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Why Real Madrid are too good even for the Premier League’s best sides

Real Madrid dealt another blow to Premier League football on Wednesday, squeezing past reigning Champions League holders Manchester City on penalties.

After a 3-3 first-leg draw in Spain, the 14-time European champions shared the spoils with Pep Guardiola’s more heavily fancied side at the Etihad Stadium.

Despite taking an early lead in the shoot-out, Man City succumbed to pressure as Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic misfired from the spot, allowing the runaway La Liga leaders to reach the semi-finals.

Overcoming last season’s treble winners not only crashed the only remaining Premier League club out of the Champions League but also solidified Madid’s superb recent record in two-legged ties against English teams.

Since Carlo Ancelotti’s first managerial stint at the Santiago Bernabeu between 2013 and 2015, Los Blancos have faced Premier League adversaries in 12 knockout ties, and their record is fascinating.

Nine aggregate triumphs, including two wins against Liverpool in the final, have made the Spaniards a nightmare for Manchester United’s fiercest domestic rivals.

Chelsea and Man City are the only English sides that have dispatched the most decorated club in European football in that stretch.

Achieving that feat has proved a crucial milestone in securing continental supremacy.

Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side got better of Madrid in the 2020/21 semi-finals en route to their second Champions League triumph.

Man City’s maiden success at Europe’s top table last season required a 5-1 aggregate win against then-defending champions in the semis.

However, Ancelotti was again a thorn in Guardiola’s side, defying the odds and personnel shortcomings to end the Cityzens’ hopes of winning back-to-back trebles.

Jude Bellingham and his teammates will face Bayern Munich in their fourth consecutive appearance in the Champions League last four.

It will be a chance for Los Merengues to settle the account with Tuchel, the only manager alongside Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri and Guardiola to have ousted them from this stage in the past ten years.

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