Real Madrid Ends Man City’s Double Treble Dream

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  • Rival fans taunt Cityzens over failed Champions League feat 
  • Bayern Knocks-Out Arsenal, Secures last-four spot

Rival fans rejoiced as Manchester City’s dream of defending their Champions League title was shattered by Spanish giants, Real Madrid on Wednesday night inside their Etihad fortress.

The Cityzens went down 4-3 to Los Blancos on penalties. The tie ended 4-4 on aggregate after a grueling 120 minutes of action at the Etihad, but it was the 14-time champions who emerged triumphant in the end to secure yet another semi-final berth.

Expectedly, rival fans took to social media immediately after the club’s defeat to mock the Cityzens as their ‘double treble’ dream ended, even as some fans, including Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, hailed Real Madrid as ‘football heritage’.

City star Erling Haaland had yet another forgettable outing in a big match and was subbed off after 90 minutes with a fan, on X, mocking the Norwegian for ‘disappearing’ yet again when it mattered most.

On a night the the Cityzens failed to defend their European trophy, one of their ardent fans was left furious as Bernardo Silva comically missed his spot-kick.

However, Pep Guardiola’s City can still salvage pride by defending their Premier League and the FA Cup crowns. After Arsenal and Liverpool faltered over the weekend in the league, the Etihad’s Landlords are now leading the title race as they find themselves two points clear at the top of the table.

On Wednesday night, Madrid defender, Antonio Rüdiger, was the central figure in the quarter-final clash. He had been booed throughout because the Manchester City support had not forgotten what he did as a Chelsea player to Kevin De Bruyne in the 2021 Champions League final; the forearm smash that put their midfielder out of the game, which they would eventually lose.

With Real Madrid leading through Rodrygo’s early goal, it was Rüdiger’s fluffed clearance that played a part in De Bruyne’s 76th-minute equaliser, the goal that looked set to even the score on more than one level. Rüdiger would err again at the end of the first period of extra time, tiptoeing into an excellent position to the left of goal only to slice wide.

And so it was practically perfect in narrative terms when, at the end of a draining penalty shootout, it was the same Rüdigerwho strode forward to address the kick to win it for Madrid and set up a mouthwatering semi-final against Bayern Munich.

Impressive Bayern Knocks-Out Arsenal, Secures Last-Four Spot

Kimmich heads past David Raya to win for Bayern. Photo – Reuters

The Champions League journey comes to an end for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal following their defeat to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

Kicking off with high expectations, it was Arsenal who survived an early scare when Harry Kane sliced his shot wide after being set up by Joshua Kimmich.

It was a night when German Bundesliga Champions, Bayern Munich lived up to their assertions that, when Champions League football comes around, they are an altogether different beast.

Perhaps the obituaries were written too quickly for a troubled superpower that, on this evidence, retains the muscle memory of serial winners. They are two games from visiting Wembley in search of a seventh continental title and how a depleted side put the dampeners on Arsenal suggests Thomas Tuchel may yet sign off from his fleeting tenure by making an irresistible point.

Regrettably, it was a missed opportunity for Mikel Arteta and his players. The Gunners had a clear foothold in the game after producing an accomplished first half but were outplayed after the interval and left feeling distinctly flat.

The Gunners departed from the competition with a disappointing performance, lacking the self-belief to push themselves further. Bukayo Saka’s poor decision not to take the free-kick deep into added time proved emblematic of their lack of clarity and conviction.

Joshua Kimmich’s goal in the second half was the decisive moment, giving Bayern the lead and securing their 3-2 aggregate win. Kimmich’s thunderous header, powered by Raphael Guerreiro’s cross, left Arsenal with no chance.

Arsenal’s record in Germany has been dismal, with only one win in their six away games against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Their solitary victory came in March 2013 in the second leg of the round of 16, with four losses and one draw.

Despite their win on the night, Arsenal, led by Mikel Arteta, could not advance to the next round of the competition, leaving them with much to improve upon for future campaigns. – With The Guardian report

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