Raheem Sterling’s 100th goal for the club helped Manchester City to tee up a quarter-final against Lyon.
Manchester City booked a UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Lyon thanks to a 2-1 home win against Real Madrid which wrapped up a 4-2 aggregate victory against the Spanish champions.
Match in brief
City wasted little time exerting their high press, with Gabriel Jesus dispossessing Raphaël Varane close to his own goal line before squaring for Raheem Sterling to turn in for the ninth-minute opener.
Karim Benzema drifted into the penalty box unnoticed just before the half-hour to meet Rodrygo’s cross with a smart downward header that levelled the scores on the night. Further chances came and went for both teams, but City’s slender advantage became an unassailable one when Jesus latched on to Varane’s misjudged header back to Thibaut Courtois to score from a tight angle.
Man of the match: Kyle Walker (Man. City)
Phil Neville, UEFA technical observer: “Aggressive in his defending, really positive in possession and had good quality on the ball.”
Simon Hart, Manchester City reporter
City have suffered for defensive mistakes in Europe but here they were the ones to punish the opposition, pressing high and making the most of the visitors’ lapses. In Sergio Agüero’s absence, Jesus was the hero as at the Bernabéu, underling his growing assurance by teeing up Sterling and then doing it all on his own by chasing a lost cause for the winner.
True, there was a free header for Benzema but this was a night of positives: City were the sharper side, they controlled the second half, and the scalp of Madrid – their biggest in this competition – should instil real hope for Lisbon..
Graham Hunter, Real Madrid reporter
There’s one thing to begin with: Madrid have been beaten by the better side across two matches and, if everyone at the Spanish champions were honest with themselves, they’d accept that the margin of defeat could actually have been a little greater based on the chances which Los Blancos conceded. They competed, they created chances, they showed their pedigree – in patches. But, overall, Madrid are sufficiently wise, and sporting, to know they were second best.
Raheem Sterling, Man. City forward: “I thought we were brilliant. Part of the plan was to be on the front foot – aggression and be right on them and we did that and with our pressing we got two goals from it.”
Zinédine Zidane, Real Madrid coach: “Our overall season deserves very high marks. Okay, it’s a bad note on which to finish our season but we just have to accept the defeat. We lost home and away and congratulate City.”
▪ Sterling’s goal was his 100th in all competitions for City.
▪ Sterling is the sixth English player to score 20 UEFA Champions League goals.
▪ This will be Josep Guardiola’s tenth Champions League quarter-final as a coach.
▪ Benzema is now alone in fourth in the all-time Champions League scoring charts on 65 goals.
▪ This was Benzema’s first knockout goal since the 2018 final.
▪ Zinédine Zidane has suffered elimination from a Champions League knockout tie as a coach for the first time, having been victorious in the previous 12 including the 2016, 2017 and 2018 finals.
Man. City: Ederson; Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, João Cancelo; De Bruyne, Rodri (Otamendi 89), Gündoğan; Sterling (David Silva 81), Foden (Bernardo 67), Jesus
Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal (Lucas Vázquez 83), Éder Militão, Varane, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modrić (Valverde 83); Rodrygo (Asensio 61), Benzema, Hazard (Jović 83)
City and Lyon meet at the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon. Their single-leg quarter-final is scheduled for 21:00 CET on Saturday 15 August.
This article was previously published on UEFA