Man City pounce on Varane mistakes to dump out Real Madrid


Man City pounce on Varane mistakes to dump out Real Madrid

Lyon see off Juventus

Saturday, August 08, 2020

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Manchester, United Kingdom (AFP) — Manchester City took advantage of two shocking mistakes by Raphael Varane to beat Real Madrid 2-1 in their Champions League last-16 second leg yesterday and advance to the quarter-finals as Pep Guardiola came out on top in his duel with Zinedine Zidane.

In the other game, Lyon advanced despite losing 1-2 to Juventus in Turin, having won the first leg 1-0 to go through on away goals in the 2-2 aggregate result.

Zidane had never been knocked out of Europe's elite club competition as Real coach, leading them to three-consecutive victories between 2016 and 2018 in his first spell before returning to the job last year.

But Madrid had been left with a mountain to climb in this tie after throwing away the lead to lose 1-2 in the first leg in Spain in February, before the coronavirus forced the competition into hibernation.

An identical defeat at an empty Etihad Stadium means it is City who advance 4-2 on aggregate.

Without Sergio Ramos, due to suspension, Real were undone by mistakes by their other first-choice centre back.

Varane was dispossessed inside the box in the ninth minute, allowing Raheem Sterling to put City ahead, and his poorly headed, back pass attempt gifted Gabriel Jesus another goal midway through the second half.

Before that second goal, the tie had been in the balance with the in-form Karim Benzema having scored for the visitors just before the half-hour mark.

The circumstances may be highly unusual, but this is still City's finest Champions League result their most significant victory in a knockout tie.

“We beat a top team, the best club in this competition, so for us it is massive,” Jesus told BT Sport.

City's best performance in the competition remains a run to the semi-finals in 2016, when they went out rather limply to Real.

Now, with only two former winners still involved in Bayern Munich and Barcelona, City should very possibly be considered the favourites to win the competition in Lisbon on August 23.

If they do so, the victory would taste all the sweeter coming so soon after their successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport against a two-year ban from Europe, handed down by Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for Financial Fair Play breaches.

They have already qualified for next season's tournament after coming second in the Premier League, but now they can look forward to facing Lyon in the quarter-finals next Saturday at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Real, meanwhile, will get over this.

They have dined out on success in the Champions League in recent years, but their main objective after the novel coronavirus shutdown was to win La Liga, and they did that.

“I think we get nine out of 10 for this season,” said Rodrygo. “We don't deserve 10 because of the Champions League but we have still had a great season.”

Meanwhile, a goal up after winning February's first leg, French side Lyon will face Manchester City at the final tournament in Lisbon after drawing 2-2 on aggregate and going through on away goals.

Lyon squeezed past the Italian champions thanks to Memphis Depay's 12th-minute penalty, which put Rudi Garcia's side two goals ahead in the tie and left Juventus with a mountain to climb.

“We are super satisfied with our performance and super happy to go to Lisbon,” said Lyon defender Leo Dubois.

“We need to be aware that we have the qualities to play this quarter-final, we need to give it our all, like we did tonight.”

Needing to score three unanswered goals in order to go through, Cristiano Ronaldo tried his best to drag the Italian champions over the line.

He levelled the scores on the night with a penalty of his own, with two minutes left in the opening period before crashing a second home on the hour mark.

However Juventus performed poorly and Lyon managed to hold on to set up a clash with Pep Guardiola's City, who put out 13-time winners Real Madrid, on August 15.

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