City holds Real Madrid in 6-goal thriller as Bayern earn 2-2 draw with Arsenal

Wednesday April 10 2024

Real Madrid's midfielder Jude Bellingham (R) reacts during their Champions League Quarter Final First Leg against Manchester City at Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain on April 9, 2024. PHOTO | REUTERS


Real Madrid and Manchester City slugged out a thrilling 3-3 draw in a rip-roaring Champions League quarter-final clash under the Bernabeu stadium roof on Tuesday, leaving the tie between the last two holders of the trophy wide open for the second leg.

Federico Valverde salvaged a draw for Real late on after City had taken a 3-2 lead with sumptuous strikes from Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol following a Ruben Dias own goal and Rodrygo strike that gave the hosts a halftime lead in Spain's capital.

"It was entertaining, (a game) that dignifies the competition, with two teams attacking. The three (second half) goals were incredible. We took the lead but they equalised ... and that's football," said City manager Pep Guardiola.

The noisy home crowd had been left stunned after two minutes when City midfielder Bernardo Silva took advantage of a one-man wall to drill a low free kick from 40 metres just inside Andriy Lunin's post to give the visitors the lead.

Read: UCL: Man City eases past Copenhagen, Real Madrid draws with Leizpig

It was a schoolboy error by the Ukrainian who seemed to have been waiting for a cross and left his right side unguarded. He got a hand on the ball but could not keep it out.


To make things worse, Real midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, playing as an emergency centre back, was shown a yellow card for the foul on Jack Grealish that led to the goal and will miss the return leg in Manchester next Wednesday.

Without midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who was left on the bench after illness, City tried to make the most of Real's sloppy start and could have extended their lead.

However, Erling Haaland was denied by Lunin before Grealish had a shot blocked and Haaland could not capitalise on the rebound, leaving City to rue their missed chances.

Eduardo Camavinga soon helped level the scores after 12 minutes when his long-range strike deflected off defender Dias for an own goal after wrongfooting keeper Stefan Ortega.

Two minutes later Vinicius Jr delivered a brilliant through ball that Rodrygo took in his stride before his weak shot was deflected off Manuel Akanji's heel to give the hosts the lead.

Wasteful Real

Real had the momentum and should have extended their lead but were wasteful. Rodrygo misfired twice from the edge of the box late in the first half and then Vinicius blasted a close-range strike over the bar early in the second half.

But just as Real looked set to grab a third, the visitors levelled in the 66th minute with a stunning Foden strike into the top corner and went ahead as Gvardiol fired home in similar fashion five minutes later for his first City goal.

Read: Man City thumps Copenhagen in UCL as Real beats Leizpig

Real were not to be beaten, though, and Valverde produced a glorious volley in the 79th minute to rescue a draw on another epic Champions League night that left the fans eager for more in the second leg in Manchester next week.

Rodrygo told Movistar Plus: "We wanted to win and go out with an advantage to the second leg but we conceded goals that should not have happened.

"We needed to take control of the game and failed at doing that, I think we could have done better. But it is what it is, we must learn and go to the second leg more focused.

"The tie is wide open and we will go there to make the most of the chances we create."

It was another epic encounter as the teams faced each other in a Champions League knockout tie for a third year running.

Real eliminated City in the 2022 semi-finals but Guardiola's side gained revenge a year later at the same stage. The winners of the tie ended up lifting the trophy both times.

Kane returns to North London

Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane returned to north London to score his customary goal against Arsenal as the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie ended 2-2 on Tuesday.

The former Tottenham Hotspur player, so often Arsenal's nemesis in North London derbies, stroked home a penalty in the 32nd minute as the Bundesliga side hit back to lead 2-1.


Bayern Munich's forward Harry Kane (L) celebrates scoring their second goal with Serge Gnabry against Arsenal during the Champions League Quarter Finals at Emirates Stadium, London, Britain on April 9, 2024. PHOTO | REUTERS

Read: UCL: Arsenal beat Porto on penalties as Barca thrashes Napoli

Premier League leaders Arsenal, playing in their first Champions League quarter-final for 14 years, had gone in front early on with a clinical Bukayo Saka strike.

But Bayern, whose reign as German champions is as good as over as they trail Bayer Leverkusen by 16 points, showed they remain a European force to be reckoned with.

Arsenal were stunned as their former striker Serge Gnabry levelled six minutes later and Kane rolled home his 39th goal of an incredible first season for Bayern after Leroy Sane was brought down by William Saliba in the box.

Mikel Arteta's side ensured they will head to Bavaria next Wednesday full of hope as substitute Leandro Trossard equalised in the 76th minute to leave the tie hanging in the balance.

The return of Kane, who scored a record 14 goals for Tottenham in the north London derby, to one of his favourite haunts was the big pre-match talking point.

And he duly silenced the Arsenal jeers.

"It wasn't an easy game," Kane said. "Arsenal are a really good team. They're top of the Premier League right now so we had to dig deep at times but it's a good result and hopefully we can make the difference at home."

The return of Kane, who scored a record 14 goals for Tottenham in the north London derby, to one of his favourite haunts was the big pre-match talking point.

And he duly silenced the Arsenal jeers.

Read: Man Utd, Arsenal rocked in UCL as Real Madrid edge Napoli

"It wasn't an easy game," Kane said. "Arsenal are a really good team. They're top of the Premier League right now so we had to dig deep at times but it's a good result and hopefully we can make the difference at home."

White should have made it 2-0 soon afterwards but shot straight at Neuer and then Arsenal's defence, so impregnable in the Premier League of late, suddenly went missing.

They carelessly lost possession in the 18th minute and Bayern punished them as Leon Goretzka fed a perfect pass to Gnabry who clipped a finish past the on-rushing David Raya.

Sane was than allowed to run and run from deep before being toppled by Saliba and referee Glenn Nyberg had the simplest decision to point to the penalty spot.

Ice-cool Kane

Up stepped an ice-cool Kane, and despite the whistles no one expected him to miss as he sent Raya the wrong way.

The 60,000 crowd suddenly went quiet as memories of heavy European defeats by Bayern, notably a 10-2 aggregate defeat in the last 16 in 2017, flooded back and it would have got worse but for a goal-saving tackle by White on Sane.

Bayern, with another former Spurs player Eric Dier impressive in defence, looked comfortable after the break.

Arteta sent on Trossard and Gabriel Jesus just past the midway point of the second half. They combined in the 76th minute as Jesus fed Trossard to slot a low shot inside the post.

A frantic ending saw Bayern substitute Kingsley Coman strike the post from close range while the game ended with Arsenal screaming for a penalty after Saka went down in the area claiming he was fouled by Neuer.

"We've got a draw so the situation is clear, the winner moves on," Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel said.

"We need the same devotion, passion and quality as we had tonight – and we'll get through."

Security was stepped up ahead of the game after Islamic State threatened drone attacks on Europe's top club tournament but thankfully the game passed off without incident.