Cyprus Mail
Champions LeagueSport

Real dispatch holders Man City, Kimmich heads Bayern past Arsenal

champions league quarter final second leg manchester city v real madrid
Real Madrid's Antonio Rudiger celebrates with teammates after converting Real's crucial fifth penalty

Real Madrid and Bayern Munich were the winners in last nights Champions League quarter finals as they overcame their English opposition, Man City and Arsenal respectively, in two closely fought tiees.

Real Madrid dispatch holders Man City in Champions League shootout

Antonio Ruediger scored the decisive penalty as Real Madrid beat holders Manchester City in an edge-of-your-seat 4-3 shootout victory to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League after the teams were locked at 4-4 on aggregate following extra time on Wednesday.

City’s Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic both misfired in the shootout to put Madrid in the driving seat and Ruediger slotted their final effort past keeper Ederson to extinguish City’s dreams of a second straight treble.

“We started well, went ahead and then we had to fight to survive, we had to suffer. City had control because we defended too deep,” Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti told Movistar. “By the time the penalty shootout came, we were totally convinced we’d go through.

“This is about the only way you can come to City and win. You work, sacrifice and win however you can.”

An absorbing encounter had finished 1-1 on the night after Kevin De Bruyne’s second-half effort had cancelled out Rodrygo’s opener for Madrid, who sealed a semi-final berth against Bayern Munich.

“We’ve suffered a lot because City are a very strong team that put you against the ropes, but we are Real Madrid and we fought until the end, what matters is that we are in the semi-finals,” Madrid skipper Nacho told Movistar Plus+.

“These are magical nights and I have goosebumps. It’s one of those ones you dream of as a child.”

After the teams had slugged out a thrilling 3-3 draw in the first leg, Madrid, who have hoisted the Champions League trophy a record 14 times, took the lead in the tie when Rodrygo stunned the Etihad crowd with a goal in the 12th minute.

England international Jude Bellingham picked a long ball out of the air with stunning control in the build-up to Rodrygo’s goal. Vinicius Jr crossed to the 23-year-old Brazilian, whose first shot was batted away by Ederson before he tucked in an easy rebound.

“It’s relief,” Bellingham told TNT Sports. “You put so much into the game. I’ve played against City before and they snatch it away from you. I was pretty much dead on my feet at the end.

“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.”

Rodrygo’s goal was Madrid’s final shot on target on a night that City had 68% possession, but the home side squandered chance after chance –– several from prolific striker Erling Haaland who was replaced at the end of normal time by Julian Alvarez.

De Bruyne finally drew them level in the 76th minute with a close-range finish and the Belgian had two incredible chances to put City ahead, but launched both shots over the crossbar as manager Pep Guardiola buried his face in frustration.

“Congratulations to Real Madrid, they defend so deep, with incredible solidarity,” Guardiola said. “We did everything. I have no regrets about what we’ve done.

“Defensively, offensively, we played exceptional in all departments, in everything, and unfortunately we couldn’t win, so that’s what it is.”

That took the tie to extra time but City could not muster a winning goal.

While Luka Modric failed to convert Madrid’s opening spot kick, Bellingham, Lucas Vazquez and Nacho were on target for the visitors, and Julian Alvarez, Phil Foden and Ederson found the net for City.

“Our biggest strength is he (manager Carlo Ancelotti) finds a way to let a lot of boys play with freedom. We’re so off the cuff,” Bellingham said. “As a man he fills you with calmness and confidence. I caught him yawning and he said to go out and excite him.

“You have to see it as a responsibility not a pressure if you want to play for a team like Real Madrid. Today it came down to mentality.”

City have little time to lick their wounds as they head to Wembley on Saturday to play Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals. They also have a two-point lead over Arsenal and Liverpool in the Premier League with six games remaining.

Kimmich heads Bayern Munich past Arsenal and into semi-finals

Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich powered in a 63rd-minute header to give them a 1-0 victory over a toothless Arsenal on Wednesday and send them through to the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in four years with a 3-2 aggregate win.

Germany international Kimmich timed his run into the box perfectly to connect with a Raphael Guerreiro cross and put Bayern, who had earlier hit the woodwork twice from a double chance, in the driving seat following a 2-2 first-leg draw.

The Bavarians, enduring their worse domestic season in more than a decade, will next face Real Madrid in the last four while outgoing Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel became the first German coach to reach the last four with three different teams.

“Unbelievable win. It’s been a tough season for us and we’ve had to fight and grind at times,” said Bayern’s top scorer Harry Kane, who had bagged a goal in the first leg.

“Today was just that – we knew it was going to be a tough game but also that at home we could make the difference with our fans there.

“As always in these types of games, the first half was a bit cagey. We said at halftime to up the tempo and the pressing and be better with the ball. That’s what we did.”

There was little to separate the two sides in a cautious first half with Bayern threatening early with two shots from Kane.

Arsenal, bidding to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2009, were almost caught on the break in the 23rd minute when Noussair Mazraoui’s cutback was palmed wide by David Raya. The Arsenal keeper also blocked a Jamal Musiala shot a minute later as Bayern had a brief spell of pressure in the first half.

The best chance fell to Arsenal in the 32nd with Gabriel Martinelli’s first-time shot, after good work from Martin Odegaard, going straight to keeper Manuel Neuer, who set a competition record with his 58th clean sheet.


The hosts went close straight after the restart with Leon Goretzka’s header bouncing off the crossbar before Guerreiro hit the post with a shot on the rebound.

But they gradually upped the pressure and Kimmich charged into the box and drilled his header past Raya.

Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta made several substitutions but they could not find a way into the German box and had no real scoring chances in the second half with Bayern remaining disciplined and in control of the game.

“Very sad and disappointed with the final result,” Arteta said. “It was a tie of very small margins. In the first leg we conceded two poor goals.

“It was a game where you can see an error or individual brilliance would make the difference. The goal put them in a really good position. We lacked the magic to unlock the game and open that door. That’s why we are out.”

The defeat caps a disappointing four days for Arteta’s team after their Premier League title challenge suffered a blow with their loss to Aston Villa on Sunday.

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