Man City crush Real Madrid to reach Champions League final

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To go to the Champions League final, Man City put on an incredible display. Bernardo Silva’s double helped the English champions defeat Real Madrid 4-0 on Wednesday, giving them a 5-1 victory overall.

In addition to Julian Alvarez’s late goal, Eder Militao’s own goal put Pep Guardiola’s team within three victories of emulating Manchester United’s treble from 1998–1999 (three wins).

With just three points needed from their remaining three games, Man City needs to win the English Premier League for the sixth time in six seasons, and United will be waiting on June 3 in the FA Cup final.

But City’s greatest desire is to win their first Champions League, and they will be heavy favorites to do so when they face Inter Milan in Istanbul on June 10.

Seven years into Guardiola’s tenure as Man City manager, the quality of a performance that rivaled the former Barcelona manager’s Champions League final victories in command of the Catalan giants in 2009 and 2011 sent the home supporters into seventh heaven.

Last season, Madrid ended City’s hopes at this stage with a spectacular comeback in the last seconds of the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu after falling down by two goals.

However, this time, Carlo Ancelotti’s team was unable to counteract City’s superiority.

Without Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois in net, the defending champions would have taken a beating before halfway.

To turn Erling Haaland’s header around the post, the enormous Belgian had to use the entirety of his two-meter (6ft 7in) frame.

Courtois previously stopped Haaland from scoring his 53rd goal of the year with another downward header.

However, Madrid’s luck finally ran out on minute 23. Rodri, John Stones, and Jack Grealish all saw pot shots from the outskirts of the box miss their intended targets.

As Silva received a pass inside the box, Kevin De Bruyne opened the lock and slammed high beyond Courtois’ left hand.

For the first half of the game, the visitors hardly made a touch inside the Man City half, but 10 minutes before halftime, Toni Kroos’ piledriver hit the crossbar and the visitors were only inches away from tying the score.

City scored the second goal their first-half dominance warranted just as Madrid was settling in.

Eder Militao’s block in May denied the in-form Ilkay Gundogan a sixth goal, but the ball looped up nicely for Silva to head into an open net.

Before the break, Man City attempts continued in waves. Haaland sent another fierce effort just wide, and Courtois stopped Silva from scoring an unbelievable hat-trick.

To counteract Madrid’s response and prevent a recurrence of the late drama between the teams from last season, they had to play a different kind of soccer early in the second half.

Ederson’s deflection of David Alaba’s dipping free kick was the closest Real got to a lifeline.

On the opposite end, Courtois persisted in triumphing in his one-on-one struggle with Haaland by deflecting the Norwegian’s shot onto the bar.

But Man City prevailed in the battle, bringing the club’s fortunes under control for the first time since an Abu Dhabi-backed acquisition in 2008.

A header from Manuel Akanki was deflected past Courtois by Militao 15 minutes from time to deal the Spanish powerhouses their next setback.

Alvarez took over for Haaland two minutes from the end, and that was all it took for the Argentine World Cup winner to make his imprint as he buried Phil Foden’s pass.

The sole alteration from each side’s 1-1 draw in the first leg was Eder Militao’s return to the Real Madrid defense’s center for Wednesday’s Champions League quarterfinal second leg against Manchester City.

The 52-goal City attacker Erling Haaland was kept in check by Antonio Rudiger admirably, but it wasn’t enough to maintain the German in the starting lineup as Militao returns from suspension.

Despite having a knee injury, Eduardo Camavinga will start at left back for the reigning European champions.

The same front six start for City manager Pep Guardiola’s fifth consecutive Champions League game, according to his commitment not to “overthink” his lineup.

Jack Grealish, Bernardo Silva, and Kevin De Bruyne all assist Haaland in his onslaught.

The lone injured player for Man City is Nathan Ake, thus Manuel Akanji fills in on the left side of defense once more.

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