Real Madrid Stops Holders Man City To Reach The Semi-Final

On Wednesday, April 17, 2024, Andriy Lunin saved two penalties in the shoot-out as Real Madrid eliminated holders Manchester City to reach at the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the fourth season in succession.

Real Madrid proceeded with their journey for a fifteenth UEFA Champions League title after a sensational 4-3 penalty shoot-out win against Manchester City to book a fourth progressive semi-final debut.

City boss Pep Guardiola brought back three key players into the starting XI from last week’s 3-3 draw in the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in the form of goalkeeper Ederson, captain Kyle Walker and integral midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.

The arrival of Walker could have implied Carlo Ancelotti’s ploy of over-burdening players down the Real Madrid left in the first leg, including Rodrygo, but they couldn’t demonstrate as productive this time. But it was the Brazilian international who struck after a mindful opening from the two clubs.

The home side went close only seven minutes in the game, after going behind when Erling Haaland’s circling header smacked against the crossbar.

The defending champions increased the performance as they matched on with Jack Grealish twice testing Andriy Lunin either side of the Real Madrid No13 denying Phil Foden.

With Guardiola looking for an equalizer, he sent Jérémy Doku into the game with 18 minutes remaining. The Belgian international was vital to the balancer. When the precarious substitute’s cross was just to some extent cleared by Antonio Rüdiger, De Bruyne was close by to scoop the ball into the top of the net.

City could have sealed progress deep in normal time, but De Bruyne was unable to double his tally, curling a long-range effort narrowly over the bar before side-footing over from close range.

Both teams were unable to maintain the intensity of the first 90 minutes in extra time. City’s substitute Julián Álvarez was unable to beat Lunin at the goalkeeper’s near post deep into the additional half hour.

It was Lunin who ended up being the hero in the shoot-out, doing the needful to deny Mateo Kovačić and Bernardo Silva after Ederson had stopped Luka Modrić’s kick. The 14-time champions of this competition affirmed their spot in the last four on account of Antonio Rüdiger’s low penalty into the base corner.

Maybe they could win in typical time after De Bruyne’s balancer however they couldn’t summon a victor while on top. Rüdiger’s punishment demonstrated definitive and the destruction on the essence of Guardiola’s players toward the end recounted its own story.

“This Champions League Rule Should ‘Thrown Out’ Of The Competition”

Moving toward the spot-kick contest, perhaps victory looked less likely, as they’ve missed a few penalties this season. Now on they march – Lunin the hero.


This is what Manchester City’s manager said after the go game:

“I would have preferred to win but congratulations to Madrid. We did everything we could, we played exceptionally in all departments. Unfortunately we couldn’t win – that’s what it is.”

Rúben Dias, Man City defender:

“We dominated the whole game. The effort was there. We had our chances, it’s a difficult one to take. You always end up doing everything to try to avoid going to penalties, especially the way we were controlling the game.”

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid head coach:

“We defended really, really well tonight. This was about survival. Madrid is a club based on always fighting to stay in situations where there seems to be no way out – but we always find a way. By the time the penalty shoot-out came, we were totally convinced we’d go through.”

Nacho, Real Madrid captain:

“We suffered a lot tonight because City really put you under the cosh. But we are Real Madrid. We always, always fight until the very end. We aren’t used to suffering like that. But the only thing which mattered, all night, was making sure it was us in the semi-finals. We showed another side of ourselves; we showed we know how to defend deep and win.”

Andriy Lunin, Madrid goalkeeper:

“The most demanding experience you can go through is a Champions League match like this away to City. You know you’re going to have to suffer.”

Rodrygo’s strike was his fifth of this season’s Champions League – equalling his best tally in the competition and the third successive season in which he has reached that total.

The Real Madrid No11 has struck five times in his last five quarter-final outings in this tournament.

De Bruyne’s last 11 Champions League goals have all come in the knockout stages. This was the first penalty shoot-out at the quarter-final stage since 2004/05, when PSV triumphed 4-2 on spot kicks against Lyon in Eindhoven after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

Real Madrid have now progressed in each of their last 12 Champions League quarter-final ties. They are through to a record-extending 17th UEFA Champions League semi-final.

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