Top Winners and Losers After Tuesday's Champions League Semifinals Leg 1 Results

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVApril 26, 2022

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - 26 April: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final Leg One match between Manchester City and Real Madrid at City of Manchester Stadium on April 26, 2022 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jose Hernandez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Jose Hernandez/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Just another banger in this year's UEFA Champions League. Were you expecting anything less?

Manchester City topped Real Madrid 4-3 in Tuesday's semifinal between the clubs, an open and exciting affair that somehow left a few goals on the pitch, if you can believe that. And it was just the first leg. Expect even more fireworks when the tie heads back to Madrid.

Taylor Twellman @TaylorTwellman

What a fantastic game at the highest of levels. Two managers, two teams that have “gone for it”. You don’t often get it like that but we have. <a href="https://twitter.com/realmadriden?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@realmadriden</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ManCity?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ManCity</a> 🤌🏼💪🏼 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a>

Below, we'll break down the day's winners and losers. And then we'll take a moment to catch our collective breaths.

Winner: City's Relentless Attack

The Sky Blues just carved Madrid apart, as they do to most teams that attempt to play an open game against them. It only took under two minutes for Kevin De Bruyne to get the home team on the board.

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

THE PASS FROM MAHREZ. THE FINISH FROM KDB.<br>95 seconds in, Manchester City score the fastest goal in a <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UCL?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UCL</a> semi-final. 🔥 <a href="https://t.co/sTCu9KzhDF">pic.twitter.com/sTCu9KzhDF</a>

And the floodgates opened from there:

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

Five goals in three days. Gabby Jesus cannot be stopped. ⚡️ <a href="https://t.co/dqaxTcnhXZ">pic.twitter.com/dqaxTcnhXZ</a>

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

Fernandinho steals it, plays the one-two and puts it on a plate for Phil Foden. 💥 <a href="https://t.co/0wYkFqkhqK">pic.twitter.com/0wYkFqkhqK</a>

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

BERNARDO SILVA HIT THAT. 😳 <a href="https://t.co/orJkSRtxTa">pic.twitter.com/orJkSRtxTa</a>

This wasn't City facing Everton—this was Real freaking Madrid. And Manchester cut through Los Blancos like a machete through butter on a summer day.

City is a juggernaut. At least going forward, that is.

Loser: Real Madrid's Defense

Two things can be true at once—City was effervescent going forward, but Real Madrid's defense didn't exactly put up a fight.


Antonio Rudiger watching the Real Madrid defense 😅 <a href="https://t.co/3vzgva9Sl1">pic.twitter.com/3vzgva9Sl1</a>

Cassandra @ChrisWarcraft

This Man City/Real Madrid game is simultaneously great soccer and absolutely abysmal soccer. Announcer nailed it when he called it “delightful chaos”

Stefan Bienkowski @SBienkowski

Can’t believe Real Madrid are going to spend all that money on Kylian Mbappe this summer and still play Dani Carvajal at right back. Stealing a wage.

Los Blancos are still kicking, but it isn't because of the defensive effort.

Winner: the Individual Brilliance of Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior

Every single week there is one constant—Karim Benzema finds himself in the winner's section of these articles.

So it's no surprise to see him here yet again, as an absolute sublime redirection led to Real Madrid's first goal and his icicle-veined Panenka on a penalty earned Los Blancos their third goal:

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

KING KARIM SCORES HIS 40TH GOAL OF THE SEASON ON HIS 600TH REAL APPEARANCE. 👑 <a href="https://t.co/lii5qWEPLg">pic.twitter.com/lii5qWEPLg</a>

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

BENZEMA. ICE. COLD. 🥶 <a href="https://t.co/T6l2dnENIq">pic.twitter.com/T6l2dnENIq</a>

Julien Laurens @LaurensJulien

Imagining missing three of your last four penalties and then doing a Panenka at 4-2 down away at City in the Champions League semi final first leg! You are from another planet <a href="https://twitter.com/Benzema?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Benzema</a>!

Jeff Borzello @jeffborzello

Benzema is cold, man. Just give him the Ballon d'Or now.

Sandwiched between the Frenchman's brilliance was Vinicius Junior, with a turn on makeshift right back Fernandinho so brilliant it made the City man look like he was fighting for his life in quicksand. Of course, Vini wasn't done there, racing into space before slotting home a lovely finish.

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

The turn. The run. The finish!<br>Magical from Vini Jr. 🎩 <a href="https://t.co/UytIrCpelX">pic.twitter.com/UytIrCpelX</a>

Sam Dean @SamJDean

21-year-old Vinicius making 36-year-old Fernandinho look his age on that wing…

Sam Wallace @SamWallaceTel

Felt like Vinicius turned Fernandinho in one post code and scored in another

Leander Schaerlaeckens @LeanderAlphabet

We don't talk enough about Real Madrid buying Vinicius Junior when he was only 16, making him the most expensive Brazilian not named Neymar, and him then completely living up to that colossal pressure.

Real Madrid is lucky to head home down just a goal in this matchup. Brilliance from its attacking pair has kept the club afloat.

Loser: City's Chances to Bury Madrid

Poor Riyad Mahrez.

The City winger probably left three goals on the table in this one, missing an obvious cross to an open teammate on the attack, hitting the post on another attempt and narrowly missing a tight angle on a third attacking play.

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

Pep was HEATED after Mahrez failed to make it 3-0. 😡 <a href="https://t.co/qSQhNGk000">pic.twitter.com/qSQhNGk000</a>

CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ @CBSSportsGolazo

Mahrez ❌<br>Foden ❌<br><br>How did Manchester City not score?! <a href="https://t.co/uIQmIV2tn1">pic.twitter.com/uIQmIV2tn1</a>

But there was Aymeric Laporte's handball. City failing to have anyone in position to track Vinicius on the counter. Fernandinho having to moonlight at right back after John Stones had to come off injured.

It felt like classic City in the Pep Guardiola era—Champions League glory right in front of the Sky Blues but somehow wanting to slip out of their grasp.

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

It feels like this is the last decade of Champions League distilled.<br><br>There have been so many knock-out ties when a Guardiola team should be out of sight, and Madrid should be demolished - but they both stay in the balance...

Mark Ogden @MarkOgden_

Man City are becoming involved in too many great games for their own good. Liverpool twice and now Real. They should be out of sight against Real, but they keep conceding chances and goals

James Tyler @JamesTylerESPN

The rare "win you feel absolutely awful about" for Man City, while Real Madrid will feel delighted despite being completely outplayed from start to finish

jamie jackson @JamieJackson___

Not a great result for City...

Perhaps they'll handle business in Madrid. But even on a day when they scored four goals, this felt like a missed opportunity.