• вторник, 16 април 2024

City and Madrid off to good start in Champions League last 16

City and Madrid off to good start in Champions League last 16

Berlin, 14 February 2024 (dpa/MIA) - Defending champions Manchester City and record winners Real Madrid both got off to a good start in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday.


City had a scare but defeated Copenhagen 3-1, while Madrid won 1-0 at RB Leipzig.


Kevin de Bruyne found the breakthrough for the defending champions in the 10th minute, but Copenhagen were level in the 34th after Magnus Mattsson took advantage from a bad clearance from keeper Ederson.


But Bernardo Silva put City again ahead shortly before the break and Phil Foden sealed the win in stoppage time, securing the English side a comfortable advantage for the second leg in Manchester.


Madrid, meanwhile, took the win with an stunning goal from Brahim Diaz in the 48th as he fired an unstoppable shot into the far corner. Goalkeeper Andriy Lunin played a big role in Madrid's victory with several stunning saves to deny Leipzig the equalizer.


City were on target early in the game as Foden played a reverse pass to De Bruyne and the Belgian hit it low with a first-time finish across the goalkeeper in the 10th.


Erling Haaland nearly added his name to the scoresheet in the 29th after he met Jeremy Doku's cross with a scissor kick, but his effort went over the upright.


The Danish fans were ecstatic when Mattsson swept it home on his debut in the 34th. Ederson's clearance went straight to Mohamed Elyounoussi, who had his shot blocked, but the ball deflected to Mattsson, who found the net.


The hopes of magical evening, however, didn't last long as De Bruyne forced a pass through to Silva and he sent the ball beyond the goalkeeper and into the far corner.


City still had time to add a third before the final whistle as Foden played a one-two with De Bruyne before slotting the ball into the net from close range.


"It was tough. We have played here a couple of times and the atmosphere is great. You know they are going to try and do everything. They had a great group stage so we have to respect them," De Bruyne told TNT Sports.


"But I think we played a really good game and in the second half we could have scored more. Luckily in the end we scored the third so it's a little bit of an advantage now."


Leipzig were on target with two minutes played, but Benjamin Sesko's goal was ruled out because the player was offside.


Sesko was then stopped by Lunin for the first time in the 10th, before Rodrygo fired in a low drive in the 22nd to almost break the deadlock for Madrid.


The Spanish team eventually took the lead shortly after the break as Diaz sent his markers off balance and arrowed a stunning strike into the far corner.


Leipzig then had enough chances to level the game, but were fiercely held by Lunin. Sesko was again denied in the 51st before Dani Olmo also couldn't go past the keeper.


Madrid saw Vinicius Junior hit the post in the 72nd and Diaz couldn't control the ball in the rebound, while on the other side of the pitch, Lunin denied efforts from Sesko in the 81st and Amadou Haidara in the 84th.


"We had our chances. In the end, it's decisive to have a goal. Very bitter for us because we played well and today we weren't a bad team," Leipzig keeper Peter Gulacsi told broadcasters Prime Video.


"(In the second leg) We will try to make an equally good game and, with a bit of luck, score a goal," he said.


Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos said that Sesko's early goal "should have been given" and recognized: "Let's be honest, it could have gone both ways today.


The second leg matches are on March 6. On Wednesday, Bayern Munich visit Lazio and Paris Saint-Germain welcome Real Sociedad.


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