Real Madrid vs Manchester City Classic Clash: May 5, 2022

The Hard Tackle looks back at a classic clash featuring Real Madrid and Manchester City ahead of their Champions League quarter-finals.

Real Madrid and Manchester City are two powerhouses of Europe in today’s time. The two giants have squared up against each other on multiple occasions in the recent past, and this fixture has taken shape as a classic rivalry.

Manchester City have risen to another level since the arrival of Pep Guardiola in their ranks. And, they finally ended their quest for the maiden Champions League title last season. They are a force to reckon with in both domestic as well as European competitions.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid have been one of the most dominant teams in world football for years. They have won the Champions League a record 14 times and no other team comes close. Their recent history is filled with glory, and they are looking to add to it in the ongoing season. In the last two seasons of the Champions League, the two teams have met in the semi-finals, which have produced some exceptional results.

In the 2021/22 Champions League, Real Madrid were the one who came out top, and they went on to win the final of the competition against Liverpool to make it 14 UEFA Champions League titles. Last season, Manchester City came out on top, and they went on to lift their first-ever Champions League title by winning against Inter Milan in the final.

While it might not be a semi-final clash this time out, the stakes are quite huge because a defeat here will end their dreams of lifting the Champions League title. Whoever wins this clash will go onto the next round feeling quite confident about their chances of making it all the way.

Laying the setting

In the history of the Champions League, the two teams have squared up against each other on ten occasions. Manchester City have been the dominant team as they have come out on top on four occasions, while Real Madrid have three wins to their name.

They were in the same group back in 2012/13, the Merengues won the home game 3-2, and it ended in a draw at the Etihad. Post that, the two teams squared up against each other in the knockout stages on four occasions, three of which were in the semi-finals and one in the round of 16.

Both teams have knocked each other out on two occasions. The history suggests that it is going to be a closely fought tie where either team could come out on top.Β Last season when the two teams met in the semi-finals, Manchester City played out a draw at the Santiago Bernabeu before smashing Real Madrid 4-0 in their backyard to make it to the semi-finals.

It was a humiliating night for the record champions who will be eager to avenge that loss, but it won’t be easy for the team in white as Manchester City have continued in similar fashion this season.

The treble winners might not be at the top of the Premier League at this stage, but they are just one point behind league leaders Arsenal. They did not have the best of starts to the season but have caught up and have been on fire in the past few weeks heading into this fixture.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid have been a dominant force since the start of the season despite the number of injuries that they have suffered in the ongoing season. They are top of La Liga and have an eight-point advantage over second-placed Barcelona.

A win for either team in this tie has a different significance. For Real Madrid it is about avenging the defeat from last season and showcasing the world they are still the most dominant force in Europe. Meanwhile, for Manchester City, it is about going past the best team in the competition history in consecutive seasons and establishing themselves as the biggest powerhouse in Europe.

The fixture will not only have a huge impact on both team’s ongoing campaign but it could also shape their future. As we await the mouthwatering quarter-final clash between the giants, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at an epic encounter between the two teams from back in the day, a clash that took place on 5 May 2022 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

What happened on May 5, 2022?

On April 27, the two teams squared up against each other at the Etihad for the first leg of the semi-final clash. It was a goalscoring thriller that ended 4-3 in favour of the home team. It meant City were taking a lead with them heading into the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The perfect platform for an epic second-leg clash was set and May 5 was a magical night in Spain. Unlike the first leg, neither team managed to score early. It was quite difficult to break down the opposition’s defence and we had to wait until the 70th minute mark for the first goal to arrive.

Real Madrid were in desperate need of a goal to stay alive in the tie, but it was Riyad Mahrez who smashed it into the back of the net in the 73rd minute to give Manchester City a lead in the second leg and a two-goal cushion in the overall tie.

With just 17 minutes plus injury time left, Real Madrid were on the verge of elimination from the Champions League. Carlo Ancelotti decided to play all his cards and went all out attack and it led to these epic lines from Peter Drury:

β€œOh, extraordinary! They prayed for miracles and miracles arrived!

β€œReal Madrid, the team of dreams! Where has that come from?! How did that happen?!

β€œBedlam! Bernabeu bedlam!”

With 90 minutes almost up, Real Madrid were on their way out when a cross by Camavinga was perfectly placed by Karim Benzema in the path of Rodrygo, who smashed it into the back of the net giving Los Blancos a lifeline.

The home crowd went wild hoping for a miracle and just as Drury described it, the miracle did arrive. A minute later, a Carvajal cross was headed into the back of the net by Rodrygo, and it was all square. The Brazilian winger who came on in the 68th minute before Real Madrid went 2-0 down in the tie ended up forcing extra time.

In the initial minutes of extra time, Benzema earned a penalty and converted it to give Real Madrid a 3-1 lead on the night and a 6-5 lead on aggregate. While Manchester City kept pushing the equaliser from their end never arrived. The Real Madrid defence along with the help of Thibaut Courtois kept them at bay.

This fixture left Pep Guardiola and his team stunned as they were just minutes away from making it to the final. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be, as Los Blancos scripted an incredible comeback and went on to win the competition.

The Aftermath

The win helped Real Madrid reach yet another Champions League final, and they ended up winning against Liverpool to make it 14 Champions League titles. As far as Manchester City are concerned, this defeat transformed them and led to a historic 2022/23 season where they won the treble.

Manchester City created quite a few chances on the night of May 5, but they failed to convert those chances and that might have played a big part in Pep Guardiola’s team pushing hard and signing Erling Haaland, who scripted history in his debut season and made them an even more threatening season.

Haaland is not really a Guardiola system player, but the Spanish manager wanted to have a top-quality finisher leading the line to ensure they had the end product for what they created. Real Madrid and Manchester City met again in the 2022/23 Champions League semi-final.

This time the first leg was played at the Bernabeu and it ended 1-1. In the second leg, City demolished Real Madrid 4-0 and avenged the defeat from the previous edition to make it to the final. Their quest for the maiden title ended as they went past Inter Milan on the big night.

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