Manchester City has an opportunity to win its first ever Champions League trophy after delivering a masterful performance against European giant Real Madrid on Wednesday.
In a semifinal which was emblematic of the changing of the guard in European football, City tore apart the 14-time winner of Europe’s elite competition, winning 4-0 to secure a 5-1 aggregate win and a place in the final against Inter Milan on June 10 in Istanbul.
Two first-half goals from Bernardo Silva put City in control of the second leg, with several superb saves from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois ensuring the visitors weren’t completely embarrassed.
However, Manuel Akanji’s header in the second half and a late goal from Julián Álvarez capped a miserable night for Real.
City’s third goal was initially credited by UEFA as an own goal by Éder Militão as Akanji’s effort hit the Real defender en route to goal.
The win means that Pep Guardiola’s side are still on course to win a historic Treble – matching fierce rival Manchester United’s achievement of winning the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the Champions League in the 1998-99 season.
‘Pretty well overwhelmed us’
Silva opened the scoring for City after a free-flowing move from the home side. After clever interchange on the right of the pitch, Kevin De Bruyne slipped Silva in on goal and the Portugal star smashed a near-post effort past Courtois.
The diminutive midfielder, who is primarily known for his trickery with the ball at his feet, then doubled City’s advantage with his head. Silva popped up in the box to guide a header into the net following Courtois’ save to deny İlkay Gündoğan.
Toni Kroos struck the bar with a venomous shot, but Real rarely threatened and City fans could enjoy the second half knowing their place in the final was all but confirmed.
But City weren’t finished, with Akanji and then Álvarez completing an absolute shellacking for Real.
“We played a rival who were better than us in this match – they pretty well overwhelmed us,” Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal told UEFA’s website.
Meanwhile Silva said he hadn’t felt “very good at all after the first game.”
“Tonight I had to try to do better for my teammates and the fans,” added Silva. “I’m very good with my head, hey? I’m very small but I’m good with my head.”
“It is a beautiful night for us. We know it would be tough but to beat this Real Madrid team 4-0 at home was wonderful. Hopefully we will win it [the final].”
Real coach Carlo Ancelotti said his team had struggled to deal with City’s pressing strategy.
“City played better and deserved to go through,” Ancelotti told UEFA’s website. “They really pressed us at the start of the match, and that really made it difficult to build the play we wanted to.”