Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne scores their second goal from the penalty spot.
And City had seemed unusually focused coming into this game. All teams define themselves against something. City have an opportunity now to define themselves against everyone, against the person , against existential adversity. The damned City. The unforgiven. The outlaw blues. it’s a strong brew.
For the opening quarter of this game City pressed high, strangling Real, who got nowhere and did nothing. Kevin De Bruyne gave a glimpse of his passing range. Casemiro was crowded out by Rodri and Ilkay Gündogan.
This was City as an object of resistance instead of a source of sunshine . And with 20 minutes gone it had been the away fans who might be heard from their distant upper tier, drawing whistles round the ground.
The first clear chance of the sport arrived as Jesus made an exquisite run through the inside-left channel. City were becoming more fluent, although there have been still elements of oddity in their tightly stitched 4-4-2.
For a short time De Bruyne played as a centre forward, the No 9 reimagined as roving Belgian passing genius. Zinedine Zidane, it’s said, does the bare minimum of prep on his opponents. He won’t have had this one abreast of the whiteboard.
Then more adversity: Aymeric Laporte came limping off, replaced by Fernandinho, but City didn’t break stride. Real were strangled within the centre and blunt on the left where Vinícius Júnior demonstrated all the razor-like incision of a startled elk. At which point, faithful their own sense of destiny, Real took the lead, Isco shooting low into internet .
Then came a flash that changed everything. De Bruyne jinked and turned and flighted a stunning cross to the rear post. Jesus had been the simplest attacker on the pitch all night. He headed the ball back during a gentle arc past Thibaut Courtois. agen maxbet online maxbetsbobet.org
City’s fans erupted, then reached a replacement pitch as Dani Carvajal hacked down Sterling on the brink of goal, reward for a spell of sustained and imperious second half pressure. De Bruyne, who completely outshone that regal white-shirted midfield, slotted the kick in to form it 2-1.
City played with a controlled quite fury. Defiance, adversity, the bonding effects of inequity, real or imagined: these are powerful forces in sport.
This wasn’t justice, or some extent proved within the wider battle over regulation and rule breaking but it had been an enjoyable reminder, for all the encompassing noise, of what an excellent City team they’re . Risky, high-wire, edgy, soft within the middle sometimes , but sublime once they pass and move and find those overlapping rhythms.
City had 16 shots within the Bernabéu and passed the ball sometimes with a chastening, almost playful sense of control. One thing is certain: they won’t be going quietly.