A breath taking game, packed with chances and moments of individual brilliance, was a treat for those watching but left City, who had the better of the game, with the slenderest of leads to defend at the Santiago Bernabeu next Wednesday.
According to Punch, one of the key moments came as City’s Aymeric Laporte was penalised when the ball struck his arm in the area and Benzema converted the penalty with a cheeky ‘Panenka’ chip down the middle to make the score 4-3 eight minutes from the end.
It was a remarkable piece of skill, one that took nerves of steel considering Benzema had missed two penalties in Real Madrid’s last game with Osasuna. After his two goals in Manchester, Benzema has now netted a staggering 41 goals in his 41 appearances this season.
The Soccer Special panel were stunned by Karim Benzema’s Panenka penalty which completed the scoring in the seven-goal thriller against Manchester City.
His boss Carlo Ancelotti said, “I think he changed because the last two penalties were not good. He tried in training, I didn’t know how he would shoot. He chose this [Panenka] and he did really well, showing strong personality and character. It’s not easy in the semi-final of the Champions League to shoot a penalty like this.”
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City boss Pep Guardiola knows his team just need to avoid defeat in Spain to reach a second consecutive Champions League final but he won’t be changing his attacking ethos.
Pep Guardiola says his team’s performance was ‘exceptional’ in the 4-3 victory over Real Madrid, but insists they will need to play even better in the second leg.
He said, “It was a fantastic game for both sides. We did many good things. Unfortunately, we conceded goals and we could not score more.
“We played a fantastic game against an incredible team. The moments where they rise and come back into the game in the first half I think we gave them as our build-up was so nervous. Normally we are so safe and so good. Also they press really good and strong. All around the world and for Manchester City, we are so proud. But it is about reaching the final and sometimes football happens. We go to Madrid to try to win the game.
“We went out of the Champions League to Tottenham when Llorente with the hand. Today it is a hand for Laporte. It happens. All we can do is perform as we perform. The quality of Real Madrid is such they can punish you.
“What we have done with the ball and without the ball, creating chances and chances and chances I can’t ask anything else. I say to the players to rest. Leeds now is the most important thing and we go to Madrid to win. Both teams want to attack and have the quality to play. Football is a fantastic spectacle. Congratulations to Carlo and his team as they are so good. At the same time, we saw ourselves that we can be there.”