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UEFA Champions League

Man City to defend slim 1st leg win in crunchy Champions League tie with Real Madrid



Manchester City will attempt to reach a second successive Champions League final on Wednesday with the away leg of their semi-final against Real Madrid – after one of the best games in the tournament’s history in the first leg.

City, who lost 1-0 to Chelsea in last year’s final, hold a narrow advantage after a 4-3 victory at Etihad Stadium.

Real have been European champions 13 times and won La Liga at the weekend.

The winners will play Liverpool in the final in Paris on 28 May.

In an incredible first leg, goals from Kevin de Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus gave City, aiming to become European champions for the first time, a 2-0 lead after 11 minutes before Karim Benzema pulled one back after 33 minutes.

Phil Foden took City 3-1 ahead early in the second half only for Vinicius Jr to score two minutes later.


For a third time, City gained a two-goal advantage following Bernardo Silva’s goal before Benzema scored an audacious chipped ‘Panenka’ penalty late on to leave the tie well balanced.

“It was a lovely open game,” said City boss Pep Guardiola. “We were happy, it could have been better but also a lot worse.”

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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