It seems that the Champions League anthem has the power to transform Real Madrid. Opposed to Manchester City on Wednesday April 17, in the quarter-final second leg of the competition, the Merengue had several missions: to bring down the defending champion, resist the crowd gathered in the aisles of the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, and chase away the memory from last season, during which the Sky Blues inflicted a correction on them (0-4). At the end of a meeting rich in suspense – less in offensive flights – it was ultimately Carlo Ancelotti’s men who had the last word during the penalty shootout. Once recovered from their emotions, they will be able to concentrate on the next round, where they will meet Bayern Munich, winner of Arsenal.

History will undoubtedly remember that it was German defender Antonio Rüdiger who presented himself one last time against goalkeeper Ederson, to send his team into the last four with a powerful strike. She will surely remember Andriy Lunin’s performance less. Real Madrid’s Ukrainian goalkeeper, however, played a leading role in the twilight of the match: well placed, it was he who put his team on the right track by stopping the attempts of Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic in quick succession.

Winners of their championship, the FA Cup and the Champions League the previous season, Pep Guardiola’s Mancunians already know that they will not achieve a second consecutive treble. And they will be able to harbor regrets for a long time. Firstly that of not having managed to make the difference during an already dominated first leg, and finally concluded with a draw (3-3). Then, for not having managed to force the decision on the return, after being surprised from the start by a goal from Rodrygo (12th).

Real’s defense gave in… then resisted

On the other hand, it is impossible to blame the Citizens for not having tried: thirty-three shots, eighteen corners, 64% of ball possession… Almost all the statistics have been in favor of the English, whose offensive sequences have long lacked quality. precision.

Sick in the first leg, the Belgian Kevin de Bruyne finally found the fault with a powerful flat foot (1-1, 76th). Already on the defensive, the Madrilenians then braced themselves in front of Lunin’s cage to maintain this parity score and win the penalty shootout. Which they succeeded brilliantly, even missing a small hold-up at the end of overtime on a point-blank shot, already, from Rüdiger.

“Today, everything came down to mentality,” summarized Real Madrid’s English midfielder, Jude Bellingham, speaking to TNT Sports. Winning the match is a huge reward. You have to see it as a responsibility and not as pressure if you want to play for a team like Real Madrid. » Stainless, the Merengue thus remain in the race to win a fifteenth “big ears cup” and further increase their record in the most prestigious of European competitions.

To achieve this, the Spaniards may have to defeat Paris Saint-Germain in the final. But first, a highly dangerous double confrontation awaits them against Bayern Munich. In the other quarter-final return of the evening, the Germans actually got the better of the English Arsenal (1-0), in Bavaria. Locked down for a long time, the match was resolved in the second half with a header from defender Joshua Kimmich on the hour mark, while the two teams had left with a draw in the first leg (2-2). ).