M. City MNC
Sterling 8', Gabriel Jesus 67'
Real Madrid RMA
Benzema 27'

Manchester City 2-1 Real Madrid: Varane's errors open the door for City

Rob Train

Manchester City 2-1 Real Madrid: Varane's errors open the door for City

Manchester City vs Real Madrid - Champions League last 16: as it happened

Two collossal errors from Varane were Madrid's undoing but only Benzema and Courtois showed sufficient stomach for the fight in the Etihad.

The current quarter-final set-up

Manchester City vs Lyon

RB Leipzig vs Atlético Madrid

Chelsea or Bayern Munich vs Napoli or Barcelona

Atalanta vs Paris Saint-Germain

A touch of class from Juventus, who have congratulated Lyon on making Champions League history. 

Guardiola still a check book manager? 

It's going to be a long flight back to Madrid for the France defender. The absence of Sergio Ramos again proved Madrid's downfall as the captain sat this one out. That's now one win in eight Champions League knock-out games without the Spain defender. 

Ronaldo woe

It isn't to be for the Juventus star this season either, with the Portuguese aiming to match Clarence Seedorf's record of winning Europe's elite club competition with three different teams. 

And it's Lyon! The Ligue 1 side have vanquished Juventus and two of the pre-tournament favourites have fallen by the wayside before the quarter-finals! 

We still don't know... a minute left on the clock in Turin. 

And in the quarter-finals Guardiola's side will face... 


And there's the whistle! Madrid are out of the Champions League! Zidane suffers his first aggregate defeat in the competition and City take another step towards their dream of lifting the title for a first time. 


The ball finds its way to Ederson... he won't be in a hurry to release it. 


De Bruyne heads to the corner flag... 


Madrid pinned back by City's forwards... time is not exactly on their side. 


Four minutes added... will Zidane's "flor" do the trick...? 


Sergio Ramos is not happy... 


Pep sends on Otamendi for Rodri... we doubt City will be chancing their arm at this stage... 

In Turin, it's Juventus 2-1 Lyon... 


Silva! Just over! Courtois wasn't getting to that... 


Free kick for City right on the edge of the area... 


Zidane sends on Lucas Vázquez, as if to hammer home the point. 


And the Spanish magician almost finds his way through but is repelled by the Madrid defence in extremis. He was almost a Madrid player of course. Of all the ones who got away, perhaps the biggest clanger of the 21st century. 


Sterling off, Silva on. We're copywriting that one for Brexit. 


Madrid probing but in a summary of their performance this evening Modric plays a loose ball and then clips De Bruyne as he attempts to break. 


City can afford to play keep-ball at this stage and just keep Madrid out of their half. 

Surely the Frenchman has to roll the dice and throw everything he has on now? 


Another City attack, another Jesus chance... but this time its clattered into the stands. Madrid seem to have no answer to the City press and time is very much running out as Zidane faces his first Champions League elimination. 

Replays suggest Madrid were very lucky there.... 


Penalty shout! Sterling glides into the area and goes down but the ref waves play on! We've seen those given... 

That's 4-2 now on aggregrate and Madrid need two in 20 minutes to turn this around! 


Goooooooooooool! Varane with another error as he fails to deal with a regulation ball over the top and Jesus slips it past Courtois! The France defender has had a bit of a shocker this evening and City have one foot in the quarters! 


Courtois! Another fine save from Jesus keeps Madrid in the hunt. He's had a wobble or two but when it's mattered the Real keeper has been solid in terms of shot-stopping. 

No further goals in Turin... as it stands Juventus are heading out of Europe. 


Benzema! A lovelt touch from Asensio tees up the Frenchman and you'd fancy him from that range but he hits his shot straight at Ederson. Madrid need to make the running here. City can afford to soak up whatever Zidane's side throw at them. 


Zidane makes his first change as Asensio comes on for Rodrygo. 


De Bruyne! The Belgian flashes a very dangerous cross across the face of goal... had a City boot found itself on the end of that it would have been the end of Madrid's Champions League challenge. 


City are looking comfortable in midfield at the moment. Zidane may have to consider giving someone the nod... 


De Bruyne! The Belgian almost carves a chance but a combination of Militão and Carvajal saves Madrid's bacon. 


Courtois! A rare mistake from Casemiro lets City in and Jesus feeds Sterling... the England man thinks he's in but Courtois times his tackle to perfection and leaves Sterling slapping the turf in frustration. 


Rodrygo tries the same trick again and this time Cancelo reponds by flailing an elbow in the young man's direction. The ref, who has been blessedly infrequent in his interventions, sees nothing worth a pump on his whistle and play continues. 


Sterling appears to have shifted out to the left at the start of the second half... what has Pep got in mind? 


Courtois alert again to deny De Bruyne at his near post! Guardiola has sent his side out to finish this if possible! 


A second corner for the hosts as Militão hacks one clear... 


Courtois! The Belgian is also in on the act as he makes a smart sane to deny Sterling! City out the blocks like whippets here... 


Varane immediately atones for his first-half clanger as he prevents another Jesus pull back from finding Sterling! 


We're back underway! 

City managed eight shots to Madrid's four in the first half, but three of the visitors' were on target compared to two from the hosts. 

Another Zidane comeback? Or will Pep shut up shop in the second half? 

In tonight's other game, Juve and Lyon are tied at one apiece, leaving Cristiano Ronaldo and company requiring two in the second half. 


And that's the whistle! Madrid have salvaged a 1-1 draw on the night after 45 minutes but City could have put this to bed during the opening half. Plenty for Zidane to ponder at the break. As it stands, City are heading to Lisbon and Madrid are heading for the beach. 


Courtois again! This time he keeps out a cheeky effort from his international teammate from the corner flag... those Red Devils sessions are proving handy all of a sudden. 


Courtois almost hands City the lead! A dreadful clearance from the keeper - why do his defenders continue to play it to his feet? - finds De Bruyne, who feeds Phil Foden only for the youngster to flash a decent effort just wide of the near post! A let-off for Courtois there. Who'd be a keeper eh? 


De Bruyne is incensed as he is denied a free-kick on the edge of the area... in fairness to the Belgian, unless trying to pull an opponent's shorts off is no longer an infraction, he had a point there. Careless from Carvajal, who shrugs and wanders off, as is his wont. 


Wonderful from Mendy as well, who gets himself out of a tangle with Sterling by "sombreroing" the England forward. 


Courtois! The Belgian, who lest we forget was being questioned last season, earns his coin again with an expert save from Cancelo. Not only did he stop the shot, he managed to divert it away from the attentions of the onrushing Jesus. Fine keeping. 


Zidane's side have found their lines now and are successfully keping City at arm's length as the home side probe for an opening. 


Kyle Walker, or Maradona? The right back goes on a mazy run, taking out Kroos and Carvajal en route to goal, but pulls the trigger from a fair distance and see his shot fly high into the stands behind Courtois' goal. 


City had a brief opportunity to end the tie in the opening 20 minutes but Madrid have settled now and seem a bit more confortable on the ball. 

Great work from the young Brazilian there, who saw an opening and slipped his man to create the chance. 


Gooooooooooool! Benzema! Out of nothing, Rodrygo plays himself in on the right and lifts it up to Benzema at the near post. The Frenchman makes no mistake and nods it past Ederson to level the score on the night! 

Madrid are failing to generate any danger at the moment and City look capable of carving them open at will. 


Benzema rises to claim a header and duly knocks it on but not only is there nobody making the run, the flag is up as well. 


Jesus gets a ticking off for taking Rodrygo down but it's too far out to of much use to the visitors. 


Benzema! The Frenchman warms Ederson's gloves with a decent strike and Hazard gets another crack in as Real look to hit back. As it stands, they'll be needing two to take it to extra time... 


Casemiro! The ever-dependable Brazilian makes an incredible sliding tackle in the area to deny Sterling another sight of Courtois' sticks. Fine tackle from the Madrid mop-wielder. 


Sterling! The England man is given all the time in the world to turn, control and pick his spot and it's just a smidge over Courtois' bar! Real Madrid are in proper trouble here... 


Modric! The Croatian has Madrid's first effort of the game but it's into the empty stands high and very wide of Ederson's sphere of influence. 


City come again and they are going for the jugular now! First Foden then Gundogan have decent opportunities in the area but the visiting defence manage to keep them at bay, just... 


That has really got Madrid in a pickle in the Etihad. City have a two-away goal advantage and a 3-1 aggregate lead! 


Gooooooooooool! A dreadful mistake from Varane, who immediately puts his hands to his head, lets Jesus sneak in and he pulls it back for Sterling who side-foots past Courtois! 


We wouldn't be terribly surprised if Guardiola has instructed the Belgium international to take the game to the relatively green Brazilian. 


De Bruyne! The Belgian wizard has a pop from distance - and he's been known to land a few from there - but it whacks Militão on its way out for a corner. The delivery clears everyone and Madrid manage to get it to safety. 


Madrid almost work a chance as Carvajal finds Benzema in the area but the Frenchman can't quite dig the ball out from under his feet with the pass ever so slightly behind him. 


De Bruyne with a rare bad ball that was aiming for Sterling but bobs out harmlessly at the far side. 


Madrid stroking it around at the back and Courtois, never the most comfortable with the ball at his feet, doesn't appear to like the approach at all. 


And we're off! Real in their away pink number, City in Blue. 

A minute's silence for the victims of the coronavirus pandemic... 

The Champions League hymn blares out over an empty Etihad... 

Five minutes to go and the teams are in the tunnels! 


Madrid going through their paces under the watchful eye of Grégory Dupont, who has been credited with the physical condition of Zidane's players after the restart having sent them special working packages during lockdown. Dupont was attached to the France national team that won the 2018 World Cup and his gruelling regime could make the difference this evening with fatigue bound to set in, particularly if extra time is needed. 

Thibaut Courtois will be looking for another clean sheet this evening in Manchester. The Belgium stopper has managed to keep the score to zero in 50 percent of his appearances this season (21 in 42) and has conceded just 30 across all competitions. He has leaked nine of those in six Champions League games though. 

We've said it occasionally and we don't mind saying it again... is Benzema hugely underrated? Cristiano Ronaldo was a big fan of playing alongside the Frenchman, who teed up a good portion of the Portuguese's goals at the Bernabéu. With question marks over Hazard's fitness and Rodrygo failing to score or provide an assist since the restart, there's a fair bit resting on Zidane's Mercedes in the Etihad this evening.  

AS spoke to former City player Paul Lake ahead of tonight's match and he offered some interesting insight into the working's of Pep Guardiola's side. 

Full interview: 

If we were in Zinedine Zidane's touchline trainers, we'd be slightly more happy with our bench... although David Silva is not a bad man to have around if you need to turn a game on a sixpence.  

Manchester City XI confirmed

And a bit of a curve-ball from Guardiola as well with Phil Foden preferred to Riyad Mahrez

The inclusion of Rodrygo perhaps a bit of a surprise after the young Brazilian's slip down the pecking order in the second half of the season. Plenty of ammo on the bench though for Real. Asensio might have expected to start after rediscovering some form after the restart and the work rate of Lucas Vázquez is always handy, but Zidane also has Isco if things don't open up on the flanks. 

Real Madrid XI confirmed

Eden Hazard starts for the visitors alongside Benzema and Rodrygo. It looks as though Zidane has gone for the tried and tested 4-3-3 with his usual midfield and Militão slotting in at the back for the suspended Ramos. 

More from our friends at OPTA... seven out of seven. It certainly seems that everything is teed up for City this evening, but then that's probably what Wolfsburg thought back in 2015-16, when the Bundesliga side arrived in Madrid with a 2-0 advantage from the first leg. 

Madrid squad for Manchester City

Here's Zidane's squad list. It will be interesting to see what both managers do in terms of subs with plenty of players since the restart suffering niggles of one sort or another. The big question is whether Eden Hazard will start or be kept back as an ace up Zidane's sleeve to have a pop at the back four in the final 20 or 30 minutes. 

Some nice stats in here. One that stands out: Zinedine Zidane could be eliminated from a Champions League knockout tie for the first time, having been victorious in the previous 12. 

It could be the time for Karim Benzema to have "one of those nights" in Europe. The Frenchman became accustomed to playing second fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo at Madrid and struggled last season without his Portuguese dance partner but he has come into his own this campaign and was singled out by Guardiola ahead of the match. 

Full Guardiola press conference: 

It was Bale who scored the only goal the last time the teams met in the knock-out stages, during 180 eye-watering minutes that did not live long in the memory. The Welshman's deflected effort from the right separated the sides in the 2015-16 semi-finals as Zidane went on to claim the first of his three consecutive crowns. The same result this evening would see City through on away goals so Madrid will have to attack. 

Zidane won't be able to call on either James Rodríguez or Gareth Bale this evening, with both players haveing barely featured for Madrid since the restart. James is said to be on his way out of the Bernabéu while Bale apparently said he preferred not to play in this one. According to most reports it was because he felt that he would have little chance of being called upon in the Etihad. 

Full story: 

Militão - "I am here" 

The Brazilian spoke exclusively to AS ahead of the game and seemed pretty confident that Zidane's side would get the job done. 

Full interview: 

Without Ramos things tend not to go too well in Europe for Madrid... it's likely Éder Militão, who has had a modest debut season at the Bernabéu, will be asked to fill Ramos' boots this evening. 

However, the visitors will be without talismanic captain Sergio Ramos - who also takes a pretty handy penalty if it comes to that - after the firebrand Spain defender picked up an impressive 26th career red card in the opening exchange. 

Full preview for Manchester City vs Real Madrid: 

City hold a 2-1 advantage from the first eg in Madrid but Zidane has added plenty of defensive steel to his side this season: Thibaut Courtois unseated Jan Oblak from his perennial position as the Zamora trophy holder and Madrid conceded just 25 in the entire league campaign. 

Manchester City vs Real Madrid: welcome

It's all on the table at the Etihad this evening as Manchester City and Real Madrid go head-to-head for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals, where either Lyon or Juventus will be waiting. 

Defeat for either coach is unlikely to be a deal-breaker: Pep Guardiola has the City gig for as long as he wants and Zinedine Zidane has delivered three European Cups to the Bernabéu, which swiftly fell apart the moment he left. Still, both sides will be up for this one, particularly given the possibility of a domestic and European double for Madrid and a first major European trophy for City.