Vinicius Jr and Kevin De Bruyne stepped up for their teams on a tense Champions League semi-final night as their stunning strikes left the tie finely poised ahead of the return leg.
Thibaut Courtois – 8
Real Madrid leant on their goalkeeper in the early stages as they failed to get to grips with Man City. He was more than up to the task but couldn’t do anything to stop De Bruyne’s stunning goal.
Dani Carvajal – 6
Seemed more interested in winding up Jack Grealish than playing football. The right-back had a tough start, like the rest of his team-mates, but had an easier ride as the game went on.
Antonio Rudiger – 7
Did a good job of keeping Erling Haaland quiet. The former Chelsea defender left Ilkay Gundogan in a heap after a robust challenge as he imposed himself on the opposition. He combined well with David Alaba to contain one of Europe’s most prolific teams and his aggression was vital.
David Alaba – 7
Was composed in possession to help Real Madrid weather the early storm of Man City pressure. Best moment was when he kept out Haaland with a big sliding block in the box.
Eduardo Camavinga – 7
Tireless performance from the young midfielder at left-back. His run and pass set up Vinicius Jr to give Real Madrid the lead. But his bad pass gave up possession for De Bruyne’s equaliser.
Toni Kroos – 7
Struggled at times in the holding midfield role defensively, especially early on when City had control of the game. But his class shone through as Real grew into the game, playing a key role to keep his side calm with his ball retention.
Luka Modric – 7
The midfield maestro produced a moment of class to unlock Camavinga deep in the Real Madrid half for Vinicus Jr’s goal. He couldn’t always keep up with City’s energy when Real were sat back on his return from injury.
Federico Valverde – 7
Handed a more defensive role in midfield as he dropped back into the defence at times which meant we saw less of him going forward. Still signs of his quality in flashes offensively but fulfilled his duties admirably at the back.
Rodrygo – 7
Kept Man City busy and showed his quality going forward in moments.
Karim Benzema – 7
Star of the show last year, Benzema had more of a supporting role this time out. Knitted the play together well, to help Real move further up the pitch and would’ve scored in the first half had it not been for Ruben Dias. His header deep into the second half was expertly stopped by Ederson.
Vinicius Jr – 9
Lived up to his billing by scoring an absolute screamer to put Real Madrid ahead. Man City never looked comfortable when he had the ball. The Brazilian shone brightest in a game that had been billed as a battle between himself and Haaland. Player of the match.
Marcos Asensio – 5
Wasn’t on the pitch for long.
Aurelien Tchouameni – 6
Another late introduction but nearly scored the pick of the bunch. We’ve seen him strike them before for France against England.
Nacho – N/A
Had little to do in the few minutes he was on the pitch.
Ederson – 8
Could do nothing about Vinicus Jr’s thunderous strike but produced a vital save when called upon, keeping out Benzema’s second-half header.
Kyle Walker – 7
Was caught out at times by Vinicius Jr but stuck to his task against one of Europe’s best forwards. No player on the pitch had more tackles than his five.
Ruben Dias – 8
Produced a goal-saving block to stop Benzema from tapping in at the back post after Vinicius Jr’s drilled cross in the first half. He was, perhaps, guilty of backing off the Brazilian too much for his goal. But the captain produced a captain’s display as he helped City keep Real’s chances to a bare minimum.
John Stones – 8
Had a very strong start and was involved in a lot of City’s attacking play at the beginning of the game. Also defended very well out of possession.
Manuel Akanji – 6
Not his best game in a City shirt, but important to City’s build-up play.
Rodri – 8
Unfazed by the big occasion on his return to Spain, he was dictating the play for City and was a handful for Real. Also showed his grit in the midfield battle.
Ilkay Gundogan – 7
Was in the wars early on after tough challenges from Kroos and Rudiger but managed to find De Bruyne for his equaliser.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8
Had been stopped from linking up with Haaland for most of the game, but took matters into his own hands by scoring a stunning, drilled strike from range to bring City level. City’s star man stepped up again in their time of need.
Bernardo Silva – 7
Played a big role for City early on as they appeared to target Camavinga, but he didn’t get much luck against the makeshift left-back. As always, Silv worked tirelessly for his team and won the ball back more than anyone else on the pitch (7).
Erling Haaland – 5
Had three shots which were comfortably saved by Courtois. Real did a good job of keeping the superstar’s involvement to a minimum. He had the fewest touches of any player that started (22), with both goalkeepers having more.
Jack Grealish – 7
Created more chances than any other City player as he gave Carvajal a headache.
Real Madrid’s next game is at home to Getafe in LaLiga on Saturday – kick-off 8pm.
The European champions then travel to the Etihad to take on Man City in their Champions League semi-final second leg on May 17 – kick-off 8pm.
Ahead of their rematch with Real, City go to Goodison Park to take on Everton in the Premier League on Sunday, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 2pm.
Man City’s remaining fixtures
May 14: Everton (A) – Premier League, kick-off 2pm, live on Sky Sports
May 17: Real Madrid (H) – Champions League, kick-off 8pm
May 21: Chelsea (H) – Premier League, kick-off 4pm
May 24: Brighton (A) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm, live on Sky Sports
May 28: Brentford (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm
June 3: Manchester United (N) – FA Cup final, kick-off 3pm