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Courtois Praises Manchester City’s High Press for Real Madrid’s 4-0 Defeat

In the momentous clash between Manchester City and Real Madrid, the stage was set for a high-stakes battle in the Champions League semifinal. Expectations were high as both teams took to the field, but what unfolded was a masterclass of precision and dominance from the English side.

Manchester City’s relentless pressing from the opening whistle left the Spanish visitors reeling, struggling to find their footing in the face of such intense pressure.ย Real Madrid’s hopes of nullifying Manchester City’s talisman, Erling Haaland, were partially realized through the heroic efforts of Thibaut Courtois.

The Belgian shot-stopper showcased his exceptional skills, denying Haaland on three occasions with a series of outstanding saves. However, despite Courtois’ valiant efforts, the floodgates opened from other sources, as the Citizens showcased their depth and attacking prowess.

Citizens Denied Galacticos Breathing Room

Despite their prolific forward’s profligacy on a night that mattered the most, Pep Guardiola will not lament his outing. City’s high press proved to be Real Madrid’s undoing in a jaw-dropping 4-0 defeat in the Champions League semifinal. Had the Norwegian’s chances found the back of the net, the final scoreline would have only been worse.

The former Chelsea goalkeeper acknowledged City’s gameplan was effective. It prevented Real Madrid from playing out from the back, leaving them confined to their own defensive zone. While Los Blancos failed to handle the pressure, their rivals were comfortable in possession and made them pay for it.

โ€œThey really pressed us high from the start, not letting us play the ball out and they pressured with a lot of players so we were penned back in our area. We dealt with it pretty well early on but we didn’t manage to impose ourselves, create chances or cause them any problems. They were very comfortable and they got the goal. We struggled to get into the game.”

Los Blancos Left Questioning

Bernardo Silva delivered a mesmerizing display, leaving Los Blancos’ defence helpless. The Portuguese magician’s intelligence and clinical finishing saw him finish with a brace, effectively sealing the tie in the first half.

Manuel Akanji also opened his goalscoring account for City against Real Madrid with Julian Alvarez delivering the final blow in added time. In between Silva’s brace and Akanji’s strike, Real Madrid did have their moments. Toni Kroos and David Alaba tested Ederson with their potent strikes, only to be denied by the Brazilian shot-stopper and his post.

The screamers by Kroos and Alaba could have been pivotal moments in the match. Courtois certainly believes that, as it could have potentially altered the course of the game. However, unfortunate rebounds and missed opportunities plagued Real Madrid, and Manchester City capitalized on their moments of vulnerability.

โ€œIf Kroos’ shot had gone in, perhaps it would have altered the course of the game. Their second goal came after an unfortunate rebound and those kinds of things have gone against us this year. We started pretty well after half-time but we struggled to create chances today and we didn’t pass the ball cleanly,” the Belgian goalkeeper shared in the post-match press conversations.

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