Manchester City crush Real Madrid to book Champions League Final3 min read
Manchester City qualified for their second-ever Champions League final after thrashing Real Madrid 4-0 in the second leg of their semi-final on Wednesday.
Pep Guardiola’s men were dominant throughout at the Etihad Stadium and are deserving of their place in Istanbul, where they will take on Inter for a chance at a maiden European Cup. Los Blancos were utterly outplayed and offered very little away from their cozy Santiago Bernabeu home.
City started very brightly and went close to taking the lead with seven minutes on the clock. Kevin De Bruyne managed to slip through Erling Haaland, but the Norwegian was forced wide by Thibaut Courtois despite rounding the goalkeeper. The ball eventually came back to Rodri, who danced his way past a couple of trailing legs before dragging a shot narrowly past the post.
The Etihad thought their hosts had notched themselves in front soon after when Jack Grealish’s cross was headed down by Haaland and appeared destined for the net, only for the ball to ricochet back off Courtois’ hip and bounce clear.
Courtois again came to Real Madrid’s rescue with an even better save from another Haaland header, stretching his gangly frame to push the ball to safety.
But the pressure eventually told and City took the lead on 23 minutes. De Bruyne’s clever pass inside found the run of Bernardo Silva, who shimmied to the left before firing in high at the near post.
Real Madrid showed few signs of life but they managed to make home supporters a little nervous when Toni Kroos thundered a strike off the crossbar from nearly 30 yards.
City sought that warning and went back down the other end to add their second of the evening. Grealish worked his way in from the right flank and teed up Ilkay Gundogan. His shot was blocked by Eder Militao but the rebound was headed in by Silva.
A driven shot from Manuel Akanji was blocked off the line by David Alaba in first-half stoppage time as Real Madrid managed to just about get into the break only two goals down.
After the break, the visitors gradually and gingerly found their footing, though were still unable to make significant headway. Alaba forced Ederson into a save with a stunning free-kick from a similar distance which Kroos struck the upright.
Courtois popped up with another top stop to keep the score down late on. Gundogan’s back-heel was taken in stride by Haaland, whose low shot was turned onto the bar by the Real Madrid goalkeeper.
Man City found their third with 15 minutes left to play. De Bruyne’s free-kick was nodded on by Akanji and then deflected into the net by the hapless Militao.
With the pressure off, Real Madrid at last forged a meaningful opening when they caught Man City cold on a quick breakaway. Substitute Dani Ceballos managed to get a shot away from a tight angle but it was beaten back by Ederson.
City completed the rout when Julian Alvarez came off the bench and scored their fourth, calmly finding the bottom corner and cinching their Champions League final berth.