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Monday, October 3, 2022

Champions League: De Bruyne strike earns vital win for Man City over Atletico Madrid

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Kevin De Bruyne was the hero as Manchester City overcame Atletico Madrid 1-0 in their Champions League quarter-finals first leg at the Etihad Stadium.

The Belgium international struck the only goal 20 minutes from time to hand Pep Guardiola’s side a narrow win heading into the second leg at the Wanda Metropolitano next week.

Read Also: Manchester City to Play in Champions League Next Season after European Ban Overturned

Manchester City

Atletico had frustrated the Premier League leaders for large periods of the game with a solid defensive display.

Their resistance was finally broken when De Bruyne latched onto Phil Foden’s pass, before sliding past Jan Oblak.

Guardiola had overseen victories in each of Man City’s previous three Champions League matches against Spanish sides.

But despite boasting well over 70 per cent of possession and forcing four corners, the hosts were unable to break down their stubborn opponents before the interval.

Man City failed to register a single shot on target from six attempts in the first half, with Atletico Madrid also making important blocks to deny Joao Cancelo and De Bruyne.

Ilkay Gundogan almost unlocked the Atletico defence, but the skipper was just unable to get Riyad Mahrez’s cross under control.

Man City continued to carry the greater threat after the restart; Oblak getting down well to keep out De Bruyne’s free-kick, while Aymeric Laporte headed over from a Mahrez corner.

Guardiola introduced Jack Grealish, Gabriel Jesus and Foden in a bid to find an elusive opening goal.

The two sides renew their rivalry in the second leg at Wanda Metropolitano next Wednesday. Before that, City welcome Liverpool on Sunday for what could be a crucial clash in the Premier League title race – the day after Atletico travel to Mallorca in LaLiga.

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