Manchester City vs Real Madrid summary: score, goals, highlights | Champions League semi-final second leg 22/23
Manchester City vs Real Madrid: as it happened
That's all for tonight's coverage!
Thank you for joining along with me for what was another amazing night of Champions League football. I'll leave you with my colleague Agustín Martín's player-by-player analysis of a catastrophic night for Real Madrid.
Make sure to head over to en.as.com for all the latest sport news.
Pep Guardiola post-match:
We had a fantastic energy, we attacked well inside, finding spaces.
We played with intensity and we are happy to be in the final.
Today we played a midfielder higher up and found the space to attack with more fluidity.
Anything can happen, but this year we feel really strong at home. Against Liverpool, Arsenal, Leipzig, Bayern and now Madrid.
We rushed things a lot in the second half. We sped things up and we should have slowed them down! It was a little harder for us to interpret moments.
What a year Rodri has had. Without him we wouldn't have been able to do what we have done. Everyone talks about Erling, but Rodri....
We have a game on Sunday to win the Premier League and it's time to think about that.
City-Madrid post-match stats:
Shots on target: 7-3
It was quite the baño as they say in Spanish.
Ancelotti is keeping the faith:
"This defeat is just one step to becoming better next year."
And between the last time they lost 0-4 in the Champions League (to Liverpool in 2009), they have won 5 European Cups. There's always hope.
Now it's time to get in the mood for the upcoming final, so here's everything you need to know about the date, time, venue, country and just about every other query you might have on the stage for the biggest game in European football.
Thibaut Courtois' post-match reaction:
I think they pressured us well, we couldn't get out. We put up with it well but we didn't play our game and they felt more comfortable. The goal didn't help us to get into the game.
We started the second half well, but it was hard to create and we weren't clean with our passing.
They won the second balls and we misplaced a lot of easy passes. It's not easy to run behind the ball. They always have 6, 7 or 8 up front to press and it's not easy.
The way we go out hurts a lot. Losing 4-0 is a tough defeat, but we lost to a team who are having a great year, they are unstoppable in the Premier League.
If you're not at your top level in a game like the Champions League semi-final, it's hard to win.
What happened to lead to such a defeat? "City were better... from start to finish. They put a lot of pressure on us. And it shows in the score."
Do you feel like you could have done more? "We lacked a bit of... I wouldn't say attitude. But we did back down too early. And when we took a step forward, we had our best moments. Thanks to those who traveled with us. We will work hard and come back stronger."
What was the plan? "This ground is so tough, they're very strong here. But it's true that after the feeling from the first leg, we all thought we would play better with the ball."
What is your assessment of the season? "Well, there are still matches left, we are still giving our utmost against the opposition... and we want to finish as high as possible. It's a shame not to be in another final, but congratulations to City, who were better. We'll keep our heads high. We have young players who are hungry for success. We will come back stronger."
Carlo Ancelotti, post-match:
It was difficult to come back in the game, we tried but it didn't go well.
Evaluating what happened right now doesn't make sense to me.
It hurts a lot but it can happen, they are a good team.
We have to think about next season, about the next Champions League.
I said congratulations to Guardiola, they played better than us.
Barça players recognise Guardiola's efforts
Aitana Bonmatí of Barça Femení was the first to praise the Catalan coach. I'm sure there'll be many more to come...
The MVP award goes to Bernardo
His two goals in the first half gave Madrid an impossible task after the break, and the away side never really got going since then.
So, it will be Manchester City vs Inter in the Champions League final. But what is their record against each other?
Well, Roddy's already on it. Like lightning, he is. Make your own lightning rod puns.
What a performance from City
"You get up, dress well, be on form and perform the best you can. Go out onto the field and play well", Pep said before the game. I think he accomplished all of those things tonight, even if he did go for the Diego Simeone look.
Here's how Sofascore saw the game:
Madrid tried their best in the second half, but it was never going to be enough against such a rampant City.
Here's how the xG looks at full-time:
It's not pretty reading for Madrid, as I imagine with most statistics this evening.
In what was perhaps a perfect exhibition of football from start to finish, Manchester City pulled the arms and legs off Real Madrid one by one, step by step, causing them the most pain possible.
Pep's plan worked to perfection from the starting whistle, pinning Real Madrid into their own box and not letting them go. From there, City could jump on any pass that was not inch-perfect and they did, scoring two goals in the first half that came from their suffocating tactics.
The second half did not have the blitzkrieg feel of the first, but Madrid failed to create and continued to make mistakes, maybe somewhere in the minds of the players they knew it was over.
Towards the end the game seemed to open up, but that only gave City more space to play, and two late goals put the thought of another fairytale comeback out of the minds of even the most optimistic onlooker.
In the end, City were simply too much, and fully deserve to be where they are.
MANCHESTER CITY WILL PLAY INTER IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL
Full time in Manchester!
And that's the game over!
We're back underway.
Foden's delightful pass emulated the best version of Kevin De Bruyne and it cut through the Madrid defence like they weren't there.
Álvarez got on the end of the simple yet deadly ball to slide a shot under Courtois, showing Haaland how it's done.
3 minutes added.
City misplace a pass. Potentially the first one of the night.
The last few minutes have simply been City exhibiting their knowledge of trigonometry as they ping the ball around in triangles that would make Pythagoras jealous.
Manchester City are enjoying themselves, and rightly so. They have been levels above Madrid and it shows with the way they are fizzing the ball around the pitch as Madrid's black shirts try to keep up with them.
Five minutes to go... can they?
Benzema sums up Madrid's night by firing a pass straight into the advertising boards.
De Bruyne OFF
Ederson saves a chance for Madrid!
Los Blancos manage to finally put the home team under some pressure with a nice pass from Beznema to Vini, but City clear the danger before Madrid get close to goal. The ball falls to Asensio whose shot is easily saved by Ederson.
City are hunting for more goals as Madrid continue to bail water from the ship. Rüdiger cuts out another De Bruyne pass that looked as though it was on it's way to slice through the defence.
Lucas, Tchouaméni and Ceballos ON
Camavinga, Carvajal and Rodrygo OFF
And we're off again.
Everybody wave and say hello to VAR, which has come to play and is now checking a possible offside.
De Bruyne's cross is swung in and the ball finds the net with Akanji celebrating a touch (although it looks like a Militão own goal).
It's Camavinga's turn to trip Grealish and he goes into the book.
Gundogan and Haaland linked up wonderfully, with the German back-heeling a beautiful pass to the Norwegian, all on his own inside the box.
Haaland, one vs one against Courtois just a few yards away from goal, hits a low shot towards the far post that COURTOIS GETS HIS LEG TO!
WHAT A CHANCE FOR HAALAND!!!!!
Asensio has positioned himself behind Benzema in what is now a 4-2-3-1 for Madrid.
Vinicius goes down in the box and says he's been pushed... Mr. Referee is having none of it.
Grealish skips past Carvajal and manages to squeeze a cross into the box, which is cleared by Militão.
Asensio is preparing to come on.
Militão as cool as a Brazilian cucumber as De Bruyne's pass is fizzed across goal towards the Norwegian monster, but the defender's positioning is perfect and he stops the counter.
Kroos sees his shot blocked after a nice break from Vinicius and Benzema.
The game has ever-so-slightly opened up over the last few minutes...
Camavinga saves a certain goal as he slides in excellently well to stop the deadly duo of Haaland and De Bruyne from breaking away.
Madrid attack on the right, but City get back well to cover the spaces and force the away side to rethink their plans.
Safe to say we didn't expect that change; Camavinga moves into midfield and Alaba shifts over to full-back.
Vini breaks away and is brought down late by Gundogan, who goes into the referee's book for naughty boys.
Carvajal does well to shepherd the ball back to his goalkeeper after City show their opponents how attacking is done.
Real Madrid go up the other end and eventually lose the ball, giving away a foul on Grealish in the process, breaking down the move.
Real Madrid's effort to put City in danger breaks down after a mixture of poor passing and good pressing from Benzema and Gundogan, respectively.
Madrid are creeping closer, but they still don't look like scoring.
Just a reminder that Real Madrid are3-1 down on aggregate score, and they need two goals to draw level. We have no away goals rule anymore.
Madrid edge forward with the ball, switching from right to left, but City's press is rabid and airtight, causing Los Blancos to move backwards.
Carvajal goes into the book after bringing down Grealish, who had skipped past him. Easy booking, no complaints.
Madrid have the chance to break from the corner which is defended well, but the ball over the top to Vinicius is overhit and City recover possession.
De Bruyne's pass is overhit as he breaks through the Madrid midfield and Haaland can't get on the end of it. Madrid immediately lose the ball and it finds Grealish, who forces the corner after some dangerous dribbling down the left.
We're back underway.
There are two balls on the pitch and we've got a stoppage in play while the referee explains the rules...
Alaba's shot was fierce and Ederson tipped it over the bar!
WHAT A SAVE FROM EDERSON!
Alaba didn't cross, he chose to fire a strong shot towards goal that the keeper managed to get a fingertip to!
And he got booked for that, did Dias.
Vini Jr is fouled by Rúben Dias on the edge of the box... Madrid have a chance to cross.
Real Madrid make it into City's box and Benzema hits a shot that is blocked.
Free-kick to City after Camavinga brings down De Bruyne near the halfway line. Real Madrid defend the initial effort but City win the second ball and pin the away side back in their box.
Madrid, in the opening minutes, have tried to play the ball around City. Let's see how they get on.
What a wonderful tackle on Vini Jr from Walker as the Brazilian starts brightly and spins away from two City shirts on the left.
And we're off!
Real Madrid get us going...
Here we go for the second half. The players are on the pitch.
The xG is not pretty for Los Blancos
0.01 expected goals for Real Madrid and almost two for City, who are now well aware of what it takes to get past the mighty Thibaut.
That's some list to be on!
Real Madrid need some magic in the second half if they want to get back into the game. And the first item on the list should be stopping Silva from finding all the space he has been gifted.
Silva has been outstanding for City
Two goals from the Portuguese is a perfect reward for the fantastic performance from all the team. City have been absolutely perfect so far.
Well, that was like watching King Charles' fingers crush a baby butterfly.
Manchester City have pressed Real Madrid into oblivion, suffocating them on all sides and lapping up the chances from the countless mistakes the away side are being forced into.
Madrid can count themselves lucky to be only two down, as City have seen the magic that Courtois can produce on two occasions, with the Belgian somehow keeping the scoreline down to what it is.
Pep will be delighted, as his plan has worked to perfection from the first whistle and City have more than one foot in the final. Real Madrid need to change something, or maybe everything, if they want to get back into the game and the tie.
And that's all for now!
City get through again! Another mistake from Madrid in the buildup thanks to City's press and this time it's Alaba who blocks the low drive towards goal.
Silva darts in from the right and smacks a low shot into the grasp of Courtois.
De Bruyne receives the ball on the turn in the centre circle and, free of challenges, he slides a pass through the defensive line that cuts through Madrid like an axe through wet wood. The away side are undone yet again at the slightest touch.
Five minutes to go and City are still looking for more. Real Madrid's shape is again being tested by quick changes in direction from the home side.
Rodrygo clears the ball from De Bruyne and City have a corner.
Silva gets brought down by Camavinga close to the managers' technical area. Free-kick to City.
Real Madrid continue to make mistake after mistake in the middle of the pitch, this time it's Rodrygo whose pass is loose and fails to find a teammate.
We're back underway and the City of Manchester Stadium is rocking...
Gundogan slipped and slid between tackles in the Madrid box with glorious dancing feet and his shot was saved well by Courtois, but the rebound fell to Bernardo Silva whose header lifted and dropped into the back of the net.
Madrid hands are on heads in disbelief. Just when it looked like there would be a chance...
City waste a perfect chance to counter as Stones misjudges a pass and it flies out of play. The worm has turned...
Ederson got a fingertip to an absolute cracker from the German midfielder that smacked off the crossbar!
TONI KROOS WITH A THUNDERBOLT FROM DISTANCE
OFF THE BAR FROM MADRID
Real Madrid have woken up... Carvajal forces a corner for the away side.
This time it's Benzema who gets in behind the City defence after a nice run and pass from Rodrygo, but Ederson is quick to make a decision and collects the ball.
Another chance for Madrid! They are actually here!
Well, a half chance. Vinicius was played in behind and it looked like he was going to have a 1vs1, but Walker did excellently well to get back and stop the danger.
REAL MADRID HAD A CHANCE!
Militão gets back to stop Haaland being fed by Gundogan after sloppy play from the away side yet again.
The City striker mistimes his run and goes in late on the defender. Madrid get a free-kick and a breather.
Rodrygo passes the ball to absolutely nobody and out of play. One of those days.
Real Madrid make it into Manchester City's half... but only because City have played the ball back to Ederson.
Madrid sat off as Haaland was given more than enough time and space on the edge of the box to set himself up and launch a strike on goal that burned past the far post.
HAALAND FIRES WIDE
Madrid try to attack but it gets cut out instantly. Nada.
We're back underway. This is painful watching if you're a Madrid fan.
Bernardo slipped in between Camavinga and Alaba, and was given enough time to receive the ball from De Bruyne, take a touch, look Courtois in the eye, and smash the ball into the net.
A much-deserved goal from City who could - and should - be miles away on the scoreboard.
City's spinning teacup formation tricked Madrid into giving Bernardo too much space inside the box on the right side, and the Portuguese hit athunderous near-post effort past Courtois from close range.
De Bruyne's cross was played to the back post where Akanji headed across goal to Haaland.
The Norwegian attacked the ball with his blonde locks and fired a header to goal, but somehowCourtois managed to push it wide!
That's one of the best saves I've ever seen!
HOW DOES HE DO IT?!
WHAT A SAVE FROM COURTOIS!!!!!
AND IT WAS CLOSE FORM DE BRUYNE!
The Belgian tricked everyone and hit a laser-guided effort towards the near post. Of course, Courtois had it covered with his Inspector Gadget extendo-arms.
City have a free-kick on the left after Valverde bundled down Gundogan in an attempt to stop the attacking waves.
Gundogan, in acres of room in the right half-space, hits an overpowered cross over the head of Haaland. Again, Madrid failed to see the danger and close the space.
It's quite shocking how much Real Madrid are suffering here. If it were a boxing match, you'd have your bets on it finishing early.
City keep coming with Grealish on the left, who is finding time, space and everything else behind Carvajal. Madrid cannot cope and need to find a way to change things before things get messy.
Grealish's cross to the back post was floated to Haaland, who smacked a header into the ground that Courtois - somehow - managed to push away from goal from a yard out.
A HUGE SAVE FROM COURTOIS
CITY CAME SO CLOSE TO OPENING THE SCORING IN MANCHESTER
OFF THE LINE!!!!!!!!!
City are spinning in and around Real Madrid on all sides like figure skaters. Grealish and Gundogan link up and find Stones, whose shot is hit wide form the edge of the box.
Benzema, pressured by both Rodri and Bernardo, loses the ball facing his own goal as Madrid try to maintain something akin to a passing sequence.
City's press is really causing Madrid all sorts of early problems.
Every channel is blocked and all roads lead back to Thibaut, who can inly launch a high ball into the air for City to win back.
In case you were wondering, here's our piece on the referee for the game. You're welcome.
Real Madrid need to wake up...
The second one game instantly after, as Rodri skipped past two players to make it into the box and fire a low shot that fizzed wide of the goal!
De Bruyne played Haaland through and the striker got past Courtois but found himself at too tight of an angle to shoot, and he dragged the ball back and away from goal.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR CITY!
Haaland is furious at the referee for not giving what looked like a sandwich on Bernardo from Vini and Camavinga.
Courtois catches the ball after Militão beat Haaland to De Bruyne's cross. Madrid are deep and City, who have started with buckets of energy, are pressing them back into their own box.
Real Madrid haven't put two passes together, yet...
Real Madrid's pressing shape is like a diamond made up of Benzema, the two wingers and Luka Modric at the base, all surrounding Rodri.
Walker has the first shot of the game, an effort from distance that flies high and wide.
Some slick City triangles work the ball from left to right and back again as Madrid try to squeeze them in with a very narrow front line.
City start with the ball and Madrid are sitting off in a mid-block, waiting for them to progress the ball out from the back. No early risks.
Here we go!
And we're off!
City kick us off from left to right.
And here comes the Champions League anthem! Boos all around the ground.
The players are in the tunnel...
We're almost ready to go!
The atmosphere is electric!
Forget what they say about the City of Manchester Stadium being a library, tonight is breaking all the stereotypes!
Here's a reminder of the starting XIs:
Man City [3-2-4-1]:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Akanji; Stones, Rodri; Gundogan, Bernardo, De Bruyne, Grealish; Haaland
Real Madrid [4-3-3]:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militão, Alaba, Camavinga; Kroos, Modric, Valverde; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vini Jr
Ten minutes to go!
And I must say, the atmosphere has improved considerably over the last half an hour.
The warmups have finished and now the players are down the tunnel and receiving the final instructions before kick-off!
Noel Gallagher has spoken!
"If we were playing any other club tonight I'd really fancy City, but...this really is Real Madrid's competition"
You may have missed it, but check out this slip-up from UEFA's Twitter person in the build-up to the game today. Safe to say that it has made lots of people chuckle while causing many people to see sparks and flames and anger...
We've got just over 20 minutes to go!
Both teams are well into their warmup process on the pitch and will, in just a few minutes, head down the tunnel for their final team talks!
Kyle Walker, pre-game:
You have to show Vinicius respect, hopefully I can do a job on him and we can get to the final.
'The Lads' sounds better than 'Vinzema'
Here's Vini wearing his special headphones, the same ones he gifted to Karim Benzema last week. Headphone friends.
After a rout in the first leg, only a single Lautaro Martínez goal was needed for the nerazzuri to advance to the final.
Inter are in Istanbul and they await the winner of tonight's game.
The players are on the pitch
The warmups have begun and the Manchester City players were welcomed to a huge roar from the crowd!
Ancelotti to Spanish TV in the Etihad:
It's going to be a long game, an even game, football fans are going to enjoy it.
The bench could help a lot, both teams have great benches. It's not just a game for eleven players.
Rüdiger is a great player, so is Militão. Choosing any player is about small details, it's not just one or the other.
If we get it right, we win the tie.
We expected Guardiola to keep the same XI. He rested players in the Premier League.
If you've just joined us, here's a reminder of the XIs:
Man City [3-2-4-1]:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Akanji; Stones, Rodri; Gundogan, Bernardo, De Bruyne, Grealish; Haaland
Real Madrid [4-3-3]:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militão, Alaba, Camavinga; Kroos, Modric, Valverde; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vini Jr
The dressing rooms are ready...
And Real Madrid will be wearing their black and green shirt.
Officially called 'Black and Pulse Lime', Adidas say: undulating lines follow the gradients of the stadium's sweeping curves, and the lime green, embroidered details incorporate a metallic effect that's inspired by the stadium's silvery exterior.
Couldn't have put it better myself.
Here's how things look inside the ground
The fans are making their way from one party to another, and have began to enter the ground to find their seats. The nerves in the stadium are also rising!
The party has started at the Etihad!
Forget C-list rappers with tattooed faces inside the ground, look at the party Manchester City fans are having outside!
There's fire, flares and a ferocious Norwegian striker somewhere in the photo - imagine what the atmosphere is going to be like when the City faithful get their hands on those flags in the stands!
Carlo Ancelotti pre-match press conference
What is the plan? Simple, try to be better than in the first leg, because we can do even better. Both on an individual level and a collective one.
Do you think it will be a long game? Are you nervous? I am calm, excited, hopeful. I know it will be a day of 'Haaland is coming, De Bruyne is here' but it's time to forget that. It's time to think about 'Vinicius can do this' and 'Benzema can go that'.
What will you say to the players before the game? I don't know, it just comes out, I don't think about it. Courage and personality will be very important, because the pressure will be incredibly high. If you don't control your head, your quality will suffer.
Of course, Haaland starts up front for City tonight.
Against Antonio Rüdiger in the first leg, the Norwegian had one of the most frustrating nights of the season, and the few shots that he managed to have did not trouble Thibaut Courtois in the Real Madrid goal.
This time, however, he is up against Éder Militão, who was suspended for the first leg. The challenge will be completely different, so we will see if Erling manages to extend his goal-scoring record in the Champions League, one that is already reaching towards the highest-ever numbers in the competition.
City XI revealed:
It's a full-strength lineup from Pep as he goes up against Real Madrid tonight!
Walker - Dias - Akanji
Stones - Rodri
Bernardo - Gundogan - De Bruyne - Grealish
So far we've had over 100 votes...
And one option has absolutely ZERO votes! Find out which one it is and have your say on Twitter, @English_AS.
Kyle Walker the face of the matchday programme
“[The game] is big to everyone in the dressing room. We know the goals at the end of it, it’s a massive week for the club. We’ve put ourselves in a good position compared to two months ago. To bring 1-1 to the Etihad, we’re more than confident to get a result. Hopefully we can do that again", Walker said before the game.
A pre-match treat...
If you're not from the UK, you may think that the delightfully warm, liquid delight inside my cup could be a classic Early Grey tea, or even a cheeky hot chocolate. But oh no, reader: it's a Bovril.
As the wording on the cup suggests, it's a 'beefy drink' that's basically a watered-down soup that tastes like meat. Think of making a lovely Sunday dinner and instead of eating the meat, draining the liquid in the bottom of the baking tray and selling it as a beverage.
It's as delightful as it sounds.
Here's how things went last time, with a thrilling game ending 1-1 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.
Manchester City dominated the home side for what felt like long periods, before Vinicius Jr reminded everyone that the Champions League is Real Madrid's competition, and thwacked a stunning effort into the top corner past Ederson.
Madrid came back into the game, and began to dominate City... which is right when De Bruyne scored. He took the ball on the edge of the box and fired a laser-guided effort past Courtois to level the score.
The game tipped one way and then the other for the remainder of the 90', with the two teams knowing that today's do-or-die game at the Etihad Stadium will make or break their seasons.
All set at the stadium
The flags are in place, but what I'm not sure about is whether or not City have organised for fans to have those clapping devices...
Anyway, apparently Madrid's away fan ticket allocation has not sold out, meaning that tonight we might not see the fiery, bear pit of an atmosphere at the Etihad, like normal.
Ancelotti is on the verge of breaking Alex Ferguson's Champions League appearance record?
But when will he do it? And how many games has he managed in Europe's top competition?
Check out everything there is to know about Ancelotti's upcoming record here:
Pep Guardiola pre-match press conference:
My legacy is already exceptional! We are not stupid and we know how important tomorrow is, maybe the most important since we’ve been here. I say to the players, live it like a huge opportunity, enjoy the moment. How fortunate we are.
It’s in our hands, depends on us, we don’t have to do something exceptional, just be ourselves, win one game to reach the final, give everything. I have an incredible feeling about the team. Thank you so much to them for bringing us here again.
Hopefully you will see tomorrow, I cannot tell you, otherwise Carlo... It’s nothing special. I’m not overthinking, don’t worry guys. Nothing differently to the past, just to be a bit more fluid and play a bit better, knowing the opponent has the weapons.
The players don’t owe us anything. They have to just play football as best they can. It’s not necessary to tell them how good Real Madrid are. They know, they felt last season and know it this season. We are blessed to be here.
- Real Madrid have a fully fit squad for this game tonight, which is something that Carlo Ancelotti has not been able to say all season.
- Manchester City's only loss is Nathan Ake, who suffered an injury last week. De Bruyne is fit and should start.
Real Madrid's bench:
Lunin, Vallejo, Nacho, Hazard, Asensio, Odriozola, Lucas, Tchouaméni, Ceballos, Rüdiger, Mendy, Mariano
Madrid starting XI - Militão and Camavinga are in!
Carvajal - Militão - Alaba - Camavinga
Kroos - Modric - Valverde
Rodrygo - Benzema - Vini Jr
A tough night for Madrid lies ahead
Manchester City are unbeaten in - wait for it - TWENTY FIVE home matches in the Champions League. The last time they lost a European game at the Etihad Stadium was way back in 2018 to Lyon.
Technically, they lost as the 'home side' to Lyon in 2020, but that wasn't played at the Etihad due to COVID.
You can have a virtual chocolate bar if you can tell me who scored that day for Lyon.
Team news on the horizon:
We've got no official confirmation of the starting lineupsjust yet, but if Carlo's season so far is anything to go by, I don't think we'll be waiting too long...
Real Madrid are looking for more UCL miracles
A magical second leg against City instantly went down in history in the Spanish capital last year, and Los Blancos will be looking to replicate that spirit tonight, albeit perhaps with slightly less drama.
The tension is building...
If you've just joined us then welcome along to the live coverage of humungous tie in Europe's most prestigious competition!
It's Joe here from AS USA to talk you through the ups and downs, the laughter and the tears of tonight's mammoth-sized fixture.
It's Manchester City vs Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second leg!
Madrid put through their paces
Real Madrid put the finishing touches to their preparations in Valdebebas, here's a brief video of the players being taken through their drills.
Who are the favourites?
City are the bookies' favourites to beat Real Madrid tonight and go on to lift the trophy.
BetMGM have City at -165 (a $165 bet will win $100) while Real Madrid are at +400 (a $100 will win $400) with odds at +333 if the game ends level after 90 minutes.
In the UK, Bet365 also have City as the favourites (8/15) with Madrid at 9/2 and 7/2 for a draw.
Real Madrid's route to the semis
Carlo Ancelotti's team dropped points in two group games - both away from home: a 1-1 draw at Shakhtar and a 3-2 defeat to RB Leipzig but still managed to finish top of Group F, one point ahead of the Germans.
In the knockout phase, they have met English opposition throughout. They eased past Liverpool and Chelsea and now City stand in the way of a place in the final for the second year running. Here's how Madrid's UCL campaign has mapped out:
Celtic 0-3 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 2-0 RB Leipzig
Real Madrid 2-1 Shakhtar
Shakhtar 1-1 Real Madrid
RB Leipzig 3-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 5-1 Celtic
Liverpool 2-5 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool
Real Madrid 2-0 Chelsea
Chelsea 0-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 1-1 City
City's route to the semis
Here's a look back at City's Champions League campaign unfolded. Pep's troops finished top of Group G with 14 points and remain unbeaten in this edition of the tournament.
Sevilla 0-4 City
City 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
City 5-0 Copenhagen
Copenhagen 0-0 City
Borussia Dortmund 0-0 City
City 3-1 Sevilla
RB Leipzig 1-1 City
City 7-0 RB Leipzig
City 3-0 Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich 1-1 City
Real Madrid 1-1 City
Watch City at work
Pep Guardiola took his squad through their final preparations for the Real Madrid match at the Etihad Campus. Only Nathan Ake, who has a calf muscle injury, is unavailable.
Kick-off times around the world
Tonight's match gets underway at the local time of 8pm BST, that's 3pm EDT / 12 noon PDT in the United States.
It’s been a very long and intense season for both Manchester City and Real Madrid, one of whom will bow out of the Champions League tonight, the other will have another game, a final, to add to their packed schedule. City are chasing the treble and Madrid, the quadruple...
So who has had the most games to get through? And which players have racked up the most playing time in both teams?
On the domestic front, by the way, Real Madrid could find themselves in hot water over their substitution of Eduardo Camavinga in their LaLiga win over Getafe on Saturday.
After suffering a knock, Camavinga was replaced by Álvaro Odriozola late on at the Bernabéu. However, Madrid initially intended to bring Odriozola on for Marco Asensio. Asensio walked to the touchline to allow the defender to make his way onto the field, and it was only at this point that he was told to stay on, with Camavinga coming off instead.
Getafe have complained to the Spanish Football Federation's Competition Committee that the substitution was already complete before Madrid's hasty about-turn, making Asensio ineligible to carry on playing. If the Competition Committee sides with Getafe, Los Azulones would be awarded the points from the game.
Opta supercomputer backing City
However, soccer stats specialists Opta are not backing Real Madrid to make it three wins on the bounce in England.
Their supercomputer calculates Manchester City's chances of knocking Madrid out today at a pretty meaty 69%.
Madrid have won two on spin on English soil
Real Madrid may have never won at the Etihad, but their recent away form in England is very good. Drawn against Premier League sides Liverpool and Chelsea in this season's last 16 and quarter-finals, respectively, Carlo Ancelotti's men won the away leg in both ties.
If Madrid are going to beat City tonight, they'll also have to halt their barren run of results at the Etihad Stadium: the Spaniards have never won at the ground.
What's more, Pep Guardiola's men are unbeaten on home turf in their last 25 Champions League matches.
AS's Pablo M. Fuentenebro looks at both teams' Champions League records at the Etihad.
Man City and Real Madrid's UCL stats
Courtesy of our colleagues at SofaScore, here's a look at some of Manchester City and Real Madrid's key UCL stats.
City remain unbeaten in the tournament this season; unless Madrid are planning on going through on penalties, that's a run that Los Blancos are going to have to bring to an end today.
Manchester City go through their paces at their Etihad Campus training ground yesterday.
(Photo: Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff)
City again without injured Aké
The chief team news for Manchester City, meanwhile, is that defender Nathan Aké remains unavailable. The Dutchman, who also missed the first leg in Spain, suffered a calf injury in City's win over Leeds earlier this month.
AS's Xavi Heras has taken a look at the hosts' potential line-up tonight.
(Photo: TIM KEETON/EFE)
You might also be interested in this piece by my colleague Mario de la Riva, who discusses Éder Militão's iffy form of late.
For much of the season, the 25-year-old has been the one nailed-on starter in the Real Madrid defence - but over the past month, he "has set about draining all the credit he had built up this term", Mario writes.
"He needs to wake up quickly," Carlo Ancelotti said of Militão after Madrid's defeat to Real Sociedad earlier this month.
Who will Carlo Ancelotti go for at the heart of the Real Madrid defence? At the weekend, the Italian had seemed to confirm that Antonio Rüdiger would start - but he walked back those comments in yesterday's pre-match press conference, claiming a "misunderstanding".
Unless Ancelotti opts to play David Alaba at left-back, the Madrid boss will have to choose between Rüdiger, Alaba and an out-of-sorts Éder Militão for the two centre-back berths.
AS's Manu de Juan takes a look at Real Madrid's potential starting line-up today.
Rüdiger muzzles Haaland in Bernabéu opener
Last week’s first leg was Erling Haaland’s first competitive meeting with Real Madrid, a club who are keen to sign the Norwegian in 2024.
Unusually, given Haaland has 52 goals this season, he didn’t impress. He touched the ball just 22 times at the Bernabéu - fewer than any other starter, including both goalkeepers.
That Haaland was kept so quiet was largely thanks to the sterling man-marking job that Antonio Rüdiger did on the 22-year-old.
Rüdiger was only playing because regular centre-back Éder Militão was suspended. Now, though, the German could keep his place at the Brazilian’s expense…
(Photo: OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)
Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti oversees training at the Etihad Stadium yesterday.
(Photo: EFE/EPA/PETER POWELL)
Can Real Madrid retain continental crown?
As for Real Madrid, they'll earn themselves a shot at a record 15th European crown if they qualify for the final today.
As defending champions, they'll also have the opportunity to seal back-to-back titles - a feat that has rarely been witnessed in the Champions League era. Since 1992, indeed, Los Blancos themselves are the only club that has managed to retain the trophy, winning it on three straight occasions in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
(Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images)
Can Man City emulate Utd's Class of '99?
For Manchester City, tonight's game is not only a chance to close in on a first ever European title; Pep Guardiola's men are also in the running to match Manchester United's historic treble in 1998/99.
United remain the only English club to win the league, FA Cup and Champions League in the same season, but City are very much in the hunt to become the second.
Combined with Arsenal's home defeat to Brighton, Sunday's 3-0 win at Everton has left the Sky Blues on the cusp of a fifth Premier League title in six years - they'll be champions next weekend if they beat Chelsea, or if the Gunners lose to Nottingham Forest. In the domestic cup, they face United in the final on 3 June.
(Photo: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP)
Inter await in Istanbul final
Whoever wins at the Etihad Stadium today, they'll book a final date with Inter, who sealed semi-final victory over city rivals AC Milan yesterday.
Lautaro Martínez's second-half strike secured a 3-0 aggregate win for the Nerazzurri, as the three-time kings of Europe made the Champions League final for the first time since winning the tournament in 2010.
AS USA's Roddy Cons was watching the semi-final second leg at San Siro.
(Photo: EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI)
All square after first leg in Madrid
It finished 1-1 eight days ago, as Madrid and City traded howitzers from the edge of the box in an unsurprisingly intense clash at the Bernabéu.
Vinícius Júnior opened the scoring for the hosts when he thumped one in past Ederson late in the first half, before Kevin de Bruyne replied with a hold-my-beer pearler, from almost the same spot, after the break.
Both goals were beauts, but for me the exquisite crispness of De Bruyne's strike just about gave it the edge.
This is what my colleague Joe Brennan made of the opening leg in the Spanish capital.
(Photo: JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELA/Diario AS)
Manchester City vs Real Madrid build-up: welcome
Good morning! We're 11 hours out from kick-off at the Etihad Stadium, where Manchester City and Real Madrid are poised to slug it out for the second ticket to June's Champions League final in Istanbul.
After last week's first leg at the Bernabéu, it's a semi-final tie that is still very difficult to call.