Real Madrid welcome Manchester City to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium for the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final. In the first leg, Los Blancos lost at the Etihad Stadium by a thrilling three goals to four. They will hope to overturn the deficit to reach their fifth Champions League final since the 2013-14 season. Both Real Madrid and Manchester City head into this crunch match with 4-0 wins in their respective domestic leagues.
Karim Benzema is the leading goal-scorer of this season’s UEFA Champions League, with 14 goals to his name. He has been responsible for 56% of the team’s goals in this UCL campaign. No other team has been dependent on one player for this much goals. The former Lyon man has scored a goal every 65 minutes for Los Blancos, which is quite remarkable for a 34-year-old player. Benzema is also needing just 2.86 attempts to score a goal.
Real Madrid come into this crunch fixture having won 4-0 at home against RCD Espanyol. This win also helped Los Blancos clinch a record extending 35th LaLiga title. Rodrygo Goes netted twice, and Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema also got on the scoresheet. Real Madrid now have 25 wins, six draws and only three losses, with a goal difference of +44 to their name. Four more matches remain in the league for Los Merengues. In the Champions League, Real Madrid have the second-highest xGA this season and must be vary of the attacking talent that Manchester City have at their disposal.
Thanks to Vinicius Junior on the left flank, and any one of Federico Valverde or Rodrygo Goes on the right, Los Blancos have used the wings very effectively to create threats. As a result, Vinicius Junior has had 4.45 shot creating actions per 90 and the most progressive carries of any player in the Real Madrid squad, with 120 to his name. The Brazilian has also received 94 progressive passes, once again, the most of any man in Los Blancos.
Manchester City come into this game having regained the top spot in the Premier League with a 4-0 away win at Leeds United. City now have 26 wins, five draws and three losses, with a goal difference of +63 in the Premier League. In the UCL, Riyad Mahrez is Manchester City’s top goal-scorer, with six to his name, followed by Raheem Sterling on four. As seen in the above shot map of Manchester City, Real Madrid should be vary of conceding chances close to goal as they have rarely missed chances inside the opposition’s six-yard box.
Joao Cancelo is Manchester City’s top threat creator in this season of the UCL from both open play as well as from set-pieces. Hence, it is no surprise that he is the team’s joint top assist provider along with Kevin de Bruyne. Cancelo is generating 0.62 goals and assists per 90 in the Champions League this season. Ferland Mendy should be wary of this threat and accordingly, mark him tightly.
Real Madrid may be trailing in this tie on aggregate, but it is only by one goal. The support of Santiago Bernabeu should galvanize Los Blancos to win the game, but they ought to be defensively better than the first leg.