Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus were on target with a 4-2 total win over Real Madrid as Manchester City held its composure to cement their spot in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Real had to attack twice in 90 minutes without consequence as Pep Guardiola’s team has the motive of achieving a 2-1 win at the Bernabeu in the first leg since February.
Their goal did not change when Sterling opened the scoring for City after just nine minutes, but for Zinedine Zidane-who watched Raphael Varane lose possession to the high-pressure Jesus who set the England international up for a simple finish-the goal would have had alarm bells ringing.
In the early exchanges, City’s pressure was relentless, but Real finally began to settle in the tie, and in the 28th minute they reduced the deficit from an excellent Rodrygo cross through a Karim Benzema header.
City had a week-long break than their English counterparts.
The game ebbed and flowed in a thrilling second half and it was City who caught Varane’s all-important third goal of the evening with the help of another miss. The former World Cup champion sold his header back to Thibaut Courtois low and Jesus pounced over the Real goalkeeper to lift it.
For City, it was a well deserved and convincing victory and the club has formed a quarter-final tie with Lyon. We would be heavy favorites to push on to the last four. In the meanwhile, Zidane-who struggled as a boss from his first Champions League departure-would be reflecting on a disjointed and uncharacteristically messy output.
Manchester City 2-1 (Agg 4-2) Real Madrid
Goals: Sterling 9, Gabriel Jesus 68 – Benzema 28.
Yellow Card: Modric 81.
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Fernandinho, Laporte, Cancelo, De Bruyne, Rodri (Otamendi 89), Gundogan, Sterling (Silva 81), Foden (Bernardo Silva 67), Gabriel Jesus.
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal (Vazquez 83), Varane, Militao, Mendy, Modric (Valverde 83), Casemiro, Kroos, Rodrygo (Asendio 61), Benzema, Hazard (Jovic 83).