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Real Madrid 3-3 Manchester City: A dream Champions League clash exceeds expectations

The first leg only just ended minutes ago, yet next week’s UEFA Champions League second leg can’t come quickly enough after Manchester City and Real Madrid treated the football world to a breathless 3-3 draw in the Spanish capital on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Real Madrid vs Man City stats on FotMob.com ]

Three of the six goals were of the highest possible quality, as Phil Foden, Josko Gvardiol and Federico Valverde, in that order, stole the show with 13 minutes of golazos late in the second half. That, after Bernardo Silva, Eduardo Camavinga and Rodrygo scored to make it 2-1 in the game’s opening 14 minutes.

Notably absent from the long list of goalscorers…

Where art thou, Erling Haaland?

Prior to missing nearly two months with a foot injury between Dec. 6 and Jan. 31, Erling Haaland bagged 19 goals in 20 games (all competitions). Since returning, he has 11 goals in 15 appearances. If you account for his five goals against Luton Town in the FA Cup, however, it becomes 6 goals in 14 games — normal human numbers.

  • 6 goals scored against Everton (two), Brentford, Manchester United, Copenhagen and Crystal Palace
  • 0 goals scored in 447 minutes against Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle, Chelsea and, now, Real Madrid

What’s worse is the fact they won just one of the five “big” games (1W-4D-0L). Cause? Correlation? Probably a bit of both. From a Man City perspective, Phil Foden’s recent explosion has been a season-saving godsend for Pep Guardiola and Co.

Real Madrid vs Manchester City highlights, final score: 3-3

Goalscorers: Bernardo Silva (2'), Eduardo Camavinga (12'), Rodrygo (14'), Phil Foden (66'), Josko Gvardiol (71'), Federico Valverde (79')

79th minute - GOAL - Federico Valverde scores the best of the bunch to equalize

Take your pick: Valverde’s finish, or Vinicius’s pass (and vision) to set up it up?

71st minute - GOAL - Josko Gvardiol scores an even better strike from distance for 3-2

From out of absolutely nowhere, Gvardiol bags his first goal for Manchester City in true style.

66th minute - GOAL - Phil Foden continues his tear with another golazo

Is this Phil Foden’s team now? Asking for — uh — Pep Guardiola.

14th minute - GOAL - Rodrygo makes it two in two minutes for Real Madrid

Man City completely caught out at midfield, beaten by Vinicius Junior’s through ball, as Rodrygo races in behind Ruben Dias and pokes the ball past Stefan Ortega to erase their deficit and take the lead in the span of 1 minute, 54 seconds.

12th minute - GOAL - Eduardo Camavinga’s deflected shot wrong-foots Ortega for 1-1

Oh, what a wicked deflection can do to momentum in a game of football…

2nd minute - GOAL - Bernardo Silva sneaks a free kick in at the near post

A dream start for the defending European champions, as Andriy Lunin can’t stop Bernardo Silva’s early free kick. Real Madrid will have to throw caution to the wind for the next 88 minutes, and that could play into Man City’s hands as they focus more on managing the 180-minute tie from a position of power.


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

Kick off: 3pm ET, Tuesday (April 9)
How to watch: Paramount+ and TUDN USA


Real Madrid starting lineup

Lunin — Carvajal, Rudiger, Tchouameni, Mendy — Camavinga, Kroos, Valverde — Bellingham, Rodrygo, Vinicius

Manchester City starting lineup

Oretga — Dias, Gvardiol, Akanji — Stones, Rodri, Kovacic, Silva — Foden, Grealish, Haaland

Real Madrid team news, focus

Star defender David Alaba is out for the season with an ACL injury, while superstar goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has also been out for most of the season with an ACL. Real have an incredible defensive record even without that duo as the likes of Rudiger and Lunin have stood tall with Tchouameni playing extremely well out of position at center back. Camavinga is having a fine season in midfield and Valverde and Bellingham drive Real on from midfield into attack. Obviously Vinicius is the danger man and not having to face Kyle Walker in this game is a huge bonus for the Brazilian.

Manchester City team news, focus

Two key defensive injuries will hurt City as Walker’s pace has led to some great battles against Vinicius over the years and is a great equalizer and helps City recover quickly. Ake is missing too and Josko Gvardiol is a doubt, so Manuel Akanji could start at left back if Pep goes for a flat back four. In midfield Rodri and De Bruyne are definitely going to start, while Phil Foden has to too. Can City feed Erling Haaland often? And can he win the individual battle against Rudiger?