Manchester City & Real Madrid victorious

Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool were the recipients.

The Champions League resumed tonight with two successful matches to kick off the quarter-finals, namely Manchester City v Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid v Liverpool.

Although this is “only” the first leg and there is still a lot to play, Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund suffered major setbacks tonight, losing their ties. However, they both managed to score an away goal, which could prove crucial for the second leg next week.

Liverpool will be the redder of the two, having outclassed much of the game against a top Real Madrid side – overnight, at least.

Madrid hit the first thanks to Vinicius Junior in the 27the minute. Toni Kroos played a fantastic lob pass over the Liverpool defense that the aforementioned Vinicius Junior expertly controlled on his chest before finishing perfectly in front of Alisson on the half end. Nat Phillips and Trent Alexander-Arnold didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory for the goal, failing to keep up with the Real Madrid man’s movement and run that resulted in the goal.

A few minutes later, Alexander-Arnold was at fault again for Real Madrid’s second goal. He attempted to get back to Alisson from hopeful Real Madrid by passing the ball over, but instead he inadvertently went straight into the path of Marco Asensio who calmly proceeded to scale the keeper and to finish easily in the net. In truth, they deserved nothing less to have controlled the game so far.

There was a silver lining for Liverpool shortly after the second half kicked off as Mohamed Salah pulled one out in the minute after a good team movement.

This hope was short-lived, however. Real Madrid got their third in the 65e minute, Vinicius Junior the scorer once again. Luke Modric provided the assist with a short pass through the feet of the Brazilian who finished in the lower right corner.

Vinicius Junior and experienced midfielder from Casemiro, Kroos and Modric were too much to deal with for Liverpool on the night as they fell to a 3-1 defeat.

Dortmund, on the other hand, could perhaps consider themselves unlucky not to come away with at least one draw.

The Germans got off to a good start, equaling City for possession and even citing a few half chances. However, the quality of City showed in the 19e minute as their talisman Kevin De Bruyne found the net after a quick and fluid team movement.

In a highly controversial twist, Dortmund were denied what seemed an obvious goal in the 38e minute. Talented teenager Jude Bellingham ran forward and stole the ball to the feet of City goalkeeper Ederson after a heavy touchdown before tapping into an empty net. The referee, however, had whistled before the ball found its way into the net, indicating that Bellingham had fouled Ederson. Replays showed Bellingham got to the ball before Ederson and the former may have been fouled rather than the latter. Ederson’s wild reaction may have been the deciding factor in denying the goal, as he immediately fell to the ground in reaction to cover up his mistake.

The first half ended 1-0 at Manchester City to the misfortune of Borussia Dortmund.

Erling Haaland – who was silent for most of the game – had a fantastic opportunity to level the score shortly after the start of the second half as he was played with a ball overhead. He showed his immense strength by intimidating Ruben Dias on the ground to open up space for a shot. Haaland however, got out of balance in the process of pushing Dias out of the way and failed to secure a proper connection on the ball. Ederson handled his shot easily at the end.

Although Haaland failed to score on the night, he was heavily involved in Dortmund’s equalizer in the 84e minute, just like Jude Bellingham. The latter played a good ball in the feet of Haaland who was in a deeper position than usual. He then spotted the run of Marco Reus who was running over Kyle Walker’s shoulder and played a precise first pass on his way. Reus then moved closer to the goal and made no mistake as he passed Ederson with aplomb.

However, City weren’t finished so easily. Phil Foden, who missed a handful of good chances throughout the game, scored a late winner after Gundogan provided the layoff in the 6-yard box.

The game ended 2-1 against Manchester City after a fierce fight.

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