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How Manchester City Thrashes Real Madrid to Set up Champions League Final

by News Desk
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Bernardo Silva’s opening goal hit the back of the Real Madrid net after 22 minutes and 42 seconds.

Before that Manchester City had 81 per cent possession. They had completed 202 passes to Real’s 28.

Two City players had made more passes on their own than Real had as a team.

Vinicius Jnr and Fede Valverde had not completed a pass at that stage.

Emerson had found a team-mate on four occasions: only two Real players had more than that.

But the numbers hardly do justice to what a visceral thrill that first 22 minutes and 42 seconds were.

City charged in, delivering precision jabs at the speed and intensity of a crazed, windmilling MMA fighter.

This was operation overwhelming force, shock and awe, whatever you want to call it.

Thibaut Courtois made at least one miraculous save, put in one of the best halves of his life and still went in at the break 2-0 down. After the first goal Vinicius Jnr went over to Carlo Ancelotti as if to ask, “What do you expect us to do with that?” After the second, Ancelotti stared blankly into the middle distance, his hand on his mouth, the four-time Champions League winner at a complete loss. Real Madrid had absolutely no idea what to do.

“It’s nothing special,” said Guardiola before the game, about his attacking plans. In one sense he was telling the truth, because the theory here wasn’t especially complicated or intricate. In another, it was about as special as you can get, because who else could do that?

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