Madrid vs City: Vini, De Bruyne Trade Stunning Goals and the Five Things We Learned in the 1:1 Draw

Madrid vs City: Vini, De Bruyne Trade Stunning Goals and the Five Things We Learned in the 1:1 Draw

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
May 9, 2023 at 9:45 PM
In this article:
UEFA Champions League logo
Kevin De Bruyne logo
K. D. Bruyne
Manchester City logoMBelgium logo
Vinícius logo
Real Madrid logoFBrazil logo
  • Real Madrid and Man City's semi-final doubleheader is finely poised following the conclusion of the first leg
  • It was the second time both sides had crossed paths at the semi-final stage in two successive seasons
  • Both teams appear to be inseparable in their head-to-head statistics, winning three each and sharing the spoils on four occasions

Vinicius Junior and Kevin De Bruyne cancelled each other out with stunning efforts either side of halftime as Real Madrid and Manchester City played out a thrilling 1-1 at the Bernabeu.

The result sets up what promises to be a nerve-racking second leg, which will be staged next Wednesday at the Etihad as both teams seek to book a spot in the final against either Inter Milan or AC Milan.

Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City, Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid and Manchester City shared the spoils in the first-leg of the Champions League. Photo credit: @brfootball
Source: Twitter

Sports Brief takes a look at the five big talking points from the exciting match which ensued between Madrid and City in the first leg:

Game of two halves

Manchester City came out all guns blazing, threatening to draw first blood but were thwarted by a resilient collective defending from Carlo Ancelotti's charges, shutting out the prolific Erling Haaland, but it was Madrid that grabbed the first goal via a stunning strike from Vinicius Junior.

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After recess, Madrid built on the momentum of the slim lead and upped the ante. Unfortunately, for the current holders, roles were reversed as De Bruyne scored a goal from the top drawer to level the score for City while Madrid dominated play.

Both managers will hope to capitalize on their moments when both sides rekindle their rivalry next Wednesday in Manchester.

Two special goals

Vinicius Junior notched his 23rd goal across all competitions with a rasping shot from range to give Real Madrid the lead; however, Kevin De Bruyne provided the perfect response to the Brazilian's pile driver.

De Bruyne's produced a cannon of an effort from just outside the box, which nestled at the back of the net, leaving Thibaut Courtois, in post for Madrid, helpless.

The pair of goals, which was evenly split between two of Europe's finest teams, embellished an enthralling encounter, setting up what promises to be a nail-biting, make-or-break second leg at the Etihad.

Vinicius: Reincarnation of Ronaldo

The zippy winger has been immense for Los Blancos throughout the season and proved his mettle for the umpteenth time against Manchester City with a cracker of a goal.

Vinicius took a pass from Eduardo Camavinga into his stride before unleashing an unstoppable drive beyond the reach of Ederson to break the game's deadlock and, most importantly, draw level with Cristiano Ronaldo for consecutive goals and assists in the Champions League.

Aside from his sensational goal in the 36th minute, the Brazilian was a handful for the City defence, wreaking havoc on both flanks with his searing runs and blinding dribbles, akin to the big game performance of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Both goalies cancel each other out

In a game of fine margins, Thibaut Courtois, manning the post for Real Madrid and Ederson Moraes, in between the sticks for Man City, came in handy for the enthralling first-leg affair at the Bernabeu.

Courtois made crucial saves, particularly in the first half when the Cityzens had complete control of the game, bombarding the goal area of Madrid with a plethora of attempts. On all occasions, the lanky Belgian managed to repel the attempts but for De Bruyne's shot from range in the second half.

On the other side of the divide, Ederson was caught off guard and rendered helpless by Vinicius's goal but made swiftly made amends as Madrid probed for the match-winner, including producing a remarkable save to deny Tchouameni from scoring a dramatic winner in the dying embers of the game.

City saved by refereeing lapse?

For once in a million times, Carlo Ancelotti's emotions were evoked, and rightly so, owing to what appears to be a controversial refereeing lapse which led to Man City's equalizer.

In the build-up to De Bruyne's goal, the ball appeared to have gone out of touch on the back of a tussle between Bernardo Silva and Camavinga, but the former kept the ball in play, which eventually resulted in the crucial goal for the visitors.

The decision by the officiating officials to ignore or, better still, not award a throw-in for Madrid irked Ancelotti, remonstrating to the referee, who flashed a yellow card to the Italian tactician for his troubles. Maybe City got lucky with this one.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.