The Roar
The Roar

Advertisement

What the UCL?: Jude's beautiful gesture of thanks to beaten coach, City's weird goal streak continues after GK howler

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
Replay
Cancel
Next
Editor
6th March, 2024
1

Manchester City enjoyed a comfortable cruise ahead of their Premier League defining clash with Liverpool, but Real Madrid were made to sweat until the final whistle as the European giants reached the last eight of the Champions League on Thursday (AEDT).

Man City boss Pep Guardiola named a starting team with just four players surviving from the crushing win over Manchester United last weekend – but one of those was star striker Erling Haaland.

City were already two goals to the good after the first leg away at Copenhagen and any hopes of a shock comeback from the Danish club were extinguished within nine minutes as Manuel Akanji and Julian Alvarez scored.

The Alvarez goal followed an absolute howler from former Liverpool and Huddersfield goalkeeper Kamil Grabara who let the ball sneak through his fingers.

There was a huge gasp around the stadium when the big screen showed the enormity of the error.

Watch every match of the UEFA Champions League exclusive & ad-free, live & on demand on Stan Sport.

The visitors got it back to 2-1 but Haaland went joint top of the tournament scoring charts alongside Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe with his sixth of the campaign before halftime to seal a 6-2 aggregate win. It was the eighth game for City in the UCL this season – and bizarrely the eighth time they’d scored three goals.

Advertisement

Haaland now has 29 goals in all competitions this season – and it will be a further dagger to Man United fans who heard their former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claim this week that the Red Devils could have signed the Norwegian for 20 million euros in 2019.

That statement was exposed by the fact he made seven changes to the side that beat Manchester United at the weekend and then replaced key man Rodri at the break.

City have now reached the quarterfinals for the seventh straight year and are clear favourites to defend their crown in the context of struggles by Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in their round of 16 matches.

 “We’re into the next round. Still we are there in this competition. It was difficult to attack them (FC Copenhagen) because they are well organised playing four or five at the back,” Guardiola told TNT Sports.

“We are well respected for our openness. Before I arrived we didn’t believe we could do it. It’s a question of time, a process. They (hierarchy) gave me time, gave us time.

“We are a team that believes we can do it. Listen, we’re competing with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. We don’t know who we are going to face. It’s a question of wait and see. The important thing is seven years in a row we are here.”

Advertisement

Madrid do it tough

Real Madrid did just enough to reach the final eight, drawing 1-1 with an excellent RB Leipzig in Madrid.

Los Blancos went Blankos in the first half – failing to register a shot on target in the opening 45 minutes.

With coach Carlo Ancelotti playing a waiting game after a 1-0 first leg away win, Real pounced just after the hour.

Jude Bellingham’s measured run and delicious pass set up Vincius Jr to blast home for a 2-0 aggregate lead.

Advertisement

The Bellingham assist was Madrid’s best moment of a controlled victory and the Englishman later presented his No.5 short to the Leipzig manager Marco Rose – who had coached him at Dortmund.

“My old coach from my second year in Dortmund. An amazing guy, and amazing coach as well,,” Bellingham said.

“Still very young and I think a very big future in football. I was just saying how much I appreciated him and how he’s someone I respect massively. He told me it was for his daughter so it was a lovely story.”

Bellingham was the centre of a storm in La Liga on the weekend when a referee blew fulltime moments before the England star headed home what would have been a winning goal in a 2-2 draw with Valencia.

Bellingham’s angry reaction has landed him a two-game La Liga ban.

“We all know what happened. We have to remember he’s human, but so am I so I think they should have used more commonsense when marking my actions down as they did. I don’t think I said anything too offensive towards him and ran in a manner similar to the rest of my teammates,” Bellingham said.

Advertisement

“I feel at times because I’m new they want to make an example which I’m cool with because at the end of the day I need to be responsible for my actions… but two games for that is a little bit ridiculous.”

Instead of crumbling after the Vincius Jr goal, Leipzig roared back and were level on the night within five minutes through a stunning header from their skipper Willi Orban.

The German side came agonisingly close to extra time when Spanish striker Dani Olmo curled an attempt over the Real keep and onto the top of the bar.

Advertisement
close