Real Madrid draws 3-3 against Manchester City in thrilling Champions League clash

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Carlo Ancelotti

10th April 2024 – (Madrid) Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti expressed disappointment over missing a victory against Manchester City but remained pleased with his team’s performance in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final, which ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw on Tuesday.

Despite trailing early to a Bernardo Silva free-kick, Real showcased resilience to take a 2-1 lead at halftime with an own goal from Ruben Dias and a strike by Rodrygo. They continued to build momentum and extend their advantage.

However, Ancelotti’s side squandered several opportunities, allowing City to stage a comeback and take a 3-2 lead in the second half with remarkable goals from Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol.

Real managed to salvage a draw with an exceptional volley from Federico Valverde, but Ancelotti described the feeling at the final whistle as bittersweet.

“While it was a winnable game as we had a chance at 3-1, we could have lost at 3-2 if we lacked the confidence to fight back,” Ancelotti stated during a press conference. “Overall, it was a highly competitive and evenly matched game. We had our chances, but they managed to score two outstanding goals. In the end, the result was acceptable.”

This encounter marked the third consecutive year the two teams faced each other in a Champions League knockout tie, sparking an enthralling rivalry between the 14-time European champions and the Premier League powerhouse.

Real knocked City out in the 2022 semi-finals, but Guardiola’s side sought revenge the following year at the same stage. Interestingly, the victors of their encounters went on to lift the trophy both seasons, with City securing their maiden European title. Tuesday’s match further fueled anticipation for the return leg in Manchester.

Ancelotti praised the extraordinary game played by both teams, emphasising the quality displayed on the pitch and commending his team’s interpretation, courage, and personality.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola expressed satisfaction with the result despite his team surrendering the lead twice. Aware of Real’s ability to mount comebacks, Guardiola acknowledged the importance of playing the second leg at home, similar to their triumph over Real last year when they dominated after a draw in Madrid.

In the upcoming match, City aims to become the first team since AC Milan in 1989 and 1990 to eliminate Real Madrid from Europe’s premier club competition in consecutive seasons.

Guardiola acknowledged the significance of home advantage and the support of their fans, stating, “I’d rather play the second leg at home than at the Bernabeu for obvious reasons, based on past experiences. We’ll take the (3-3) result. As for whether we are favourites now… I’m not sure. The favourites will be the ones who impose their style, but our supporters will undoubtedly rally behind us.”