Karim Benzema was Real Madrid’s hero for the night.
Kevin de Bruyne opened the scoring for the hosts in the second minute. The Belgian scored a diving header off a perfect cross by Riyad Mahrez down the right. Manchester City doubled their advantage through Gabriel Jesus in minute 11. The Brazilian showed strength to destabilize David Alaba at the back to receive a low-lying cross as he buried one past Thibaut Courtois.
Karim Benzema pulled one back for Real Madrid just after half-an-hour. The French international guided in a cross from Ferland Mendy past Ederson Moraes.
Continuing the onslaught, Phil Foden scored a glancing header in the 53rd minute as he latched onto a perfect cross from Fernandinho. Minutes later, Vinicius Jr. scored a brilliant goal as he blazed past Fernandinho on the wings before coolly slotting one past Ederson.
Bernardo Silva grabbed City’s fourth of the night at the 74-minute mark. The Portuguese international smashed one in as Real Madrid dozed off for a second.
Benzema scored the final goal of the game in the 82nd minute for Los Blancos from the penalty spot. Aymeric Laporte was penalized for a handball and the Frenchman cheekily scooped one in to keep the tie alive.
On that note, here’s a look at the five biggest talking points from the game:
#5 Terrible defending by Real Madrid
Kevin de Bruyne goes up against Eder Militao.
Real Madrid were horrible at the back against Manchester City. They made a truck load of amateurish mistakes in defense. David Alaba was at fault for Jesus’ goal as he lost control of the incoming pass and allowed the Brazilian to have a clear go at the goal.
Eder Militao, on the other hand, had a disastrous game as well. The Brazilian committed himself on numerous occasions and failed to win the ball, leaving the back-line highly exposed. He looked nervy with his distribution and was haphazardous with his positioning throughout the game.
Ferland Mendy too looked sluggish as he allowed Mahrez too much room on the flank.
#4 Manchester City were relentless upfront
Kevin de Bruyne rejoices after scoring a goal.
Manchester City kept churning chances after chances, giving Real Madrid defenders no time to settle. The likes of Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden, Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva played crucial roles in keeping the Madrid back-line gasping for breath.
They attacked through all channels and explored all the possibilties. Their visionary passing to break the lines, their pin-point crosses from the wings, their close control to keep the ball rolling and quick transitionary plays set Real Madrid aback.
#3 Manchester City will rue missed chances
Bernardo Silva in action against Real Madrid .
Manchester City scored four and could have had four more had they been more clinical in front of goal. Riyad Mahrez in particular should have scored at least once against Real Madrid. The Algerian hit the woodwork once and came close to beating Thibaut Courtois on numerous occasions, but just could not put it in the back of the net.
Phil Foden too had a golden chance to bury in a rebound but saw his attempt cleared off the line by Dani Carvajal.
The Cityzens will feel that they should have buried the game and will be hoping that it does not come back to haunt them at the Santiago Bernabeu.
#2 Real Madrid show character to keep coming back
Vinicius Jr was immense against Manchester City.
Manchester City were all over Real Madrid in the opening half. The Cityzens were leading 2-0 and had everything under control. But against the tide of the game, Karim Benzema pulled one back. The same story was repeated in the second half.
After Phil Foden’s goal, Vinicius scored one to keep them in the tie. Bernardo Silva’s goal too saw Real Madrid respond through Benzema’s spot kick.
Real Madrid, despite Manchester City’s prowess, kept hanging on. They showed an elite mentality to stay in the tie. They did it against PSG and Chelsea and will be hoping to do it against Manchester City in the return leg on May 4 as the tie is still wide open.
#1 Karim Benzema with a heroic performance yet again
Karim Benzema was fantastic against Manchester City.
Karim Benzema scored a brace against Manchester City to allow Real Madrid a chance in the return leg. The French international scored his first out of nowhere. Benzema had the deftest of touches as he guided in a cross from Ferland Mendy. into the back of the net.
For his second, he scored a Panenka from the spot. Benzema, despite missing two penalties in the previous game against Osasuna, had the nerves to beat Ederson with a cheeky penalty.
Playing his 600th game for Real Madrid, he registered his 41st goal of the season. His tally in the Champions league stands at 14 goals for the season. He will surely be hoping to score at the Santiago Bernabeu as well.