Man City thrash Real Madrid to reach UCL Finals vs Inter Milan
Manchester City defeated Real Madrid 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium to clinch a 5-1 semi-final aggregate triumph over the ousted European champions, and they will now play Inter Milan in the 2023 UEFA Champions League (UCL) final in Istanbul on June 10.
The winner of a tie between these two teams would advance to the grand finale for the third time in ten years. On the two previous occasions, Real prevailed, but City's defeat to the Spanish powerhouse in this competition last year left them with a particularly sour taste as two late goals from Rodrygo advanced the Galacticos. One year later, City wasted no time in exacting sweet revenge by playing Real off the field with their patented pinpoint passing and unrelenting sprinting.
Due to City's early domination, Erling Haaland, the uncontested Premier League scoring champion, was only stopped from scoring twice by two incredible Thibault Courtois saves. However, the unmatched reflexes of the Belgian goalie could only save his colleagues so many times before City ultimately broke the score after 120 seconds of Haaland's second attempt. As sharp and dangerous as ever, Bernardo Silva expertly handled Kevin De Bruyne's precise through ball to enthrall the home fans.
However, Real can never be counted out, and several passes towards City's backline were just marginally overhit. And if Toni Kroos' rasping drive from a distance had not been touched by Ederson even slightly, the ball might have nestled into the top corner instead of smashing against the crossbar. Before the end of the half, City was still clearly the superior team, and they increased their lead as the break drew near. Once again, Silva came through, heading an uncontested header into the top corner and giving Carlo Ancelotti's men a difficult task to overcome.
David Alaba nearly cut the deficit in half in the 51st minute, forcing Ederson into another important save from a free-kick as Real's chances of a fifth UCL victory in 10 editions continued to dwindle in front of their eyes. Although it appeared certain that the Norwegian phenomenon would eventually put himself on the scoresheet, Courtois quickly denied Haaland at the other end, signaling a momentary change in strategy.
The last blow to the holders, meanwhile, came when Éder Militão sent Manuel Akanji's flick on into his own net and Julián Alvarez slid a shot past Courtois in stoppage time. In the end, City had an easy night. They have now won all 15 of their previous home European games, and they can now anticipate playing in their second UCL championship game in three seasons. A historic triple to match the one their opponents renownly accomplished back in 1999 has never felt closer thanks to the fact that they have the Premier League all but locked up and an F.A Cup final versus Manchester United remaining in front of them.