3 tackles, 2 key passes, 1 assist: £60m attacker shone in the Champions League last night, just days after Chelsea links

Imagine not tuning in to Manchester City’s Champions League titanic clash with Real Madrid yesterday.

If you decided to watch Midsomer Murders instead, then you should be the one locked away for crimes against football.

Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti’s men put on 90 minutes of pure entertainment for everybody watching from around the globe.

Manchester City versus Real Madrid

City could’ve easily been four up by the interval, yet had to settle for a 2-1 advantage heading into the break.

Kevin De Bruyne scored the fastest goal ever in a Champions League semi-final, heading past fellow former Chelsea player Thibaut Courtois after 94 seconds.

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Gabriel Jesus then doubled the lead of the Premier League holders, only to be pegged back by the timeless Karim Benzema.

Phil Foden made it three for City eight minutes into the second-half, a deficit that was cut again thanks to a delightful solo goal by Vinicius Junior.

Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Had the game finished 3-2, not a single soul would’ve complained at all.

However, both sides had one last firework to throw at the contest.

Bernardo Silva let rip a rocket with a quarter of an hour remaining, leaving Courtois stranded on the Etihad turf.

It was left to Benzema to put the icing on the sweetest of European cakes, by floating a Panenka penalty past Ederson in the dying embers of the delightful bout.

There were cries from the BT commentary box for the hypothetical punches to go on all night.

Fortunately, neutrals only have to wait for a week for the reverse fixture at the Bernabeu.

Riyad the real deal

Chelsea will have indifferent memories of their trip to Spain earlier this month.

They put on one of their best performances this season at the home of Los Blancos, but still ended up departing the competition on aggregate.

Some supporters of Thomas Tuchel’s men will surely be rooting for City to avenge their loss by knocking Madrid out.

This could quite easily happen if Riyad Mahrez is involved again.

The £60m (BBC) Algerian international was at the thick of the action last night, causing Madrid countless issues down the right channel.

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

It was his precise cross that set up De Bruyne for the earlier opener.

He then had a chance to extend City’s lead himself following a swift counter-attack, but could only hit the side-netting.

Chelsea’s next conquest?

Mahrez came even closer in the second-half, clipping the far post instead of nestling inside it.

But this did not detract from the 31-year-old’s productive display.

According to WhoScored.com, he had three shots, played two key passes, made three tackles and provided an assist.

An exhibition that surely had the Chelsea board on the edge of their seats, salivating at the thought of adding his numbers to Tuchel’s squad.

Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Mahrez was linked again with a move to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, having also been mentioned in March.

We wouldn’t say no, just put it that way…

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.