UCL: Real Madrid dig in deep to beat Man City on penalties; Bayern shoot down Gunners’ ambition

April 18 – Holders Manchester City have been dumped out of the Champions League in the quarter finals, sending Real Madrid through to meet Bayern Munich in the last four after a nerve-shredding evening that ended in a penalty shootout.

Real Madrid fought for a hard-earned victory in a game in which Carlo Ancelotti’s side rarely saw the ball. Brazilian starlet Rodrygo drew first blood in the 12th minute with a goal from close range – a goal that Madrid would fight to protect for the majority of the game.

With City implementing Pep Guardiola’s possession-dominant style to full effect the game was completely in their control, but the title holders struggled to apply the finishing touch to beat a packed Madrid defence.

Belgian playmaker Kevin De Bruyne levelled the score for the hosts in the 76th minute after a mistake from Toni Rudiger, but missed a simple opportunity minutes later that would have sealed the Blues’ place in the last four.

Heading into extra time, Norwegian striker Erling Haaland was called to the bench despite his side chasing a richly-deserved but elusive goal.

Madrid won the tie by way of penalties, with Toni Rudiger making up for his error with a perfect deciding penalty which arrowed into the bottom left.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, who began the season as third choice, was crowned man of the match thanks to eight crucial saves, and a further two to decide the penalty shootout.

Guardiola said: “I would have preferred to win, but congratulations to Real Madrid, they defended so deep with incredible solidarity, and we did everything.

“I don’t have any regrets about what we have done. Always we try to create more chances and concede less, because we believe that helps you to win and we did everything.

“We played exceptionally in all departments, and unfortunately, we could not win.”

Carlo Ancelotti admitted the strength of City had forced them to soak up pressure and look to take the tie to penalties.

The veteran Italian said: “We defended really, really well. This was about survival. Madrid is a club based on always fighting to stay in situations where there seems to be no way out – but we always find a way.

“By the time the penalty shoot-out 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.”

Real Madrid will meet FC Bayern in the semi-final, who scraped past Arsenal with a 1-0 home victory on Wednesday night.

The score was two apiece heading into the second leg, with FC Bayern slight favourites due to the home advantage.

It was a feisty affair as both teams were prepared to get forward and create chances with that semi-final spot within touching distance, but a flying header courtesy of German midfielder Joshua Kimmich made the difference for the Bavarians.

Speaking after the defeat, which marked the second straight loss for the Gunners after shattering their lengthy unbeaten streak versus Aston Villa on Sunday, Mikel Arteta said: “We tried against a team that had a lot of experience, the margins across the tie have been very small. We made a mistake defending the box and we conceded a goal.

“The club hasn’t been in the Champions League for seven years, and in the first year back [people expect us to] play in the semi-final and final.

“We all wanted that, so badly, but you can see with many other clubs it takes six or seven years to get to this stage. We were very close, that’s the reality.”

Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel was full of praise for his quarter final opposition.

“They [Arsenal] are there. For me, they are an elite team. It was a very, very close result. Maybe what they miss a little bit is a bit more experience in these knockout stages,” he said.

FC Bayern will host Real Madrid in the first semi final fixture on April 30, with the second leg to be played eight days later at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1716042079labto1716042079ofdlr1716042079owedi1716042079sni@g1716042079niwe.1716042079yrrah1716042079