It was the match not to be missed, even the match of the year! This Tuesday, April 26, the 55,000 spectators of the Etihad stadium in Manchester had to be filled: the eleven of Pep Guardiola finally won the semi-final go to Real de Madrid (4-3), after a match with multiple twists and turns. The Citizens have mastered Madrid who, despite their good performance, failed to find the fault in a very solid English block. A very small goal separates the two teams before the return match, but let's be sure, this will not discourage the Spanish, already authors of several ''Repair'' In C1, this 2021/2022 season, already rich in promises: amateurs, the bets are open!
At the end of the match broadcast on RMC Sport, an English journalist asked Pep Guardiola If he had appreciated the meeting ... The response of the Catalan tactician, amused, was clear: '' No one in the world may not have enjoyed this match ... ''. And the statistics prove it: with 16 shots, including 6 framed and a possession of the ball around 60%, the English were able to master their subject. Evolving in a classic 4-3-3 training and composed of the best players of the moment, the Citizens team delighted all modern football enthusiasts by offering a touch of ball, magnificent technical gestures and above all a combative spirit Until the final whistle. At the sight of their workforce, we immediately understand why City could make the difference this year and, why not, win the first star in the history of the club, famous distinction attributed to the winners of the Champions League.
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At first glance, the defense would seem to be their Achilles heel. Not really ''top-players'that all the major European training courses ... But experienced players, such as the English international Josh Stones or the American Aymeric Laporte, are always able to respond present in important matches. Without forgetting the young side of Ukrainian origin Oleksandr Zichenko who, despite the tragic events currently taking place in his native country, also was able to be respected by securing his left corridor of the Spanish attacks. We can therefore conclude that the quality of a workforce is more based on cohesion between players rather than individuals. And that, the current first of the English championship demonstrated it well last night.
But you have to admit: what you like about this team is its offensive capacity!
Kevin de Bruyne: Take for example the case of Kevin de Bruyne. There are no doubts, this guy is an extraordinary player. He is even considered, by his peers, as the best field of field in activity in recent years. And when it comes to putting the blue of heating, the Belgian is always there: trigger for counterattacks '' éclair '', big technical potential, high precision in the passage game, skillful shot. francs, vision and intelligence of play ... The Catalan coach knows that he can count on his ''Ginger Pelé''.
Rodrigo: Shadow worker and essential to the eleven of Pep Guardiola, the ex-Colchoneros From Atletico de Madrid, Rodri, knows how to make the link between defense and attack. Defensive midfielder of great talent, he is still there to scratch precious balloons and abort the opposing counterattacks. Its positioning, each time impeccable, makes it possible to strengthen the spine of your team.
Bernardo Silva: A former player of AS Monaco, Bernardo Silva had a difficult beginnings when he arrived in England. But that was before ! The Portuguese international, with an impressive technical palette that can play on both feet, is perhaps small by size (1.73 m), but tall by talent. The proof, his goal in the 74th minute when he unchecks a cannonball in the skylight, despite an eccentric position.
Phil foot: Positioned on the left, the young English hope Phil Foden, also produced a quality match. As long as for his ability to hit his corridor as well as his ability to make defensive folds, the player, only aged 21, was rewarded on the return from the locker room by scoring a crucial goal. The ''PEP son'', As we like to nickname it at Etihad Stadium, was preferred to a Ryan Sterling in mixture and obviously, it has borne fruit.
Gabriel Jesus: The center-forward Gabriel Jesus remains the only real number 9 of this training. Since the departure of ''When'' Auguero, the Brazilian experienced some injuries which unfortunately dismissed him from the field. Returned from a fracture of the metatarsus dating from February 2022, the native of São Paulo made a resounding return by scoring a quadruple against Watford in the league. He also participated in the party by scoring at the start of the game, also giving an advantage of 2 goals on Madrid, from the 11th minute.
Riyad Mahrez: Algerian Riyad Mahrez was particularly hot in front of his supporters. Untenable on his right side, he first delivered a magnificent assist for the opening of Kevin de Bruyne's score (2nd minute). Unfortunately, he touched the post when the goal seemed to be acquired. But that does not detract from the high level performance of which he was the author: he clearly made Madrid defenders crazy!
The Citizens are sure of their strength, but they must not rest on their laurels. With a gap of a goal, Carlo Ancellotti's players, who will receive for the return match, will be ready to face the Mancunian ogre. Karim benzema, that we are pressing more and more to be the next Ballon d'Or, has been decisive against Guardiola's men. Full of composure, he even made, in the last minutes of the meeting, a ''doll'' On a penalty caused by a voluntary hand of Laporte. It appears obvious that the Benzema - Vinicius Jr. - Modric trio will give everything to win in the return match on April 04 at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.