Man City, Lyon progress to Champions League quarter-finals

Manchester City finished off the job they started back in February by deservedly overcoming Real Madrid to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

Pep Guardiola’s side will now face Lyon in the one-game knockout format in Lisbon after inflicting Zinedine Zidane’s first elimination from the Champions League, the French manager having won it three times in his three previous seasons in charge.

It was a victory City fully merited as their intense pressing game forced Real into numerous mistakes, with France World Cup-winning defender Raphael Varane in particular unable to cope with the pressing of Gabriel Jesus.

He robbed Varane to set up Raheem Sterling to score in the ninth minute but Karim Benzema’s towering header before half-time set up the possibility of a tense second period.

City, though, created the better opportunities in an excellent performance – whereas Real missed the leadership and nous of central defender Sergio Ramos, who was suspended after being sent off in the first leg.

Without Ramos alongside him, the uncomfortable Varane made another error when his headed back-pass fell short of Thibaut Courtois to allow the lurking Jesus to pounce in the game’s decisive moment after 68 minutes.

Meanwhile, Lyon survived a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired comeback from Juventus to hang on and book a Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City.

Leading 1-0 from February’s first leg, the French side were handed a soft early penalty which Memphis Depay converted in style.

That left Juve needing to score three times to progress and Ronaldo got one back from the penalty spot.

He then thundered in his 130th Champions League goal but Lyon held on.

Lyon boss Rudi Garcia, said: “We came up against an opponent who has an extraterrestrial in its squad,” of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo.

“This is the victory of a group. We wanted to be in the final eight in Lisbon, we are there.

“We’ll still be outsiders and that suits us very well.”

Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri may have guided his side to a ninth straight Serie A title but they were lethargic throughout and his position could be under threat.

Juve have not won the Champions League since 1996 and the wait goes on at least another year.

  

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