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Five of the best games between Real Madrid and English clubs

Real Madrid and Manchester City produced an absolute classic in their Champions League quarter-final first leg this week, with six goals evenly shared in a brilliant Bernabeu battle.

Their Champions League tie is perfectly poised ahead of the return next week, as two of the tournament favourites prepare to meet in another epic encounter.

Real Madrid have been involved in some memorable clashes with Premier League clubs in Europe and following their classic with City, we’ve remembered five of the best.

Manchester United 4-3 Real Madrid (2003)

Manchester United met Real Madrid in the 2002/03 quarter-finals, with the Spanish side having bolstered their Champions League-winning team with the signing of Ronaldo from Inter Milan. The holders earned a 3-1 win in the first leg at the Bernabeu, before the return saw an all-time Champions League classic in Manchester.

Ronaldo took centre stage on an unforgettable night of action with a virtuoso performance to dump Sir Alex Ferguson’s side out of Europe. O Fenômeno – who had inspired Brazil to World Cup success the previous summer – scored a sensational hat-trick to end Manchester United’s hopes of reaching a Champions League final set to be staged at Old Trafford.

An engrossing game saw the Red Devils fail to give up without a fight, equalising on three occasions after Ronaldo’s moments of magic took the tie, if not the game, away from them.

David Beckham, who would sign for the Spanish side at the end of the season, came off the bench to score a brace and earn Manchester United the win on the night.

Pride restored perhaps, but this was Ronaldo’s night. The home crowd even acknowledged a special performance with a standing ovation for the South American superstar, upon his second-half substitution.

Iconic Performances: When R9 destroyed Man United and got clapped off at Old Trafford

Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool (2018)

Gareth Bale’s brilliance off the bench and a nightmare for Loris Karius were the defining narratives of the 2018 Champions League final, as Real Madrid beat Liverpool in Kyiv.

Karius’ calamitous error handed Real Madrid the lead early into the second half, when the goalkeeper inexplicably rolled the ball against Karim Benzema, with the ball rebounding off the French forward and into the vacant goal.

Sadio Mane got Liverpool level, before Bale’s arrival changed the game.

Moments after his introduction, the Welsh winger scored arguably the greatest Champions League goal of all time as he connected with Marcelo’s cross to send a stunning overhead kick past Karius. He struck a second to seal the win for the Spanish side when his long-range effort caught out Karius, who fumbled the ball over the line.

For Real, it was a third consecutive triumph in the Champions League as head coach Zinedine Zidane became the first manager to win three in a row.

Manchester City 4-3 Real Madrid (2022)

Manchester City edged a seven-goal thriller to take a narrow lead in their Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid in 2021/22.

Pep Guardiola’s side dominated proceedings in the contest and raced into a two-goal lead inside 11 minutes through Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus, only for Real Madrid to issue a response on each occasion.

Karim Benzema brought the Spaniards back into the contest from Ferland Mendy’s cross, before Phil Foden’s header restored the two-goal advantage for the Citizens.

Vinicius Junior scored a solo second for Real Madrid to make it 3-2 on the night, though the advantage looked to be with the hosts again when Bernardo Silva fired in a fourth.

Benzema’s ice-cold penalty, chipped down the middle to deceive Ederson, saw Real Madrid escape the Etihad with only a one-goal deficit. The stage was set for the return…

Real Madrid 3-1 Manchester City (2022)

Real Madrid produced one of the most captivating comebacks in Champions League history to leave Manchester City floored in the second leg of their 2021/22 semi-final.

After a seven-goal thriller in the first meeting, the return delivered its own drama on an unforgettable night at the Bernabeu. Manchester City were two goals ahead on aggregate heading into stoppage time after Riyad Mahrez opened the scoring for the visitors, but Real refused to be beaten.

Rodrygo equalised in the 90th minute with the Spanish side’s first shot on target in the game, before the Brazilian headed home again 90 seconds later to send the tie into extra time. The visitor’s collapse was confirmed in the added period when Karim Benzema scored the decisive goal from the penalty spot, sending Real Madrid into another final and leaving City crestfallen.

Real Madrid 3-3 Manchester City (2024)

A thoroughly modern rivalry delivered another enthralling edition this week as Real Madrid and Manchester City went toe-to-toe again.

A chaotic clash saw City take the lead inside two minutes when Bernardo Silva caught out Andriy Lunin with a low free-kick, after Aurelian Tchouameni had clumsily brought down Jack Grealish.

Real responded and levelled through Eduardo Camavinga’s deflected strike, before another fortuitous deflection saw Rodrygo put the home side ahead. City equalised on 66 minutes, as Phil Foden – ineffective up until that point – produced a moment of magic with a thunderous strike into the top corner.

The glorious goals kept on coming as Josko Gvadiol put City ahead with his first for the club, with the Croatian thumping in an effort from the edge of the area on his weaker right side.

The best was arguably saved for last, as Federico Valverde’s equaliser ensured equality on the night. The Uruguayan midfielder arrived at the back post to volley in Vinícius Júnior’s cross, setting up a must-watch return at the Etihad.

Read – Real Madrid vs Man City: Five who played for both clubs

See more – 90s Hitmen: Raul – Real Madrid and Champions League royalty

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