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Manchester City vs Atlético de Madrid at Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium Referee : István Kovács
5th April 2022 8:00 PM (BST)
  • 1 Manchester City

    • ‘70' Kevin De Bruyne
  • 0 Atlético de Madrid


Commentary By Neil Leigh


That's all, folks ๐Ÿ‘‹

A fine night for City, who take a crucial 1-0 advantage to Spain for the second leg of our Champions League quarter-final next week.

A superb strike from Kevin De Bruyne proved the difference on what was a big night at the Etihad.

Thanks again for your company this evening, we'll be back as usual with comprehensive coverage of Sunday's huge Premier League clash with Liverpool at the Etihad.

You won't want to be anywhere else!

Until then, be sure to check our the best stats and reaction from tonight's match on and the official app.


Pep: 'De Bruyne in the best moment of his season'

 Pep on KDB:

"Heโ€™s in the best moment of the season right now - he is sharp, heโ€™s quick, positive and his influence now again is massive and he made an exceptional goal with his combination with Phil."


Pep: 'Sometimes making a sub works, sometimes not...'

More from the boss:

"The guys were playing well but with Gabriel [Jesus] coming inside it gives us special energy and with Jack to keep the ball and the manager is so clever. When we make a sub it is because we think it can be a bit better. It works sometimes but other times it doesn't."


Pep: ' We had to be focused'

Pep Guardiola's reaction: 

"We played an incredible top side which is difficult to face,

"We had chances to score, especially a second and third

"We had to be focused with what we do as its not easy to face this team.

"We will go there to try score a goal and win the game."


KDB: 'I made the run and Phil found me'

More from KDB:

"I made the run and Phil [Foden] found me perfectly, I needed to stay composed and luckily I did. It's very hard. They played with almost five at the back and with five in midfield. I recommend anyone that says anything [about us], that they try playing against that on the training ground."


Reign in Spain?

Funnily enough I am much more confident about what we can do in Spain. Atleti also seem to be a special handful when they travel.

With the onus on them to score at home, you would hope that might really allows us to thrive with our counter-attacking quality.


KDB: 'I expect it to be similar over there'

More from KDB:

"We have to stay composed and don't try to fight with them and I think we handled it pretty well.

"1-0 is 1-0 and I expect it to be similar over there and maybe they will attack a little bit more."


KDB 'I think we played good'

KDB's reaction:

"Very hard game, they are solid and I think we played pretty good.

"First half was tight and second half we had a couple of chances."


Big night, big result

City had to be patient, we had to bide our time but we found a way when other teams might have lost our heads.

Atleti made life difficult and will be equally tough on home soil.

But you also really fancy City to get a goal out in Madrid.

All set up perfectly for next Wednesday.



More brilliance from Foden as he picks out De Bruyne with the outside of his left foot.

KDB tries to find the waiting Bernardo in the box but Atletic manages to get the block in


Not this time Kev!

City drive forward once more through that man De Bruyne.

He lets fly from 25 yards but this time the effort is too high.


Almost two

More brilliance from Foden.

Some dancing feet on the right byline sees the ball first come to Bernardo and then the encroaching De Bruyne midway in the box.

Kev lets fly but a vital block from Savic saves the day for Atleti


50 up in style!

George Kelsey at the Etihad:

"Phil Foden's been on the pitch for all of four or five minutes, and he's found the answer for City! The ball in behind is perfectly weighted for De Bruyne, who makes no mistake with a typically clinical finish on his 50th Champions League appearance for the Club.

"That goal changes the whole complexion of this tie now and if City can hold on or extend our lead, it could be one of the most important wins in our season!"


Special K

What an impact.

Foden the architect, he sees the run on the blind side from De Bruyne in the box and the Belgian makes no mistake firing past Oblak to open the scoring.

 Get in!!



Laporte rises high to meet a City corner but he can't keep the header down and the ball goes just over the bar.

Better from City though.


End to end encounter

George Kelsey at the Etihad:

The opening exchanges of the second half have felt like a basketball game! A couple of very decent openings for Atletico early on, before De Bruyne tested the reflexes of Jan Oblak with that free-kick. The excitement has lifted the atmosphere at the Etihad as well... a goal would send it into bedlam. It also looks like Atletico are preparing a triple substitution...


Mahrez is stopped again after Atleti gift away possession.

The intensity of the game has stepped up a pace.

Sterling from the free kick finds a bit of space but his cross fails to find a City player


End to end stuff

Another City corner as De Bruyne's cross is deflected.

Felipe heads away the set piece but City looking to up the pressure.

Atletico though break at fever pitch again and Llorente drifts wide before testing Ederson with a low shot.

End to end start to the second half




City work a neat opening through KDB to Gundogan. He opens up a fraction of space and sees his shot deflected wide by former City defender Savic



Llorente is suddenly through on his own behind the City line as latches onto a long ball and fluffs his lines with a tame shot at Ederson.

Eventually the flag does go up for offside - a trifle late!


Sinclair: 'Play the game, not the occasion'

More from Trevor Sinclair:

"0-0 is not a disaster because we have the better group of players, you have match winners over there but you ideally want a lead, donโ€™t play the occasion play the game."


Sinclair: 'Subs could be key'

Trevor Sinclair's half-time verdict:

"Subs might be part of the bigger strategy, tire them out then bring on Grealish or Foden to take them on. Jesus is the best one on one we have at the club so he could make an impact."


SWP: Let's force the errors

Shaun Wright-Phillips' half-time verdict:

" We have had opportunities on the break to exploit the space but we have taken too many touches and they get back and we have to be patient. We have to be careful, force the errors and capitalise. We have to go for the jugular, donโ€™t let them get into that 5-5-0."


Will gaps begin to open up?

George Kelsey's half-time view at the Etihad:

Pretty much an attack v defence training exercise in that first half, but the visitors held firm. It'll be interesting to see if there's a tactical switch from City during the break, Pep Guardiola was in discussion with John Stones for a fair chunk of that first 45.

We're getting in promising positions but Atletico always seem to have an extra man there to mop up the danger - as the legs tire though hopefully some gaps will begin to open up!


Battle of wits

A proper European tie this.

Atleti are so well drilled and organised. But plenty of time to find the opening and no shortage of options available on the bench.


Now Bernardo is upended on the edge of the box but again there is no foul awarded.

The fans urging City on as Stones tries an ambitious long range effort which is well over.

Just a touch of frustration about our play in the last couple of minutes.



Out of almost nothing Atheti fashion a brilliant passage of play.

Llorente looks to get behind the defence as he latches onto a 20 yard Felipe ball but he is flagged for offside.

Good discipline by our defence


Press to play

Now Stones looks to run through the Atleti defence.

The move breaks down inside the box but City come again and a low Cancelo cross is smothered by Oblak.

We're getting closer all the time.



Rodri is given a fraction of space and tries his luck from 25 yards.

However Felipe is there to spot the danger and blocks the shot.

De Bruyne then shuts the door on Felix as the visitors look to break.

A cute foul that.


Game of patience

City dominating possession. A lengthy passage of play sees us switch play several times before an attempted Cancelo short pass just runs out of play on the by line.

Just missing that final touch so far


Action stations

George Kelsey at the Etihad:

Joao Felix's brief foray forward just then showed the levels of commitment in this City team. We've been playing high in the Atletico half for most of the half, but when the visitors broke, there were eight players back in position to thwart the danger, four more than our opponents! The intensity when we're out of possession never ceases to amaze me.


Bravo Joao

Fine play from Cancelo at the back as he shows patience and awareness to shut the door and then dispossesses danger man Felix.

Timing was everything there.


Not this time

City work a neat passage of play from a quick Mahrez corner.

They work an opening for Gundogan centrally placed just outside the box but Ilkay's shot is high and wide.



More great work by City sees Mahrez cut inside before despatching a delightful curling cross.

It almost reaches the advancing Gundogan and Atleti are grateful to clear their lines.


Key stop

Now Ake does well to block a Llorente through ball after a misplaced pass from the City man.

Needed that touch too as Atleti had men upfront poised to latch onto the ball


Penalty appeal denied

Sterling goes off a brilliant twisting run on the left flank. He is brought to ground and then Bernardo goes down under Koke's challenge in the box.

There is a VAR check for a possible penalty but nothing doing.

City pressing with serious intent so far.



City build a real passage of play.

The ball rebounds in the box to De Bruyne and his 15 yard shot is deflected for a corner.

For the setpiece Laporte's header goes harmlessly wide.



Now Mahrez drifts an inviting ball diagonally behind the Madrid defence.

De Bruyne is after it but the ball just has too much purchase on it and goes out behind.


Threat on the counter

From George Kelsey at the Etihad:

"As expected, Atletico are sitting deep and looking to frustrate City where they can, but they still pose a serious threat on the counter as an important Nathan Ake interception demonstrated. The passion radiating from the touchline is also a sight to behold - Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone are kicking every single ball out there!"



Kongdobia is late on Cancelo and is spoken to the ref.

No booking though - and just as well for the Atletico man as he is one of four starters on a booking already.


Calling the shots

Pep already up on the touchline, urging his players on with tactical guidance from the bench.

A real battle of wills on and off the pitch tonight.



Great work by Ake as hares back to shut the door on Llorente from Felix's inviting ball.

A foul is called in any case but sharp work by the City defender.


All set to go...

 George Kelsey at the Etihad:

"Out come the players to a rapturous applause!

Both sets of fans are in full voice, the away support swinging their red and white scarves above their head with a chant of 'Atleti', while we respond with a rendition of 'the best team in the land and all the world' complete with a massive 'Blue Moon' Tifo across the stand... you just can't beat a Champions League night can you?"


A reminder of how we line up tonight...


James calls for quick start

More from David James:

"I go back to the Burnley game, the key was how we started. Burnley had a chance but we played proper football, anticipating more of that, KDB, Sterling, if Bernardo is in the mood.

"Atletico have the quality to cause us a problem but we can still win."


Elsewhere tonight

This evening's other Champions League quarter-final firs leg sees Liverpool travel to take on Benfica in Portugal.

I'll keep you posted on that one too.


Pep: 'It's a joy to be here'

More from Pep Guardiola:

โ€œIf you don't want to play these games, you will be out.

โ€œItโ€™s a joy and a pleasure to be here. Every season we arrive at this stage, I say if we arrive here in April, May fighting for titles, itโ€™s because we have done really well.

โ€œBad results right now and you are out of the competitions.โ€


Pre-match routines underway

From George Kelsey at the Etihad:

"The teams are out and the pre-match warmups are in full swing. Ederson and Zack Steffen are being tested with some long range shots while the starting XI take part in some small sided rondo's.

"Atletico are following suit with some sharp touches and quick feet on show, not to mention a striking Crystal Palace-esque training kit!"


Wright-Phillips on De Bruyne


"He is a very special player. One guy who might not be playing well but he will still make that pass. Sometimes (when I was playing) we had to call for the ball but with KDB you donโ€™t.

"With his eight eyes he will see you!"


Defining period?

Just a reminder (if any were needed) that tonight kick-starts a massive 12 days for City.

Following this evening's game, we then have the small matter of Sunday's huge Premier League clash with Liverpool to look forward to here at the Etihad.

City then travel to Madrid to tackle Atletico away next Wednesday in our Champions League quarter-final decider.

And then we face Liverpool again, this time at Wembley, a week on Saturday, in the FA Cup semi-final,

Wow, what a 12 day sequence of games!


Sinclair on the key role of Raheem Sterling

Trevor Sinclair on a resurgent Raheem Sterling:

"He got into the top ten of City scorers last time I was here.

"He is fantastic, it is important he enjoys his night, he looks a happy player in a happy team."


James: 'Both sides have earned the right to be here'

David James' stat alert:

"Atletico score 33% of their goals in last 15. Both teams have had two clean sheets in the Champions League to date. Atletico have a story that they win 1-0.

"They concede goals at the moment and City havenโ€™t had as many as them. There is a side of vulnerability.

"City have earned the right to be here, clean sheets are important but not be all and end all."


'Sinclair: Atletico have players of quality'

Trevor Sinclair on the threat of Atletico:

"You look at the forwards, Griezmann, Felix... players with good quality. 

"They have quality in midfield, they were clever against Manchester United in the last round, they werenโ€™t that defensive, they understood passages of play.

"Whether the intensity will be the same remains to be seen."


Sinclair - Ake can play in tight areas

Trevor Sinclair on Nathan Ake's role tonight:

"They (Atletico) haven't got supersonic pace, his passing is superb, he understands the patterns of the club.

"He can play in tight areas and I have no worries he will do a decent job. 

"What is Simeone thinking? He will be working out what to do, Pep has players who can play in different positions, Stones, Cancelo, they can rotate well. If someone gets caught out, they can fill in."


All set for what should be a thriller!

George Kelsey is our man in position at the Etihad tonight and will be providing us with updates throughout the evening:

"Hello from the Etihad Stadium ahead of what should hopefully be an absolute thriller!

"The stadium is slowly filling up and there's a real sense of anticipation ahead of this one.

"Can City take a potentially vital advantage back to Madrid? Or will Atletico sit deep and come away with a result?

Your guess is as good as mine, but it's another typically strong starting XI chosen by Pep Guardiola, so I'm confident we can come away with an all important win this evening! "


SWP - A team packed with quality


Shaun Wright-Phillips' team thoughts:

"How can you not make anything of that team? Anything Pep fields is full of quality with players at an elite level and we are at a game where they need to be at that level and get a quick goal."


TUNE IN...๐Ÿ“บ

Join Trevor Sinclair, David James and Shaun Wright-Philips on Matchday Live now as they look ahead to tonight's big clash with Atletico Madrid...


Here's how we line up tonight:


CITY XI: Ederson, Stones, Ake, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodrigo, Gundogan (c), De Bruyne, Bernardo, Sterling, Mahrez

Subs: Steffen, Carson, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Foden, Jesus, Grealish, Egan-Riley, Mbete


Pep on Simeone and Atletico

The boss offered his thoughts about Atletico and Diego Simeone at Monday's pre-match press conference:

โ€œThere is a misconception about the way he (Diego Simeone) plays.

โ€œItโ€™s more offensive than people believe. He doesn't want to take a risk in the build-up but they are very good in the final third.

โ€œThey are so competitive. It depends on the movement of the game and they know how to play at the exact moment.

โ€œThe moment of the game, winning, losing, last minute, early minutes, beginning of the start of second half - in these situations, they are very good.

โ€œThey want to avoid risk in neutral areas. They are aggressive and when they win the ball, they play."


'Not just another game' - Bernardo

More pre-match thoughts from Bernardo Silva:

โ€œItโ€™s not just another game - itโ€™s very important for us.

โ€œOnly Scott Carson and Pep have won (the Champions League). The club has never won it. I havenโ€™t and most players haven't. We haven't been able to. It lacks.

โ€œWe will do our best to try and make the fans happy and proud about this.

โ€œIt's a goal - a thing we really want to achieve. No-one knows what we will achieve but what we can promise to our fans is we will try as hard as we can to achieve that. Itโ€™s something we really want. Thereโ€™s nothing more we can do."


Bernardo embracing the pressure...

Addressing the media at Monday's pre-match press conference, Bernardo Silva said he and his City team-mates were relishing the high stakes that arise at this stage of the season:

โ€œAll we can do is our best, work hard every day and help each other win as many titles as possible.

โ€œThe players are used to it (the pressure). Itโ€™s a good sign because it means we are there in the last two months.

โ€œWe are there to fight for titles. If we had easy fixtures and games that didn't matter it would be good. We want to fight. We enjoy it.

โ€œWe want to face the best teams in the best competitions.โ€


Early team news ๐Ÿ“

Weโ€™ll find out todayโ€™s teams in just under 30 minutes time, but Ruben Dias is set to be absent as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Cole Palmer also remains sidelined with a foot injury while Kyle Walker completes the last match of his three-game European ban.

We'll bring you official confirmation of our starting eleven at 6.45pm.


Weather watch...


Get involved ๐Ÿ“ฑ

As always, we are especially keen to get your views and input ahead of a big night of Champions League action.

With the business end of the season now upon us, we are even more keen to get your thoughts and opinions on what promises to be a key fixture.

Let us know your thoughts, predictions and preferred team using #ManCity on Twitter and, donโ€™t forget, you can ask a question to our Matchday Live panel by messaging +447537186538 on WhatsApp.


Matchday Live ๐Ÿ“บ

We are joined by legendary former City and England trio of Trevor Sinclair, David James and Shaun Wright-Phillips for tonightโ€™s Matchday Live.

The show gets under way at 18:45pm (UK), with an hour and a quarter of pre-match build-up before reconvening at both half-time and full-time, when our panel will provide their thoughts on the action.

Itโ€™s a perfect blend of City focused entertainment and analysis and the perfect accompaniment to your matchday viewing. 

During the game you can also listen to live audio commentary from Alistair Mann and Andy Morrison right here in the Matchday Centre to ensure that you don't miss a beat.

Both Matchday Live and match commentary can be accessed at the top of this page.


Itโ€™s matchday!

Good evening!

And a very warm welcome back to the Matchday Centre for Manchester Cityโ€™s return to Champions League action as we welcome Atletico Madrid to the Etihad for the first leg of our quarter-final tie.

Itโ€™s a mouth-watering tie that brings the La Liga champions to town for what is, remarkably, a first-ever competitive meeting between the two teams with City seeking to try and secure a positive result to take to Madrid next week.

And it comes in the midst of a HUGE week that also sees us entertain Liverpool in a crucial Premier League clash on Sunday.

Kick-off tonight is at 8pm and you are in the right place to follow all the action and developments as they happen.

Iโ€™ll be providing live updates throughout the build-up, providing match action and also posting all the post-match reaction.

Stay tuned!


It's matchday! โšฝ

The Champions League is back!

City are in quarter-final action tonight with the visit of Atletico Madrid in a 20:00 (UK time) kick-off at the Etihad Stadium, as Pep Guardiola's men look to gain a strong advantage to take to the Spanish capital next week.

As always, we'll have all of the pre-match build-up, live coverage and post-match reaction right here in the Matchday Centre, while Trevor Sinclair, David James and Shaun Wright-Phillips will offer their expert insight from the Matchday Live studio.

Alistair Mann and Andy Morrison will guide you through the action at the Etihad Stadium from kick-off with live audio commentary, while those with push notifications turned on will also be alerted to both the team news and when any goals go in. 

Audience participation is encouraged. To get involved and ask our special guests a question, you can send a WhatsApp to: +447537186538.

Come on, City!

Other games that day

  • Benfica1
  • Chelsea0
    Real Madrid0
  • Villarreal0
    FC Bayern München0

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 Paris Saint-Germain 6 +5 11
3 RB Leipzig 6 +1 7
4 Club Brugge 6 -14 4
Link To Full Table