• Monday, June 17, 2024

FOOTBALL

Manchester City, Arsenal knocked out of Champions League

Despite a dominant display from City, who had not suffered a home defeat in the Champions League since 2018 and attempted 34 shots on goal, they could not secure the win.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 17: The Manchester City team line up for the team picture prior to the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg match between Manchester City and Real Madrid CF at Etihad Stadium on April 17, 2024 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

By: Vivek Mishra

IN a thrilling night of Champions League football, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich secured their spots in the semi-finals, thereby eliminating Manchester City and Arsenal respectively.

Real Madrid triumphed in a dramatic penalty shootout, winning 4-3 against Manchester City after the match concluded 1-1 on the night, bringing the aggregate score to 4-4.

Madrid’s Rodrygo struck early, but Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne leveled the score, necessitating a decisive shootout. Manchester City’s penalty misses by Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic, both saved by Madrid’s stand-in goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, paved the way for Antonio Rudiger to score the winning penalty.

Despite a dominant display from City, who had not suffered a home defeat in the Champions League since 2018 and attempted 34 shots on goal, they could not secure the win.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised Real Madrid’s robust defensive performance, saying, “Congratulations to Madrid because their capacity to resist and defend till the end, they did so fantastically.”

Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham also reflected on the resilience shown by his team, remarking, “It’s so difficult. They are continuously probing with the ball and move you around. Most teams would fall apart when City get on top of you but we stood up really well.”

Bayern Munich edged out Arsenal with a 1-0 victory on the night, resulting in a 3-2 aggregate win. Joshua Kimmich’s pivotal 63rd-minute header sealed the match. Reflecting on the intense battle, Bayern’s Harry Kane said, “These games are tough and we had to find our way through them. It’s going to be a tough semi-final whoever we play.”

Arsenal, having conceded top spot in the Premier League just days before, could not find the breakthrough despite several clear opportunities.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta lamented the narrow miss, saying, “We wanted it so badly. However, you can see with many other clubs that sometimes it takes six or seven years to get to that stage. We were very close, that is the reality.”

The exits of Manchester City and Arsenal add another chapter to their contrasting Champions League narratives. City’s recent dominance at home came to a surprising halt, while Arsenal’s ongoing rebuild under Arteta showed promising signs despite the disappointment.

In the semi-finals, Real Madrid will clash with Bayern Munich. Both clubs boast a rich history in the competition and will be eager to progress to the final and secure another European title.

(AFP)

 

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