Manchester City play host to Real Madrid in this Champions League Last 16, second leg. The match will take place at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England. However, from the quarter-final stage, all ties will be played in a single-match knockout format and played at neutral venues. This is due to UEFA’s changes to the competition format to complete the Champions League this season in a short period of time.
Manchester City v Real Madrid: 1st Leg Highlights
Goals from Gabriel Jesus and a Kevin de Bruyne penalty cancelled out Isco’s opener for Real Madrid on the hour-mark. However, it was the introduction of Raheem Sterling that turned the game on it’s head for City.
While Pep’s striker-less formation did a good job of preventing Real Madrid creating too many decent openings, the lack of pace to stretch Real vertically hampered them. Sterling’s introduction finally gave them pace to trouble Varane and Ramos in behind.
It was these runs that produced the first goal, with Sterling getting in behind Varane in the build-up, collecting the ball, then delaying for support from de Bruyne and Jesus. The same running also produced a penalty, with Sterling being fouled trying to get in behind the Real defense.
Let’s take a look at the numbers for both teams this season, as well as focusing on their form post-restart.
Manchester City v Real Madrid Preview: Form Guide
Both teams come into this match in outstanding form. We mentioned in the Inter v Getafe preview that teams with the best technical players would be more likely to thrive after the restart. This is apparent also with both Manchester City and Real Madrid; two teams with the best numbers in their domestic leagues post-restart.
City stumbled to a couple of defeats since the restart. However, since those, they won five games straight. They picked up 2.4 PPG post-restart. This would also equate to 91.2 points over a full 38-game season.
Madrid have performed better than any side in Europe since the restart. They went on a terrific run of ten consecutive wins. They only dropped points in the end-of-season dead rubber against CD Leganés.
Overall, they picked up 2.82 PPG. This would also equate to an outrageous 107.2 points over a full 38-game season.
Manchester City v Real Madrid Preview: Manchester City’s Performance Graph
Manchester City v Real Madrid Preview: Real Madrid’s Performance Graph
Manchester City v Real Madrid Preview: Main Goalscorers
In the Champions League, the top scorers for Manchester City Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling with five goals apiece. Sterling is also City’s top scorer in the Premier League this campaign, with twenty goals.
Karim Benzema is likely the main goal threat for the Spaniards. He is their top scorer this season in both the Champions League and La Liga.
Rodrygo is the joint-top in the Champions League with four goals. Although, he has massively overperformed his xG of 1.5. This is likely unsustainable compared to Benzema’s four goals from an xG of 5.1.
Highlights of Manchester City’s last match
Highlights of Real Madrid’s last match
CraqueStats Predicts: Manchester City 2 v 2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid may be the form team in Europe at the moment, but the loss of Sergio Ramos due to suspension will hit them hard.
Manchester City have shown a soft underbelly when sides go at them at times this season. However, it is tough to see them losing this tie with so many advantages over their opponents.
The winner of this match faces the winner of Juventus v Lyon in the Quarter-Finals in Lisbon, Portugal. Click here to read our in-depth preview of the other UEFA Champions League last 16 match between Juventus v Lyon.
A glossary of all the terms used in this article and throughout the site as a whole is available here. Also, click on any image in the article for a full-size high definition version.
All data used in our articles is sourced from Understat, FBRef, Sofascore, Transfermarkt and 538.