Monday, June 17, 2024

Manchester City 4-0 Real Madrid (Man City win 5-1 agg): What Did We Learn As City Breeze Their Way To A Champions League Final Showdown Against Inter Milan?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 17 May 2023

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With all eyes falling on the Etihad on Wednesday night, Manchester City breezed their way to the 2023 Champions League final as they claimed a famous second-leg 4-0 romp against Real Madrid.

Despite being forced to settle for a first-leg stalemate as they traveled out to the Spanish capital last week, Pep Guardiola’s side laid down yet another European marker as they stormed past a Los Blancos squad that failed to find any stability on their big night.

With Bernardo Silva handing the Premier League giants a deserved 2-0 lead when heading into the half-time break, City certainly didn’t look back as they reached just their second Champions League final.

With Eder Militao turning into his own net 14 minutes before Julian Alvarez put the cherry on top of a famous City display, all of Guardiola’s attention will now turn to a history-making meeting against Italian icons Inter Milan on June 10th.

Looking to become the first English club since 1999 to be crowned both domestic and European champions, the Sky Blues also picked up some perfect revenge against the now-former Champions League winners.

Now just 90 minutes away from getting their hands on a maiden piece of European silverware, what did we learn from Wednesday’s blockbuster second-leg showdown at the Etihad?

City and Guardiola are dancing their way to the history books

While Manchester City might find themselves just one more win away from defending their Premier League crown this season, Guardiola has made it clear that European success is at the top of his agenda in 2023.

Suffering Champions League final heartbreak at the hands of fellow Premier League outfit Chelsea back in May 2021, the former Bayern Munich boss is desperate for his side to make major history this time around.

Eventually breezing past Madrid on Wednesday night and laying down yet another Champions League marker, the Sky Blues are unbeaten in each of their last 23 straight appearances across all competitions – a run that stems all the way back to February 5th.

Certainly at their clinical best here and with a showdown against Inter Milan now penciled in their calendar, Guardiola himself is also looking to end his own European drought in Istanbul.

Along with still looking to hand City a maiden European trophy, Guardiola is also waiting to lift the Champions League title for the first time since his glittering tenure at Barcelona over a decade ago.

Now firmly tipped as a landslide favourite when they travel out to Turkey next month, City’s destiny firmly remains in their own hands over the final few weeks.

Revenge and not repeat for a downbeat Los Blancos

Handing Manchester City some infamous Champions League heartbreak last season, Real Madrid certainly traveled to the Etihad on Wednesday night looking for a repeat performance on foreign soil.

However, forced to watching Barcelona snatch away their La Liga crown last weekend, Carlo Ancelotti’s men could take some time to recover from a nightmare display in Manchester here.

Despite clinching a 1-1 first-leg stalemate in the Spanish capital last week, Madrid failed to find any kind of rhythm in midweek and there is no doubt that the now-former European champions face a huge amount of scrutiny when they return home.

Although Ancelotti’s men might have come past fellow Premier League giants Liverpool and Chelsea on route to their heavyweight semi-final showdown, the one-time Everton boss will also know that his tenure at the Bernabeu could be drawing to a close.

With only a Copa del Rey trophy to show for their troubles this season, Los Blancos will look back on the 2022/23 campaign as a disappointing run across the board.

Blown out of the water at the Etihad and clinging on for large spells, it appears that Madrid faces what could be a crucial summer behind the scenes.

Silva shows why he is still a key part of City’s squad

While it might have been the record-breaking Erling Haaland who has stolen most of Manchester City’s headlines this season, it was one of Guardiola’s midfield superstars that took center stage on Wednesday night.

Although it might have once again been suggested that the ex-Benfica starlet could be heading for the Etihad exit this summer amidst reported interest from the likes of PSG, Silva certainly wrote himself in the City history books here.

Producing a pair of clinical first-half finishes and handing Guardiola’s side a deserved 2-0 lead when heading into the half-time break, the 28-year-old caused Los Blancos a string of issues across both legs.

Despite sometimes being forced to sit out while on Premier League duties this season, the Portuguese playmaker has undeniably saved his best performances for the Champions League stage.

With all eyes now fixed on their heavyweight showdown against a high-flying Inter Milan on June 10th in Istanbul, it appears that Silva will have a crucial role to play in City’s bid to claim a maiden European crown.

Match Report

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Akanji, Stones, Rodri, Silva, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Grealish, Haaland

Subs: Mahrez, Foden, Alvarez

Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Camavinga, Modric, Kroos, Valverde, Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius Junior

Subs: Lucas, Cabeallos, Asensio, Rudiger, Tchouameni

Goals: Silva (23’, 37’), Militao OG (76’), Alvarez (90+1’)

Yellow Cards: Manchester City: Dias, Gundogan, Grealish – Real Madrid: Carvajal, Camavinga

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Szymon Marciniak


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan



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