Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 10:49 PM• Jonathan van Haaster • Last update: 22:57

Manchester City has qualified very convincingly for the final of the Champions League. The team of coach Josep Guardiola was supreme, especially before the break and won 4-0 against Real Madrid thanks to a double batter by Bernardo Silva, an own goal by Éder Militao and a goal by Julián Álvarez. After last week’s 1-1 draw in Spain, that was more than enough for the English to advance to the final in Istanbul. On Saturday, June 10, Internazionale is the opponent.

Guardiola made no changes compared to the first game at the Estádio Santiago Bernabéu. Striker Erling Braut Haaland was flanked up front by Silva (right) and Jack Grealish (left). Kevin De Bruyne was the midfield architect. The Belgian was supported by Ilkay Gündogan and Rodri. Real coach Carlo Ancelotti made one change. Militão, still suspended in the first game, was preferred to Antonio Rüdiger. In the front, striker Karim Benzema was supported by Brazilian wing flashers Rodrygo and Vinícius Júnior.

City showed their attacking intentions from the start and would dominate the entire first half. The English played several chances together. For example, Haaland cleverly outplayed Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, after which the Norwegian was not quite right with his steps. He tried to reach someone on the back line, but his attempt turned out to be in vain. Moments later, Haaland missed an even bigger opportunity. Grealish’s cross landed perfectly on the striker’s head, who saw his effort hit Courtois’ hand. Real just couldn’t get a grip on City’s game. The number of passes received by both teams was illustrative of the first fifteen minutes. City recorded 124 successful passes; Real 13.

After a new header from Haaland was again made harmless by Courtois, it was still hit a little later. De Bruyne gave in a characteristic way to Silva, who had the corner to choose: 1-0. Real could hardly do anything against that. The first danger from the Madrilenians came out of nowhere after 35 minutes. Toni Kroos decided to swing and hit the crossbar through Ederson’s fingertips. It turned out to be an expensive ‘miss’, because on the other side it was already 2-0. From a messy situation, the ball ended up with Silva, who took full advantage via a striking header. Just before half-time, City came close to the next goal several times, but Real was spared it.

City was also the more dominant party after the break, although it did not keep up the high pace. City collapsed and invited Real to attack. However, Ancelotti’s team turned out to be powerless. The only real danger came from a default situation. David Alaba’s free kick was saved by Ederson. The Brazilian saw his team break out dangerously more and more often and that almost led to the 3-0 twenty minutes before the end. Courtois, the only star at Real, once again prevented a hit from Haaland, who saw his attempt hit the crossbar via the Belgian.

A few minutes later it was still hit for City. A free kick from De Bruyne landed on the head of Akanji, who, somewhat fortunately, headed in via Militão: 3-0. Ten minutes before the end, Real finally showed something of itself again. Substitute Dani Ceballos got the ball from Benzema. The substitute had a great shooting opportunity, which was neutralized by Ederson. In the final phase, City even ran out to 4-0. Substitute Álvarez was wonderfully released and allowed Courtois to fish for the fourth time of the evening.