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Stars shine as Real Madrid, Manchester City play to classy draw

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Joe Prince-Wright, Nick Mendola and Andy Edwards preview the first leg of the Champions League semifinal between Real Madrid and Manchester City, as Pep Guardiola’s side looks for revenge.

Real Madrid and Manchester City played out a classy, entertaining 1-1 draw in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal at the Santiago Bernabeu.

[ STATS: Real Madrid vs Man City hub ]

A stunner from Vinicius Jr put reigning champs Real ahead after Manchester City had dominated the first half but the class of the Spanish giants shone through.

Then with Real dominating the start of the second half, Kevin de Bruyne smashed home a beauty of his own to equalize as City are now 21 games unbeaten in all competitions.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

The draw means this tie is perfectly poised for the second leg in Manchester next Wednesday, May 16.


City have the edge but Real prove their class

Manchester City will be very happy with a 1-1 draw away at Real Madrid in the first leg of their semifinal but Pep Guardiola will not be relaxing. Yes, City probably have the edge as the second leg is at home but Real Madrid’s forwards proved they will ruthlessly punish any kind of mistake next week in Manchester. The way Vinicius Jr hammered home after fine play from Modric and Camavinga proved Real’s class as City had dominated possession but the reigning European champs then strung three passes together and they had the ball in the back of the net. That is what they can do as Benzema, Vincius and Rodrygo all looked so sharp. Erling Haaland was shackled expertly by Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba but Rodri, Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan all oozed class as City were worthy of the draw which sets things up perfectly for the second leg. The clash of styles was so beautiful to watch as City can dominate the tempo of any game but Real’s attackers can strike in an instance. The respect levels on show between Pep and Ancelotti and the players at the full time whistle showed they enjoyed playing in this as much as we enjoyed watching it. Roll on the second leg.


Stars of the show; Real Madrid vs Manchester City player ratings

Kevin de Bruyne: Scored a beauty and kept popping up in dangerous areas.

Vinicius Jr: Smashed home the opener and his quick feet bamboozled City on multiple occasions. He is pretty much unplayable right now.

Antonio Rudiger: Did a great job to stop Haaland having any impact on the game. He and Alaba used all of their experience and dovetailed superbly.

Rodri: Mopped up things masterfully in midfield and won the ball back for KDB’s goal. Pushed the limits and probably should have been booked.

Eduardo Camavinga: Fantastic display out of position at left back. Set up Real’s goal and the 20 year old was so composed.

Real Madrid vs Manchester City live

Graphic via FotMob.com


What’s next?

Manchester City host Everton on Sunday, May 14. Real Madrid host Getafe on Saturday, May 13. They then meet in the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, May 16.


How to watch Real Madrid vs Manchester City live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 3pm ET, Tuesday (May 9)
Updates: Via scoreboard on NBCSports.com
How to watch: TUDN, Paramount+

FULL TIME: Real Madrid 1-1 Manchester City - A brilliant game as Vinicius Jr scored a beauty and so did Kevin de Bruyne. Both teams will be pretty happy with that and it sets things up perfectly for the second leg. Nice moment at the end as Walker and Vinicius Jr have a hug and a laugh. Lot of respect between these teams.

SAVE! Ederson pushes a shot from Tchouameni wide. Great hit from the substitute. Real pushing hard late on.

A few minutes plus stoppage time to go and if this ends 1-1 then it will be perfectly poised for the second leg in Manchester next week.

SAVE! Great stop by Ederson to deny Benzema at the back post after Kroos clipped in a lovely free kick. Benzema’s header across goal was a good one but Ederson pushes it away.

As good as the strike was from Vinicius Jr in the first half, it feels like Kevin de Bruyne’s was slightly better. Both were so pure. Actually, who cares!? They were both beauties.

GOALLL! Real Madrid 1-1 Manchester City - Kevin de Bruyne with a stunning strike to equalize. What a hit. Rodri did so well to win the ball back initially and Gundogan finds KDB to hammer it home.

Real Madrid have been brilliant in the second half. City have barely got going.

Real want a penalty kick as Benzema’s ball to Valverde bounces up and hits the arm of Jack Grealish but that is not a penalty. Trying telling Valverde though. He is not happy!

Couple of blocks shots from Real fly out for a corner as they look much more comfortable in the second half. City hanging in there.

BLOCK! Brilliant last-ditch block from David Alaba as Erling Haaland was played in. The Bernabeu applauds a great bit of defending from Alaba. Haaland is feeding off scraps up there.

SAVE! Thibaut Courtois with a fine save to deny Kevin de Bruyne, who was clean through. The flag went up for offside but it didn’t look like KDB was off. Big moment.

OVER! What a slick move from Real Madrid as they are so patient on the ball then Vincius and Benzema combine and the latter sees his shot deflect over the bar.

We are back underway for the second half and there are no changes from either team.

HALF TIME: Real Madrid 1-0 Manchester City - A stunner from Vinicius Jr is the difference at the break as City dominated possession but Real have looked dangerous on the counter. Lots of tough challenges flying in from Real and there are some great battles all over the pitch. What a first 45 that was.

Gundogan taken out by Toni Kroos and that was a high and not very handsome tackle from Kroos. He gets a yellow card but a little higher and he could have been in real trouble.

City are pushing hard to get an equalizer before half time as Gundogan puts in a dangerous ball to the back post but nobody is there to finish.

GOALLLL! Real Madrid 1-0 Manchester City - Brilliant play down the left from Modric and Camavinga, as the Frenchman surges forward and finds Vinicius Jr who hammers home. What a goal. Pure class from Real.

A cross is whipped in from the right and Benzema tries to control the ball but it bounces off his his arm as John Stones puts him under pressure. This is much better from Real Madrid.

BLOCK! What a block from Ruben Dias as Vinicius Jr gets the ball off Rodri and crosses for Benzema but Dias sticks out a leg to clear from 3 yards out with Benzema lurking behind him to tap in. Brilliant defending from Dias. After sitting so deep, that is the kind of chance Real were waiting for.

More possession for City as Haaland gets a header in which Courtois saves and Gundogan then fires a shot over. City have dominated possession but Real Madrid seem totally fine with it.

SAVE! Courtois again with a save down low as he denies Rodri’s shot from 25 yards out. City cranking through the gears as a few moments later Haaland has a shot on goal which Courtois saves easily.

SAVE! City’s good start continues and after good work from Bernardo Silva the ball finds Kevin de Bruyne who whips in a shot to the near post which Courtois saves well.

As expected, Rudiger is paying very close attention to Erling Haaland.

KICK OFF! We are underway in an absolutely huge game. City have started really well but Real have already shown they can be a threat on the counter as Vinicius almost found Benzema.

Remember how good the semifinal between these two teams was last season? Real won 6-5 on aggregate after an incredible late comeback in the second leg at the Bernabeu. City have Haaland this season but Real are the reigning champs and have dominated this competition.

The late evening sun is beating down on the Santiago Bernabeu and what a beautiful evening for a massive game in Madrid! The players are going through their final warm ups on the pitch and the fans are streaming in. This feels like the biggest game in world football this season. Real Madrid vs Man City. Carlo Ancelotti vs Pep Guardiola. Karim Benzema vs Ruben Dias. Luka Modric vs Kevin de Bruyne. Antonio Rudiger vs Erling Haaland. Need I say more!?


Key storylines & star players

Real can burn a defense in any number of ways, but all eyes will be on how the club fares without suspended Eder Militao. The brave defender and terrific ball mover’s absence is a big one.

Man City, of course, will look to in-form Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland, who are collecting goal contributions for fun in the Premier League and have terrific Champions League records. KDB has a goal and five assists in seven UCL matches this season, while Haaland has 12 goals and an assist in eight appearances.


Real Madrid team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Ferland Mendy (muscular), Eder Militao (suspension)

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Nathan Ake (thigh), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE)

Follow @NicholasMendola