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Last week, the Etihad Stadium witnessed a spectacular seven-goal thriller in the first leg of the Champions League Semi-Final between Real Madrid and Manchester City. The two European giants are preparing to confront each other. Manchester City has a slim defensive advantage in their Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid after a thrilling 4-3 win at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday. The Champions League is drawing to a close, with English heavyweights Manchester City and Liverpool Manchester City in the lead after the first-leg semi-final.

Manchester City is one point ahead of Liverpool in four Premier League matches remaining. Real Madrid is ahead of Barcelona in La Liga, and newly crowned La Liga champions are needed. Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium, freshly crowned La Liga champions Real Madrid, was a 4-3 goal celebration for Manchester City. After so many goals in a thrilling 4-3 first leg, the key to Real Madrid’s comeback hopes will be Casemiro, who can’t even come off the bench, recovering from injury enough to play at least the bar. Gabriel Jesus scored four goals against Watford in both teams’ last game, but Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva are pushing for a recall, and it remains to be seen whether the Brazilian will return to his role at Real Madrid.

Madrid and Villarreal will start the second leg at a disadvantage, but history shows that this season’s Champions League is full of emotions and surprises. Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are all hoping to finish in the top four in next season’s Champions League qualifying rounds. This is Man City’s third outing in Europe’s best cup tournament, following a 4-1 triumph over Paris Saint-Germain last season and a defeat against this week’s opponents in 2016.

Manchester City are in far better form, according to Kevin De Bruyne, to face Real Madrid in a Champions League semi-final than they were when they were eliminated in 2016. The Belgium international was in his debut season with the Blues with Manuel Pellegrini when they drew 0-0 at the Etihad and fell to a Fernando own goal at the Bernabeu. De Bruyne has yet to add a Champions League winner’s medal to his outstanding collection, and last year’s final ended with tears and a damaged eye socket, forcing him to spend the night in the hospital. However, he believes that winning the tournament would only affect the way the team and the club are seen. He said “I want to win every trophy that I can get but that’s a hard task. I would obviously love to win the Champions League also.”

City, on the other hand, will remember numerous missed opportunities, and their defence will have to be at its best if they are to reach their second consecutive final.