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Real Madrid 1-1 Manchester City: All square at Santiago Bernabeu as both sides share the spoils

Real Madrid 1-1 Manchester City: All square at Santiago Bernabeu as both sides share the spoils

Real Madrid and Manchester City played out a thrilling 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie at Santiago Bernabeu this evening. 

Both sides scored on either side of the half-time interval, forcing a share of the spoils, which sets the tone for a tantalising reverse fixture at the Etihad Stadium next week.

Pep Guardiola’s side wasted no time getting into their rhythm from the first whistle with front-foot football that saw the reigning champions pinned in their own half. 

Kevin De Bruyne was first to test Thibaut Courtois with an effort that stung the goalkeeper’s palm before Rodri unleashed a ferocious effort that was well saved.

Erling Braut Haaland was next to try his luck with two quick-fire efforts, but Courtois stood tall to deny the Norwegian a chance to extend his lead in the goalscoring chart.

Madrid set up to counter the Cityzens when the chance presented itself but were nearly handed a lead against the run of play from a Rodri mistake.

The Spaniard’s lazy pass was pounced upon by Vinicius Junior, who sought out striking partner Karim Benzema, but the Frenchman was denied a clear-cut opportunity by a last-ditch defending from Ruben Dias.

Despite surrendering control to Guardiola’s possession-hungry Cityzens, Madrid broke the deadlock in the 36th minute when Vinicius unleashed a thunderous effort from 25 yards which Ederson had no answer to.

However, Guardiola would have been pleased with his side’s first-half performance, which was undone by a moment of individual brilliance.

Whatever he said to his side at the half-time interval almost bore immediate fruit after the restart when De Bruyne ghosted in behind, only to see his effort repelled by Courtois. 

However, the Belgian would not be denied at the third time asking as he unleashed a rocket that flew past his compatriot in the Madrid goal to level matters in the 67th minute.

That equaliser seemed to shock the reigning champions back into life, and Carlo Ancelotti’s side poured forward, looking to restore their earlier advantage.

Benzema, who endured a relatively quiet game, came close to edging Los Blancos back ahead, but his close-range headed effort was parried away by Ederson.

Aurelien Tchouameni then unleashed an absolute rocket late on, but Ederson was on hand to beat it away with a desperate dive, and neither side could muster a winning goal.

Both teams will renew hostilities in Manchester for the decider, and each side will fancy their chances with the fate of the tie still hanging in the balance.

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