Man City vs Real Madrid result: Player ratings as De Bruyne and Benzema shine in Champions League classic

Manchester City have one foot in the Champions League final but it could have been even more, after they spurned several chances even as they beat Real Madrid 4-3 in the semi-final first leg.

The game had barely kicked off when Kevin de Bruyne headed in the early opener from Riyad Mahrez’s cross, but City weren’t hanging around and Gabriel Jesus quickly doubled the lead after turning smartly in the box.

City had at least three more great chances to extend their lead before Real’s first chance of the game fell to Karim Benzema – and he produced a world-class finish to reduce the arrears.

There was no let-up after the break as Phil Foden headed a third, Vinicius Jr scored a sensational solo goal, Bernardo Silva sent a piledriver into the top corner and then Benzema sent a Panenka penalty in for an incredible seventh goal of an unforgettable evening.

Here are the player ratings from the first leg at the Etihad Stadium.


Man City

Ederson, 6. Really good footwork as ever, could do nothing about Benzema’s deft finish. Might be disappointed with Vinicius Jr’s goal though, beaten 1vs1.

John Stones, 5. Caught a few times passing out of defence and lost the ball for a big chance, then subbed before the break, presumably with a knock.

Ruben Dias, 7. Can’t really say any defenders starred in a game with seven goals, but Dias made a couple of really vital interceptions and almost scored at the other end too.

Aymeric Laporte, 5. Without his brilliant headed interception just after 3-2, Real could have been back on level terms and with the momentum in the game. Beaten by runners too often but hey, so was everyone else tonight. Handball for the late penalty.

Oleksandr Zinchenko, 7. Hit and miss defensively as he made some good interceptions but lost Benzema for a moment for the first-half goal. Going forward he was mostly excellent, linking neatly and taking on players when space allowed.

Rodrigo, 7. A strange game where he alternately controlled proceedings and dominated the ball, then was overrun and nowhere to be found in Real’s spells on top. Presumably he was just shocked at all the madness at times, which is understandable.

Kevin de Bruyne, 9. Couldn’t have wished for a better start as he clocked off a goal and an assist inside 12 minutes. Absolutely toyed with Madrid for half an hour and had so many moments where he almost split Los Blancos apart again and again.

Bernardo Silva, 7. Absolute rocket for City’s fourth, as he kept playing when most others stopped. A non-stop workaholic in the middle in both halves of the pitch.

Riyad Mahrez, 8. Brilliant ball in for the early opener but spurned a great chance for a third which left his manager furious. In truth he was probably only a few inches away from a man of the match shout as he struck the post and rolled another just wide – his build-up play and being a threat on the run was top-draw.

Gabriel Jesus, 6. Fine finish for his fifth in two games while given a rare start as the centre-forward. Not always as involved as his forward teammates but occupied the defence and was busy all game long.

Phil Foden, 8. Such a good first touch and a really dangerous outlet for City in the first half. Real couldn’t stop him on the run and he created some really good openings all game long – plus the usual tracking back and work rate.

Subs: Fernandinho 6, Raheem Sterling n/a.

Real Madrid

Thibaut Courtois, 4. Might have done better with the first goal but no chance for the next two from close range. A few sticky moments with his kick-outs and was a total statue for the fourth.

Dani Carvajal, 3. Not for the first (or the 15th) time this season, he was woefully out of position, short in the tackle, unable to track his man and at least partly culpable on the opening goal. Totally culpable on the third and failed to get a block in on the fourth. Dreadful showing, though did at least make a goalline block from Foden.

Eder Militao, 4. Ragged and fortunate to win a free-kick or two when City had overloads. Didn’t fare too well with being pressed in deep areas.

David Alaba, 5. Lost out a vital challenge for Jesus’ goal. Subbed at the break, presumably with a recurrence of the injury which had left him a doubt to start.

Ferland Mendy, 6. Did assist Benzema but it wasn’t a great cross and he was another who struggled with the rotations and movement from City’s front men.

Toni Kroos, 4. Deployed deep in midfield but totally overrun and bypassed. As great as ever in the short spells where Real had control and possession of course, but those moments were infrequent. Fouled Zinchenko in the build-up to No.4 and then couldnt block off Silva.

Federico Valverde, 7. Certainly a lot of endeavour and covering both the channel and beside Kroos, though not always able to find the pass he wanted at the end of some lung-busting runs.

Luka Modric, 8. Key to Real’s goal with a crunching tackle to win back the ball high upfield. Always the key in moving the ball through the thirds and evading City’s tenacity in the middle. Surprisingly subbed.

Rodrygo, 7. A decent outlet without ever really looking like he’d find a route to goal. Great pace was clearly a threat in behind City’s defence, but as has often been the case, didn’t possess the final pass.

Karim Benzema, 8. Barely had a touch for half an hour then produced an unbelievable finish. Some fantastic link play as ever and then the coolest man in Manchester to dink a penalty into the roof of the net and leave the tie finely poised.


Vinicius Jr, 8. After a first half when he was strangely hesitant in the final third, he absolutely ripped City apart with one solo run and composed finish for 3-2. The best weapon Real possessed in the absence of Kyle Walker, and went very close to teeing up another goal or two along the way.

Subs: Nacho 5, Eduardo Camavinga 7, Dani Ceballos n/a, Marco Asensio n/a.

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