Real Madrid and Man City produce out-of-control Champions League battle for the ages

England team-mates Phil Foden (left) and Jude Bellingham embrace following a pulsating Champions League quarter-final first leg in Madrid

The grip of Real Madrid upon the modern Champions League will not easily be shifted, and once again Pep Guardiola’s team heads towards the second leg of an epic knockout tie with enough doubts to make it interesting.

This was, Guardiola said on many occasions once all the drama was over, a great result for his team, ahead twice and between times a goal behind for almost half the 90 minutes. “This is the Bernabeu, my friend,” he said when challenged as to whether Manchester City might have expected more. There was enough throughout this evening to sustain two great Champions League games and at times there was not the control to which City were accustomed.

City had the lead, they lost it, they regained it – and eventually, a first-time hit from Federico Valverde from the right channel gave Real a draw. An engrossing night of football, but it only really looked like City – champions of England, Europe and the world – once Guardiola had straightened his players out at half-time. Phil Foden would score a splendid left-footed shot for 2-2 on 66 minutes. The second of three City goals that were all struck from outside the area – first from Bernardo Silva, and then from Josko Gvardiol.

Yet in the first half City’s game was spun off its usual axis by the tempest that was the home attack. After Bernardo’s second minute free-kick, Real scored twice within the space of 114 seconds – an Eduardo Camavinga shot deflected in off Ruben Dias and then a fast-break from Rodrygo. Real blew through City in that period. “We wanted Manchester City to be uncomfortable,” Carlo Ancelotti said later and when a chance fell to Vinicius to extend Real’s lead to 3-1, it might have got very uncomfortable for City. Vinicius missed what might have been a defining moment.

There are not many chances to finish off the great modern powerhouse of City – and this was one. Guardiola would later talk about his team being “stable emotionally” in these challenging periods in games. “It’s fundamental,” he said, reflecting that in the early seasons of his time in Manchester, a game such as this would have been lost by City teams past unaccustomed to the pressures exerted.

With City having established control of the game at 3-2, it was Luka Modric who came on for Real in the immediate aftermath of Gvardiol’s goal. At 38, the great Croatian is still capable of taking grip of a game and his was the pass before the pass for Valverde’s equaliser. Modric is just shy of two months older than Wayne Rooney.

Another midfielder for the ages, Kevin De Bruyne, had been in the original City starting XI until he was struck down with an illness that Guardiola said was so severe the great Belgian had vomited in the pre-match period after the team arrived at the stadium. “One of the secrets of the high level is you adapt quickly to chaos,” Guardiola said. But as the game developed it was the absence of the injured Kyle Walker at right-back and the adaptable defensive qualities of Nathan Ake that seemed to damage City the most.

Yet City were renewed in the second half. The ragged nature of the team shape that had looked so exposed in the first half when Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and the restless figure of Jude Bellingham, put their usual rhythms under great pressure, was reformed. John Stones stepped into midfield again and the tight, crisp passing was back. The patient annexation of territory was familiar. Guardiola said that Foden had not really been involved in the first half, but here he was certainly present in the second.

Later Guardiola would say that it was pursuing the idea that was crucial in these moments. “We believe in how we do it,” he said, “but it’s impossible to control all the time against Real Madrid. Stick with the plan in the bad moments.”

Stick with it they did, through a first half when Rodri in particular, such a towering figure in the English and Spanish game, was not his usual dominant self. Neither was Erling Haaland, and for the Norwegian, such an object of fascination at the Bernabeu, it never really changed. There were just 20 touches for him all night and perhaps the most notable was him chasing back into his own half later in the game to tackle Vinicius. A forgettable night for him in battle with Antonio Rudiger.

For Bellingham the game did not yield the goal, or indeed the kind of chances, that have characterised his first Real season, although his personality in this game was unmistakable. He led the team in the early stages and it was he who made clearest to the French referee François Letexier that Real did not believe they were getting the fouls owed to them.

Bernardo had scored after two minutes with an unorthodox low free-kick that caught goalkeeper Andriy Lunin on the wrong foot. It had been won by a Jack Grealish run that caused chaos for Real and put Aurelien Tchouameni on an immediate booking that rules him out of the second leg.

Then Camavinga ran away from Grealish on the right and cut in with his left foot, to hit a shot that struck Dias and left Stefan Ortega with nowhere to go. The second was Rodrygo running through the high line of City’s defence to then double back and slip the ball back through the legs of Manuel Akanji before finishing.

Foden’s second half equaliser was another great lightning bolt of individual skill – and yet, as with City when they are at their best, it felt like it was coming. Five minutes later, Gvardiol took a loose touch from Grealish’s pass and then with a swing dispatched City’s third past Lunin. The Modric factor was to make a difference and his pass to Vinicius created the space for Valverde’s splendid goal.

Real Madrid vs Manchester City: As it happened . . .

10:37 PM BST

Phil Foden speaking to TNT Sports

On his injury:

“Just got a bad dead leg at the end, time to recover before next games so hopefully I can. For the fans it must’ve been one of the best games they could’ve watched. Two great teams with the best attackers in the world. What the fans want to see and plenty of goals.”

On Man City scoring a very early goal: 

“It didn’t change the game-plan but sometimes you score too early I believe in that sometimes. They responded well with two quick goals. But this team has come a long way we don’t put our heads down we know we can come from behind. It’s a great team to be a part of.

“With the possession we had they got a bit tired and there was a bit more space for me to come inside, as time went on the game seemed to open up a bit more. We grew into the game and we had some chances in the second half. Happy to make the most of my chance. Fantastic result to come here and do that.”

On knowing goal would go in as soon as he struck it:

“I did, I felt a sweet connection with it. It’s something I practice in training scoring on the edge of the area.”

Disappointed not to see out the win?

“Bit disappointed to go 3-2 up and not control it a bit more, we didn’t keep the ball off the goal kick and they scored with a fantastic strike. We can’t dwell on it there’s so many positives to take.”

10:36 PM BST

More of your views

  • Graham Ward: A real roller coaster of a game, some cracking goals, and, I think, a deserved result for City. All to play for.

  • Sean Hodges: Madrid were lucky to get a draw .. sitting back and playing counter- attacking football .. at home.

  • City Boy: City by far the better team. Two jammy deflections saved Madrid.

  • Feyd Rautha: Brilliant from City tonight..Finish Madrid off in Manchester next week.

  • Neale Harvey: Was Haaland playing?

10:31 PM BST

Pep Guardiola speaking to TNT Sports

10:25 PM BST

De Bruyne and Modric swapping shirts

Kevin De Bruyne and Luka Modric swapped shirts at full time. Modric came on in the second half for Real and made a significant impact for the hosts. De Bruyne, who was ill, did not come on for Manchester City.

10:24 PM BST

Haaland anonymous

10:23 PM BST

Manchester City defender Josko Gvardiol speaking to TNT Sports

“What a game. First time for me to play here at this stadium, amazing atmosphere and we take the result and look forward to the game at home.

“Last season I faced them [Real Madrid] with RB Leipzig and this is a different team. I enjoyed playing, we knew it would be difficult but that’s our quality to play with the ball and without it too.”

On two deflected goals: 

“This is football. It happens. We need to be focused after and try to come back in the game which we did. Good result in the end. Simple, control the ball. What we do the best and that’s all. Try to keep the ball and be dangerous.

On his first goal for Manchester City

“Happy for my first goal for Man City. Especially against a great opponent. Happy. First touch was not that good but in the end I thought well I’m just going to hit it and see what happens. First we have Luton on Saturday so we need to focus on that first.”

10:13 PM BST

Plenty of goals across both games

10:12 PM BST

Your views

  • Pete Taylor: Great game and result for City. We’ll finish them at home.

  • NK Winter: City would probably have taken that result before the game - and they’ll be stronger when Haaland plays in the second leg. Oh, hold on…

  • Terry Blake: Even a top team like Real Madrid can’t stop Phil Foden from scoring - that speaks volumes - a good away performance from Manchester City against a proven top side...

  • David Hopkins: Jonny Stones was everywhere. Great performance yet again.

  • Ricardo Montalban: Great performance by City - Missed Walker in first half till Vinicius Jr ran out of gas. The City defence isn’t quite as good this season as it was last. But deserved a draw at least.

  • James Parker: Great referee and I can’t recall a single VAR check. I’ve just checked and it was used today…… flowed really well

Remember you can have your say in the comments section at the bottom of the blog.

10:06 PM BST

Home comforts

10:01 PM BST


10:00 PM BST

Another assist for Vinicius Junior

09:58 PM BST

FT verdict

All over at the Bernabeu and what a treat that was. City got off to a flier but soon found themselves behind and Real will probably be disappointed they didn’t make more of their dominance and chances before City hit back in spectacular fashion to lead. Valverde’s equaliser was the goal of the game. A 3-3 feast. I wouldn’t like to call the second leg.

09:58 PM BST

All square going to the Etihad

Manchester City will be at home in the second leg next week so you would say that they have the slight advantage going into the second leg with home advantage. But it is still all to play for.

09:56 PM BST

FT in north London

It is also all over in the other game tonight as Arsenal and Bayern Munich have drawn 2-2. The second leg next week will be in Bavaria.

09:54 PM BST

Full time

That is it for the first leg and it is all square going to the Etihad next week. What a dramatic night in Madrid.

09:53 PM BST

90+3 minutes: Real Madrid 3 Manchester City 3

Just one added minute remaining.

09:51 PM BST

90 minutes: Real Madrid 3 Manchester City 3

There will be four added minutes. Will there be another goal tonight? You would not bet against it.

09:50 PM BST

89 minutes: Real Madrid 3 Manchester City 3

Modric plays a dangerous cross to the far post and Stones does really well with Bellingham right behind him to head behind for a corner. Real play it short and first Brahim has a shot which is blocked. It then comes to Carvajal on the edge of the box but his shot goes wide.

09:48 PM BST

88 minutes: Real Madrid 3 Manchester City 3

Bernardo is booked for a foul on Brahim after clever footwork from the former Manchester City man.

09:48 PM BST

87 minutes: Real Madrid 3 Manchester City 3

Foden is coming off and is replaced by Alvarez. Manchester City fans will nervously be awaiting an update on Foden from Pep Guardiola after the match.

09:46 PM BST

85 minutes: Real Madrid 3 Manchester City 3

Foden has gone down having been caught by Camavinga and he looks in some pain.

Whilst play has been paused Joselu has come on for Vinicius Junior. Stoke fans will be wondering how their former striker has ended up at Real Madrid.

09:41 PM BST

81 minutes: Real Madrid 3 Manchester City 3

Real come close to going 4-3 up. The ball is played in behind to Bellingham in the box and Stones does just enough to divert it behind for a corner, which Manchester City clear.

09:40 PM BST

GOAL! Valverde equalises for Real

Another fantastic strike in this game. Three in about 10 minutes. Vinicius Junior stands a cross to the far post and Valverde drills a volley first-time into the bottom corner. That is a superb finish, with such power and control. 3-3 and surely more goals to come.

A game that just keeps on giving. Take a bow Federico Valverde. A volley for the ages that. 3-3. Still time for someone to win it.

09:38 PM BST

77 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 3

Bellingham wants a penalty as he makes a run into the box but the referee waves away the appeals and is having none of it.

09:35 PM BST

74 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 3

In north London it is now 2-2 as Leandro Trossard has equalised for Arsenal. You can follow the live action here.

09:33 PM BST

72 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 3

Carlo Ancelotti has reacted to that quickfire double from Manchester City with a double change. Modric and Brahim Diaz, formerly of Manchester City, replace Kroos and Rodrygo.

09:32 PM BST

GOAL! Gvardiol gives Manchester City the lead

Two stunning goals from Manchester City in a matter of minutes. From outside the box Gvardiol, having taken a heavy touch, curls one into the far corner and once again Lunin cannot get anywhere near it.

You have to take your hat off to City. They’d been struggling and Real looked firmly in control, then in the space of a few minutes the game turns of its head thanks to a couple of wonder strikes from Foden and Gvardiol. A big moment for Foden in a central role for such a big game with no De Bruyne. He hadn’t imposed himself and then goes and scores a goal like that. Quite brilliant.

09:27 PM BST

GOAL! Foden screamer equalises for the visitors

What a finish from Foden. He takes one touch in a central position just outside the box and then sends it into the top corner. No chance for Lunin. Manchester City are level.

09:24 PM BST

63 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

An important tackle by Carvajal on Grealish earns Manchester City a corner.

They take it short and work it to Foden on the edge of the box but Manchester City lose possession.

09:20 PM BST

60 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

Foden cuts in from the right across the face of the box and sends a shot goalwards, but his effort is straight at Lunin. Moments later Bernardo picks up space centrally and shoots from outside the box but again the effort is straight at Lunin.

09:17 PM BST

56 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

Big chance missed by Vinicius Junior. Real switch the ball to the left and Rodrygo’s first touch is brilliant. He then plays the ball into the path of Vinicius Junior in the left-hand channel of the box. He lifts the ball too high and his effort goes over the bar. He probably should have scored there.

Vinicius Junior shoots over the bar
Vinicius Junior (far left) misses a good chance for Real - Manu Fernandez/AP

09:15 PM BST

55 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

Grealish whips a free-kick towards the far post and Rodri meets it, but his header goes over the bar. He probably should have hit the target there.

The Real fans are chanting Rudiger’s name and well they might. He’s been magnificent. Still a head scratcher as to why he was dropped for the 4-0 at the Etihad last season after doing a brilliant job on Haaland in the first leg here.

Erling Haaland and Antonio Rudiger jostle for the ball
Antonio Rudiger has kept Erling Haaland (both pictured) quiet - Violeta Santos Moura/Reuters

09:14 PM BST

53 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

Chance for Real. Foden’s pass deep inside his own half pings off Rodri and falls at the feet of Bellingham inside the Manchester City box. He looks like he is going to shoot with his right but cuts onto his left. He drags his shot though and it goes past the far post.

09:11 PM BST

51 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

Bernardo takes but his free-kick does not have anywhere near as much success as the one he took in the first half as it goes straight into the wall.

09:11 PM BST

50 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

Grealish is fouled by Vinicius Junior and Manchester City will have a free-kick in a central position not far outside the Real Madrid box.

09:09 PM BST

48 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

Grealish takes on the effort from the left-hand side of the penalty area as he cuts onto his right foot but his shot goes sailing over the bar.

09:05 PM BST

Second half

We are back under way at the Bernabeu.

09:02 PM BST

Over in north London

The second half is about to get under way at the Emirates Stadium where Bayern Munich lead Arsenal 2-1. Bukayo Saka gave Arsenal the lead but former Arsenal man Serge Gnabry and former Tottenham striker Harry Kane have given Bayern the lead at the break. You can follow all the live action here.

08:59 PM BST

Real’s first awarded an own goal

Real Madrid’s first goal was initially given to Eduardo Camavinga but it has now been officially given as an own goal by Ruben Dias.

08:58 PM BST

Manic start

08:54 PM BST

HT verdict

City deservedly behind at the break. Real have been excellent since recovering from the shock of conceding that early goal. I can’t remember watching a half in which Rodri and Bernardo have given the ball away so often. Haaland has been desperately poor upfront: Rudiger is all over him. Lots to like about Real. The full backs are excellent. Camavinga has been superb. Rodrygo and Bellingham’s movement is causing City real problems. Tchouameni will miss the second leg after that early booking but he has not allowed it to affect him.

08:50 PM BST

Half time

The whistle is blown and Real Madrid lead 2-1 at the break despite going 1-0 down inside the opening two minutes.

08:47 PM BST

45 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

There will be three added minutes at the end of this first half.

A cross is sent to the back post by Manchester City and Haaland wins the header but the Norwegian striker, who has been kept quiet, is penalised for a foul.

08:43 PM BST

42 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

Vinicius Junior is sent free down the left-hand side and drives into the box. He cuts onto his right but like Rodrygo previously, his shot is straight at Ortega. Real will feel they should have extended their advantage.

City are really struggling to keep the ball. Rodri and then Bernardo have both lost possession in quick succession centrally and invited more quick Real transitions. Guardiola’s reactions on the touchline tell you everything about what he thinks. He keeps dropping his head to his chest in dramatic fashion. Control is very much elusive. Real are a menace breaking at pace. There is so much talent in this side.

08:41 PM BST

40 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

Real Madrid are pleading for Akanji to receive a second yellow as Rodrygo geos down holding his face but the referee is having none of it.

08:38 PM BST

37 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

Bellingham needs to be careful here. He is clearly frustrated having not been awarded a few free-kicks and he has just shoved Dias over once the ball had gone. If Bellingham is booked tonight, he will miss the second leg which would be a huge blow for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Jude Bellingham of Real Madrid reacts
Jude Bellingham (pictured) has become increasingly frustrated - Diego Souto/Getty Images

Talking of yellow cards, Akanji is booked for a foul on Vinicius Junior as he dribbled forward into the Manchester City half.

08:36 PM BST

34 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

Bellingham is unhappy as he fouls he should have been awarded a free-kick for a challenge by Dias but the referee is having none of it.

08:34 PM BST

33 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

Symmetry now between the two English clubs in action tonight. Like Manchester City, Arsenal took the lead but they are now 2-1 down and it is former Tottenham striker Harry Kane who has scored from the spot.

Back in Madrid it goes from one end to the other. Tchouameni makes a crucial block from a Grealish shot before Rodrygo has another effort on goal, but his shot misses the target.

Haaland’s tussle with Rudiger is an interesting watch. Rudiger won the battle at the Bernabeu last season and, so far at least, he’s doing the same. Ortega has gone long a few times to Haaland but the Real centre back is outmuscling him every time.

08:32 PM BST

31 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

Chance for the home side. Carvajal finds Rodrygo on the left-hand side. Inside the box he cuts inside onto his right and fires towards goal, but his shot is straight at Ortega. He will feel he should have done better than simply hitting it straight at the Manchester City goalkeeper.

Rodrygo has a shot on goal
Rodrygo (left) has had a few chances to extend Real's lead - Nick Potts/PA

08:29 PM BST

27 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

Over in north London in the other quarter-final first leg, Arsenal took the lead through Bukayo Saka but former Arsenal man Serge Gnabry has equalised for the Bavarians. It is currently 1-1 just before the half-hour mark. You can follow the match right here.

08:27 PM BST

25 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

After a manic first quarter of an hour, the game has settled down and is a fair bit calmer as both sides take stock.

08:20 PM BST

19 minutes: Real Madrid 2 Manchester City 1

Valverde cuts in from the right and shoots from just outside the box, but his effort is straight down the throat of Ortega.

08:16 PM BST

GOAL! Real take the lead

120 seconds ago, Real were 1-0 down. Now they are 2-1 up. Rodrygo is sent away down the left and runs in towards goal. Akanji gets back but Rodrygo manages to squeeze the shot away. It deflects off Akanji, goes past Ortega and rolls into the far corner. Manchester City were hoping for an offside but Rodrygo was clearly in his own half when the pass was played.

08:14 PM BST

GOAL! Real Madrid level

The home side are back on level terms. Camavinga cuts in from the right and takes aim from around 25 yards out. His strike deflects off Dias, wrong-foots Ortega in the Manchester City goal and flies into the back of the net. 1-1.

08:08 PM BST

7 minutes: Real Madrid 0 Manchester City 1

Manchester City nearly go 2-0 up. First Haaland has a shot saved by Lunin at the near post from the left-hand side of the box and then Grealish has an effort blocked by about four Real defenders from a central position.

08:07 PM BST

5 minutes: Real Madrid 0 Manchester City 1

Valverde nearly finds Vinicius Junior inside the Manchester City box but the pass is slightly too heavy. Gvardiol comes across and hits it off Vincius Junior for a goal-kick.

08:06 PM BST

Arsenal vs Bayern Munich

Is also under way at the Emirates Stadium. You can follow the match here.

08:04 PM BST

GOAL! Bernardo gives Manchester City early lead

Manchester City are ahead inside the first two minutes. Bernardo takes the free-kick and catches Lunin out. There is just one man in the wall and Lunin does not cover himself in glory. He should have stopped that but the Manchester City players and fans will not be complaining.

08:03 PM BST

1 minute: Real Madrid 0 Manchester City 0

Tchouameni is booked for a challenge on Grealish not far outside the Real box. That means the Frenchman will miss the second leg and he will be on a booking for all but 34 seconds of this match.

Aurelien Tchouameni shown a yellow card
Aurelien Tchouameni (far left) booked inside the first minute and will miss the second leg - David Ramos/Getty Images

08:01 PM BST


We are under way at the Bernabeu.

07:58 PM BST

Kick-off fast approaching

Both sides have emerged from the tunnel at the Bernabeu as the Champions League anthem rings around the stadium. We are just moments away from kick-off.

07:54 PM BST

Reminder of the team news

Real Madrid: Lunin, Carvajal, Rudiger, Tchouameni, Mendy, Kroos, Valverde, Camavinga, Bellingham, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo.

Substitutes: Kepa, Fran, Militao, Nacho, Modric, Joselu, Vazquez, Ceballos, Fran Garcia, Diaz, Guler.

Manchester City: Ortega, Akanji, Stones, Dias, Gvardiol, Rodri, Kovacic, Bernardo, Foden, Grealish, Haaland.

Substitutes: Ederson, Carson, Doku, De Bruyne, Alvarez, Gomez, Nunes, Bobb, Susoho, Lewis.

07:52 PM BST

Live from Madrid

The City players’ names have just been read out and the PA finished by announcing their coach is Pep Guardiola and the jeers and whistles were absolutely deafening. Suffice to say the former Barcelona coach is not the most popular in these parts.

07:48 PM BST

Bellingham vs Rodri

07:48 PM BST

Real warming up

07:41 PM BST

Home side’s preparations stepping up

07:40 PM BST

De Bruyne ill?

There was some surprise when the Manchester City team news dropped that Kevin De Bruyne was on the bench. It is now emerging from Madrid that De Bruyne is ill, which is why he is not in the starting XI. It is unclear at this moment in time if he will be fit enough to play at all tonight.

Pep Guardiola has been speaking to TNT Sports and has revealed De Bruyne has been sick. Guardiola also said he is unsure if De Bruyne will be able to play any part tonight.

07:36 PM BST

Bellingham starts for Real, unsurprisingly

Jude Bellingham is named in the starting XI for Real Madrid tonight and it is safe to say he has hit the ground running in his first season in La Liga, scoring 20 goals in all competitions so far. Our very own Jason Burt has written about how Bellingham has already eclipsed David Beckham at Real Madrid.

07:31 PM BST

Out to warm up

The Manchester City goalkeepers are out to warm up at the Bernabeu. Despite Ederson being back fit again, Pep Guardiola has opted for Stefan Ortega in goal.

07:25 PM BST

Hosts have arrived

07:20 PM BST

Advantage Manchester City?

07:16 PM BST

Roof closed

07:11 PM BST

Increased security around the Bernabeu

Police officers cordon off the road outside the Santiago Bernabeu stadium
Police officers cordon off the road outside the Santiago Bernabeu stadium - Andrea Comas/AP
Police on horses are seen outside the stadium in Madrid
Security has been stepped up amidst a terror threat - David Ramos/Getty Images
Police take measures around stadium in Madrid
Police have stepped up security around the Bernabeu - Burak Akbulut/Getty Images
Spanish National Police officers conduct security cordon outside the Santiago Bernabeu
The police in Madrid have stepped up their security measures - Rodrigo Jimenez/Shutterstock

07:07 PM BST

Live from Madrid

The omission of Kevin De Bruyne is a surprise in one sense and not in another. His two goals against Crystal Palace at the weekend pointed towards a return to form but Guardiola has probably made his decision based on the Belgium midfielder’s performances in the recent draws against Liverpool and Arsenal. De Bruyne, despite providing the clever assist from the corner for John Stones to score against Liverpool, was poor in both games. He was substituted to his considerable anger at Anfield and was very subdued in the goalless draw against Arsenal, unable to impose himself on the game and hounded off the ball on a few occasions by Declan Rice. Real have been playing with an extra recognised midfielder this season and Guardiola’s selection suggests he wants players who are going to keep the ball. They lose De Bruyne’s ability to conjure something from nothing with that, though.

07:06 PM BST

Full team news

Real Madrid have had a nine-day rest before tonight’s game and they make two changes from their 2-0 win over Atletico Bilbao. Eduardo Camavinga and Vinicius Junior come into the starting XI.

Real Madrid: Lunin, Carvajal, Rudiger, Tchouameni, Mendy, Kroos, Valverde, Camavinga, Bellingham, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo.

Substitutes: Kepa, Fran, Militao, Nacho, Modric, Joselu, Vazquez, Ceballos, Fran Garcia, Diaz, Guler.

Manchester City make four changes from their 4-2 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday. Manuel Akanji, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Mateo Kovacic come in. Kevin de Bruyne is on the bench. Stefan Ortega starts in goal, with fit-again Ederson on the bench.

Manchester City: Ortega, Akanji, Stones, Dias, Gvardiol, Rodri, Kovacic, Bernardo, Foden, Grealish, Haaland.

Substitutes: Ederson, Carson, Doku, De Bruyne, Alvarez, Gomez, Nunes, Bobb, Susoho, Lewis.

06:57 PM BST

Inside the home dressing room

06:55 PM BST

Live from Madrid

There is no Kevin De Bruyne in the starting XI for Manchester City - a big call for Pep Guardiola who has clearly seen something to concern him. De Bruyne scored twice against Crystal Palace on Saturday. Manuel Akanji, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva all come into the side from the XI that started against Palace.

06:52 PM BST

Manchester City team news

06:32 PM BST

Fancy a flutter?

Having a bet on today’s match? First take a look at these free bets and betting offers.

06:31 PM BST

Outside and inside the Bernabeu

Despite the heightened security threat, there is little sign of concern among supporters outside the Bernabeu. There are thousands camped out the ground, the atmosphere already building, and the Real fans appear to have answered calls to don white for the game. It’s a sea of white. These big Champions League nights always attract a big police presence at the Bernabeu but it’s clear the authorities are taking no chances amid warnings of an alleged terrorist threat from Islamic State. Fans are being thoroughly searched before entering the ground and it’s the same for the army of media and photographers here.

The revamped Bernabeu is quite the sight inside. The retractable roof is closed, as it was for the second leg of Real’s Champions League Round of 16 tie against RB Leipzig, as the 14-time European champions bid to create as intimidating an atmosphere as possible. The capacity will be around 85,000 tonight, far higher than when these sides met in the semi finals two years ago and City imploded late in their second leg. They obviously made amends in the semi finals last season with that spectacular 4-0 second leg thrashing of Real en route to winning the competition in Istanbul. It’s a very different Real now. They’re unbeaten in 35 games in all competitions this season and in Jude Bellingham have a young midfielder of the very highest class.

06:28 PM BST

Real Madrid team news

06:27 PM BST

Manchester City fans chanting amid heavy police presence as they make way to Bernabeu stadium

06:19 PM BST

Match preview

Manchester City’s quest to defend their Champions League crown takes them to Madrid for tonight’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against 14-time winners Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

These two sides have met in the knockout stages in the last two seasons. In 2022 Real Madrid staged a dramatic comeback in the semi-finals to overcome Manchester City before Pep Guardiola’s side comprehensively beat Real 5-1 on aggregate in last year’s semi-finals on their way to winning the competition. Ahead of the match, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has urged his players to “hurt and punish” Real Madrid.

“It’s the same managers, but we have new players and they have new players, so they will be completely different games. We have a little advantage with the second leg at home, where we play strong and are incredibly confident, but we have to play 90 minutes here and the games are long for different reasons.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola speaking in his press conference
Manchester City are looking to defend their Champions League crown as they travel to Madrid tonight - Oscar J. Barroso/Getty Images

“They will be able to press high, so aggressive, so dangerous. Everybody knows their strengths and they have incredible pace. We cannot come here just to control the game. We have to come here to try to hurt them, to punish them, to let them feel we are here and score goals. That is what we have to do. But we are talking about Real Madrid, who have the ability to control many aspects of the game. We have to impose our game with who we are.”

Despite tonight being his 200th game as a manager in the Champions League, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has admitted he is nervous ahead of the match.

“Yes, very nervous. The hours before a match are a time when you have to suffer. I was thinking the other day that defeat is suffering and victory is happiness, but it’s not that way. Victory is relief. It’s happiness if you win trophies, but an isolated victory is a relief. You’re calmer and happier the days after, but suffering is part of your job. It’s what keeps you alive. It’s fuel for me.”

Manchester City will be without Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake, who have not travelled to Madrid. Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol is a doubt for tonight’s match after being substituted at half-time of Manchester City’s 4-2 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday. Goalkeeper Ederson could play for the first time since the 1-1 draw at Liverpool on 10th March.

Team news to follow shortly.

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