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Manchester City slammed for being too ‘naive’ in Champions League win over Real Madrid

‘They shouldn’t have let Real Madrid back into the game’: Man City are slammed for being ‘NAIVE’ by Steve McManaman after they lost their two-goal advantage three times in Champions League semi-final first leg

  • Manchester City beat Real Madrid in a seven-goal Champions League thriller 
  • Pep Guardiola’s side, however, allowed their opponents to stay alive in the tie 
  • They have since been accused of being too naïve by pundit Steve McManaman 
  • Pundit McManaman took aim at the hosts for their failure to ‘manage’ the clash 

Manchester City have been accused of being ‘naïve’ in their Champions League victory over Real Madrid, after their opponents kept themselves alive in the semi-final tie following the thrilling action at the Etihad. 

City were able to place one foot in the final of the competition after sealing a full-throttle 4-3 victory, but they squandered a commanding lead on three occasions despite carving out a number of golden chances.

And in his analysis of the game at full-time, BT Sport pundit Steve McManaman insisted that Pep Guardiola’s side were sloppy in handing Madrid a glimmer of hope. 

Manchester City have been accused of being ‘naïve’ in their thrilling victory over Real Madrid

Pep Guardiola's side missed several chances and allowed Madrid to remain alive in their tie

Pep Guardiola’s side missed several chances and allowed Madrid to remain alive in their tie

Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus netted inside the early stages of the clash, only for Karim Benzema to halve the deficit after he met Ferland Mendy’s inviting cross.

Phil Foden then nodded beyond Thibaut Courtois to restore City’s two-goal cushion, before Vinicius Junior burst down the other end minutes later to slot in with aplomb.

There was still time for Bernardo Silva and Benzema to exchange strikes, the latter pulling off an audacious panenka from the penalty spot to round off the scoring.

Kevin De Bruyne netted the opening goal, with City going on to claim a first-leg advantage

Kevin De Bruyne netted the opening goal, with City going on to claim a first-leg advantage

‘You never accuse City of being naïve, but they were at times today,’ McManaman said. ‘When they were two-nil up, and three-one up and four-two up, they shouldn’t have let Real Madrid back into the game. 

‘I don’t know what it was, whether they were overly confident because they were so far ahead. As soon as they went two-nil up, they dropped deep. 

‘You think to yourself, “how has this happened?” City should have been controlling the game. I still think City will score goals and probably win the game over there, but they’ve given Madrid slim hope.’

McManaman, the former Liverpool forward, also vented his frustration at the home side’s failure to ‘manage’ the game despite their healthy scoreline advantage.

Karim Benzema netted twice for Madrid, meaning they still have a chance of making the final

Karim Benzema netted twice for Madrid, meaning they still have a chance of making the final

Steve McManaman vented his frustration at how the home side failed to 'manage' the match

Steve McManaman vented his frustration at how the home side failed to ‘manage’ the match

‘We’ve all experienced games where you think it’s easy, but then something happens,’ he added. ‘You can feel the shift changing. Then it’s backs to the walls and you’re wondering, “how did this happen?” 

‘That didn’t happen today once, it happened three times. Two-nil, three-one and four-two. I don’t know why City started dropping off and allowing Madrid to come back onto them.

‘Whenever they went forward they dominated so much and made so many chances. You’re thinking to yourself, don’t make a mistake and manage the game.’

Madrid were similarly criticised by the same pundit for being similarly naive.

Bernardo Silva was also on target in the thriller, but Madrid hit back ahead of the return leg

Bernardo Silva was also on target in the thriller, but Madrid hit back ahead of the return leg

‘It happened with Real Madrid as well, they showed they were naïve even though they’re the most experienced team around,’ McManaman said.

‘Whenever they got to a goal, Manchester City went back down the other end and scored and made chances again.’ 

The return leg will take place on Wednesday, 4 May at the Bernabeu. 

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