What the UCL?!: English football’s nightmare night as City and Arsenal both OUT after penalty shocker


Manchester City’s campaign to retain the UEFA Champions League is over after a heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat to Real Madrid despite dominating almost every moment of the match.

Going in 3-3 from the first leg in Spain, they went behind to Rodrygo smash-and-grab and, though Kevin de Bruyne did equalise, Pep Guardiola’s team could not break down the Madrid wall.

After a couple of poor penalties in the shootout – one from Bernardo Silva was a particular stinker – that was that.

With the game on the line, City keeper Ederson stepped up to score himself, but couldn’t stop Antonio Rudiger’s effort.

As City and Real fought themselves to a standstill in Manchester, Arsenal’s season as all but ending in Munich.

They went knowing that a win was needed but conceded via Joshua Kimmich header to leave Mikel Arteta wondering where it all went wrong.

His side lost to Aston Villa at the weekend, leaving them well behind in the Premier League title race, and are now out of the Champions League.

The only solace is that City had to play 120 minutes and suffered similar disappointment, and that Liverpool are 0-3 down going into their UEFA Europa League match tomorrow.

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Carlo Ancelotti has made this tournament his calling card, and set his side up perfectly.

While he has a wealth of riches available to him on a talent level, the ability to get those superstars to subjugate themselves to the team so completely remains his greatest skill.

He knew his side would have to do plenty of defending, but set them up to strike early and then take it deep.

In just the 12th minute, Vini Junior got in down the right and picked out Rodrygo, and though his first shot was saved, his second found the back of the net.

Real Madrid strike first in Manchester ???? Fantastic play from Los Blancos and Rodrygo converts at the second attempt!

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It had been mostly City before that point, but afterwards, the game was simply defence v attack – and for the most of it, defence was winning easily.

City camped on the edge of the Madrid box but couldn’t find an opening. A Bernardo Silva miss and an Erling Haaland header were as good as it got until late in the second half.

Pep made his first move by withdrawing Jack Grealish for Jeremy Doku, who immediately brought urgency to the attack.

The goal came as a result, with Doku driving directly at the defence to create space from which de Bruyne roofed a shot into the net.

Still the pattern continued.

Though the game was played exclusively at one end, the organisation from the Spanish giants was near-perfect – and when it wasn’t, City fluffed their lines.

De Bruyne before and Phil Foden after the 90 minute break both had presentable chances from cutbacks that they failed to finish.

It was perhaps telling that, again, Haaland was totally nullified. He was hooked at the end of regular time, having offered little.

The Etihad ERUPTS ???? Kevin De Bruyne equalises and it’s 4-4 on aggregate!

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The biggest chance of the first extra time period actually came at the other end as Rudiger hooked a shot over after a corner that as, amazingly, their first of the match in the 105th minute.

The exhaustion rose but inevitability set in, ensuring that it would be penalties that settled the tie.

“We have seen Real Madrid come here and be hard to beat, similar to what Arsenal did a few weeks ago (in the Premier League),” said former England star Paul Robinson on the BBC.

“City at home dominate possession, but couldn’t find the key to the door until Kevin de Bruyne scored. Jeremy Doku changed the game, but they couldn’t break down Madrid’s wall.

“We watched a perfectly executed game plan from Real Madrid.”

In the other game, Bayern kept their Champions League dreams going with a stirring 1-0 win over an Arsenal side whose season is rapidly disintegrating.

The Bavarians had been outsiders going into the first game in London but nicked a 2-2 draw, and back on home turf, asserted the dominance that has sometimes evaded them this year.

Kimmich smashes home his header and Bayern lead ????

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Thomas Tuchel’s side were better and deserved everything they got, though it took a while to arrive.

Arsenal looked good before the break but failed to create any meaningful chances, and once Kimmich opened the scoring with a powerful header in the 63rd minute, there only looked like being one winner.

“At the moment it is a gutted dressing room,” said Arteta.

“I cannot find the right words, I wish I had them. We tried against a team with a lot of experience. Through the tie the margins have been very small, in moments we have been better.

“We gave them two goals. that’s a big advantage to give away. The margin of error was zero. We made a mistake defending the box, a big one, and we conceded a goal.”

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