Manchester City yesterday eased into the Champions League quarter finals by beating Spain’s Real Madrid 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guadiola’s side proved too good for the visitors through their relentless pressing and passing that often breeched Madrid’s defence.
Gabriel Jesus was a constant threat for Madrid’s defence which had already been weakened by the suspension of their central defender and captain Sergio Ramos.
He set up Raheem Sterling to score in the ninth minute only for Karim Benzema to equalize before half-time.
Without Ramos, Madrid proved even more vulnerable at the back in the second half that their World Cup winning defender Raphael Varane, was prone to making more costly mistakes.
He robbed Varane to set up Raheem Sterling to score in the ninth minute but Karim Benzema’s towering header before half-time set up the possibility of a tense second period.
An uncomfortable Varane committed another error when his back-pass header failed to reach Thibaut Courtois and allowed Jesus to pounce in the game’s decisive moment after 68 minutes.
Although Guadiolla could be comforted by the fact that he won the Champions league twice in 2009 and 2011with arguably the best team in history at Barcelona, the trophy has proved elusive since arriving at the Etihad in 2016.
But their performance against Madrid has restored hope among fans that this may be the season City may break the jinx.
City will face the French side Lyon who beat Italian champions Juventus.
It was a historic night for Raheem Sterling who scored his 100th goal in all competitions for City, becoming the first Englishman to reach three figures for the club since Dennis Tueart in 1981.