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Real Madrid, Manchester City tie in first leg of semifinals in UCL

Real Madrid, Manchester City tie in first leg of semifinals in UCL

Posted May. 11, 2023 07:41,   

Updated May. 11, 2023 07:41


Real Madrid and Manchester City, facing each other two seasons running in the semifinal round of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League, ended in a draw in the first leg.

The two competitors tied the first round of the 2022-2023 UEFA Champions League by one to one on Wednesday in Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Madrid. As Vinícius Júnior scored first in the 36th minute of the first half, Real Madrid, last season’s champion, went ahead. However, the score was tied in the 22nd minute of the second half when Kevin De Bruyne netted the match’s second goal. Both players recorded a fizzing right-footed, mid-range goal in front of the opponent’s penalty arc. Equalizing midway to save his team from the brink of a loss, De Bruyne was selected the Player of the Match.

Following the 3–3 standoff, Manchester City had greater optimism not only because it successfully made an away match a tie but also because the second leg would be a home game. Since it lost a group-round match with Lyon in September 2018, it has consecutively won or tied all the other 25 home games in the UEFA Champions League. As if this scent of victory were in the air, Jack Grealish, Manchester City’s attacking midfielder, triumphantly said after Wednesday’s match that no one can beat the team in the Etihad Stadium. Last season, it defeated Real Madrid by four to three in the first leg of the semifinals. However, its loss in the next leg by one to three in an away match blocked it from advancing to the final round, with the two teams’ total score being five to six.

With the game being a draw, Manchester City has successfully kept its unbeaten record for this season’s Champions League, making it the only club record with no Champions League losses this season. The remainder of the three semifinal competitors, including Real Madrid, have lost at least one game in the group tournament round.

The second-round semifinal opens at 4 a.m. (KST) next Thursday.

Bae-Jung Kim wanted@donga.com