|Kevin De Bruyne celebrates his sensational leveler against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Two sensational goals from Vinicius Jr. and Kevin De Bruyne characterized the Champions League game between Real Madrid and Manchester City, and we can’t wait for the second leg at the Etihad.
Both parties can be accused of playing it safe at some point, probably out of respect or fear, but you can’t blame either side for being cautious. The pedigree of the Spanish giants can’t be overemphasized, and the quality of Pep Guardiola’s side also needs no introduction.
Contrary to initial projections, Luka Modric was fit to start, and he was immense in midfield, proving once again that ageism doesn’t reduce quality and you can move with intelligence. On the flip side, De Bruyne showed why he’s the guy pundits say he is with his spectacular display.
Eduardo Camavinga, playing left-back for the reigning champions, mesmerized and impressed like that’s his position; he assisted Vinicius Jr. for the opener, a top-drawer from outside the box. The goal came against the run of play as City dominated the opening exchanges.
The hosts soaked up the pressure and depended on counterattacks to trouble Manchester City. Thibaut Courtois was alert as he made save after save to deny the Citizens before the Brazilian winger broke the deadlock with nine minutes remaining on the clock in the first half.
City came out smoking again in the second half. The big Belgian came through with a goal that equaled the brilliance of the opener after receiving a pass from Ilkay Gundogan. Both sides sized each other up for the rest of the game with no success.
The second leg is delicately poised, and this is why we love the game: Manchester City can afford to rotate and still get their desired result in the league ahead of the second leg that is just a week away, and no one can actually tell how this is going to go.