Manchester City came from behind to win 2-1 at the Bernabeu, handing Real Madrid a stunning loss and establishing itself as the team to beat in the Champions League.
Man City will take a one-goal lead – and two away goals – into the second leg of the match at the Etihad Stadium in three weeks.
City Storms Back, Validating Guardiola Lineup
Real Madrid looked headed toward a conventional home win over a strong European foe when Isco scored at the hour mark to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. But Gabriel Jesus headed in a cross from Kevin De Bruyne to tie the match after 78 minutes.
Just six minutes later, substitute Raheem Sterling – a surprise exclusion from the starting lineup, along with David Silva and Sergio Aguero – drew a penalty that allowed De Bruyne to calmly convert the winning goal from the spot.
City manager Pep Guardiola earned validation for his lineup choices after many accused him of potentially throwing away yet another opportunity for Champions League glory – and perhaps the last one in a while for City, which is facing a two-year ban from European competition following this season.
“I’m happy for the victory and the performance as well,” Guardiola told reporters. “It’s not over. There’s one team in the world who can overcome everything, and it’s this club, but for our people, hopefully we can make a good performance and go through.”
Bookmakers expect City to do far more than just go through to the quarterfinals. The English side stands as the +275 favorite to win the Champions League according to DraftKings Sportsbook, just ahead of Bayern Munich (+375).
Bayern Pummels Chelsea, Atletico Downs Liverpool
Bayern impressed on Tuesday, easily brushing aside Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea manager Frank Lampard acknowledged that his team is in deep trouble heading into the second leg next month.
“We have to go to Munich and play with a lot of pride to see what we can do there,” Lampard said after the match. “It’s pretty clear that we are in a very bad position going into the second leg, so it’s a show of character to see what we can do.”
Chelsea needs a miracle to advance to the quarterfinals. DraftKings is offering +6000 odds on Chelsea erasing the three-goal deficit in Munich.
Champions League Winner Odds
- Manchester City: +275
- Bayern Munich: +375
- Liverpool: +700
- Barcelona: +750
- Paris Saint-Germain: +1100
- Juventus: +1200
- Atletico Madrid: +2000
- RB Leipzig: +2000
- Borussia Dortmund: +2500
- Atalanta: +3000
- Real Madrid : +3500
- Tottenham: +6000
- Napoli: +7500
- Lyon: +15000
- Chelsea: +30000
- Valencia: +30000
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Defending Champions League winner Liverpool has work to do in its second leg after losing 1-0 to Atletico Madrid in Spain last week. But Reds manager Jurgen Klopp says that he expects a much different atmosphere when Atletico comes to Anfield.
“Emotions are important. Tonight they were obviously completely on the side of Atletico, but I am really looking forward to the second leg,” Klopp told reporters. “It’s halftime and we’re 1-0 down. The second half will be played in our stadium and they will feel it.”
Liverpool sits as a slight -114 favorite to advance over Atletico (-112), and are still a +700 pick to win the Champions League despite its precarious position.