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Jude Bellingham Revels In ‘Glorious’ Victory As Real Madrid Eliminate Manchester City From Champions League

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Jude Bellingham savored Real Madrid’s “exquisite” triumph in the penalty shootout against Manchester City, propelling his team into the Champions League semi-finals, while Pep Guardiola lamented the squandered opportunities by the defending champions throughout the tie.

Despite Kevin De Bruyne’s equalizer following Rodrygo’s early goal at the Etihad Stadium, City clearly dominated the match on Wednesday night, registering an impressive 33 shots compared to Real’s eight, with an Expected Goals tally of 2.73 compared to their opponents’ 1.4.

However, despite City’s dominance, Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic failed to convert their penalty kicks, while Antonio Rudiger sealed the victory for Real with a successful spot-kick, avenging last season’s semi-final defeat to City.

Guardiola acknowledged the defeat with a sense of acceptance but couldn’t shake the feeling that the outcome should have been decided before the shootout, considering the multitude of opportunities his team created.

The decision to substitute Erling Haaland at the end of regular time, along with De Bruyne and Manuel Akanji during extra time, was made at the players’ request, as Guardiola confirmed, stating, “Erling and Kevin asked me to come out. They could not continue. Same as Manu.”

With the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea looming at Wembley on Saturday, there’s little time for City to dwell on this loss. While the treble dream may have ended, the possibility of a double remains attainable. Guardiola emphasized, “After winning, recovery is easier than losing. That is the way it is.”

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