Kovačić; Silva, Grealish, Foden; Haaland