After 90 minutes of thrilling action at the Bernabéu on Tuesday night, it sure would be nice if we could just immediately go to the Etihad and scratch the itch for more of Real Madrid vs. Manchester City. This is highly addictive stuff.
The first leg saw Vinícius Júnior and Kevin De Bruyne exchange thunderously rifled efforts for a 1-1 draw, while the rhythm of the match mirrored this give and take with the individual battles turning into a series of brutal punches followed by staggering counters.
I think this CBS tweet is a pretty accurate summary of it all.
All square ahead of round two in Manchester. pic.twitter.com/AMucKbZcmT— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 9, 2023
The two most prominent duels were fought on either flank. On Real Madrid's left, Vini Jr asked absolutely everything of Kyle Walker with 11 attempted dribbles (no one else tried more than four) and five successful take-ons.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 9, 2023
Great battle between Vinicius Jr. and Kyle Walker.. ⚔️This clip sums up the tactics Walker was given well.. tight-pressing man-marking to stop him turning and running at the defence..
As we know though, Vini relishes this opportunity, and a quick turn can be trouble.. pic.twitter.com/ooqHg9RTDd
— footballxis (@footballxis3) May 9, 2023
The Brazilian was ultimately rewarded with Real's lone goal in the 36th minute.
VINÍCIUS JÚNIOR SCORES A GOLAZO WITH REAL MADRID'S FIRST SHOT OF THE GAME! pic.twitter.com/MgGEYFjqkk— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) May 9, 2023
Walker could only smile and laugh at the task he faced for 90 minutes, and the Englishman shared a great moment with Vini after the full-time whistle. Walker finished with more tackles than any other player (six).
RESPEITO ACIMA DE TUDO! Vini Jr. foi pra resenha com o Walker depois de ter dado uma trabalheira na marcação pro defensor do Manchester City. ISSO É CHAMPIONS! #CasaDaChampions pic.twitter.com/qUntNEf25M— TNT Sports BR (@TNTSportsBR) May 9, 2023
On the other side of the pitch, things were less cordially between Jack Grealish and Merengues old head Dani Carvajal.
The 27-year-old Englishman has become one of Pep Guardiola's most important players, and Grealish showed how dangerous he is in possession with a match-leading six key passes (no one else had more than three).
Carvajal was out there to get physical with the winger and began by shoving Grealish into the boards like it was the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Qué locura tú!! pic.twitter.com/wIUlcImXXK— (@cuorerojiblanco) May 9, 2023
Carvajal then tried to get Grealish sent off with a terrible piece of shithousery.
10 match ban for casemiro! Grealish throwing punches is fine tho pic.twitter.com/F7OkoG2LPK— sean (@seanyy2k) May 9, 2023
Carvajal finished with more fouls (four) than any other player but escaped a booking.
Round 2 in Manchester is next Wednesday, May 17, at 3 p.m. ET.