Despite conceding four goals at the Etihad Stadium, Los Blancos will still fancy themselves in the Champions League semi-final second leg next week

Manchester City won the game, or at least that is what the scoreboard said, because somehow it felt like they had lost.

They had had the Real Madrid experience, part one of it anyway.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side were pulled apart by the hosts at the Etihad Stadium, letting in four goals and it could have been more, yet they head back to the Spanish capital still believing they will reach the Champions League final.

Madrid seem to get more luck in high-pressure games than any other side, but whether or not that is true, what is undoubted is they have the mindset and players to capitalise on good fortune when it comes their way. They are ready and willing to roll with the punches.

Pep Guardiola and City triumphed 4-3, but missed a host of opportunities and after going two goals up within 11 minutes. Madrid kept pegging back City, with a Karim Benzema brace and a brilliant Vinicius Junior solo goal.

Every time the hosts crept ahead, Madrid appeared with a goal, out of nothing.

“We’re never happy with a defeat,” Vinicius Junior said after the game, although he was grinning widely. “We have the second half to go, we can improve and get through to the final.”

Los Blancos’ defending was shocking, but City’s finishing was equally profligate and on another night they would have racked up a bigger score.

“Madrid let in four and left the Etihad with the sensation of winning. They lost a game 4-3 that they deserved to lose 8-3,” wrote Marca.

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