Football Manchester City and Real advance in Champions League

Manchester City and Real advance in Champions League

Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City, centre, celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal against Borussia Moenchengladbach. Photo: AP
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Kevin De Bruyne’s thunderous strike has helped Manchester City cruise to a 2-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach and a place in the last eight of the Champions League for the fourth straight season.

Belgium midfielder De Bruyne unleashed a first-time left-foot shot from the edge of the area that flew in off the underside of the crossbar in the 12th minute, all but ending Gladbach’s hopes of comeback after City won the first leg 2-0 three weeks ago.

Ilkay Gundogan added a second goal by finishing off clinically when brilliantly teed up by Phil Foden in the 18th minute.

The Premier League leaders, who have scored 101 goals this season in all competitions, showed why they are the favourites to win the competition for the time in the club’s history.

In doing so, they secured a seventh clean sheet in a row in Europe as they sealed a 4-0 win on aggregate.

City have only ever gone beyond the last eight once in nine Champions League campaigns, and never under Pep Guardiola since he arrived as manager in 2016.

This might be their best opportunity given their form – 24 wins in their past 25 games in all competitions – and the fact Guardiola has an injury-free squad at his disposal.

Joining City in the last eight were 13-time champions Real Madrid, who accounted for visitors Atalanta 3-1 to complete a 4-1 win on aggregate.

Karim Benzema scored on 34 minutes to put Real in complete control of the tie charge, sliding home an opening after Luka Modric picked off an errant attempted pass from Atalanta goalkeeper Marco Sportiello.

Captain Sergio Ramos converted a penalty on the hour mark for his 15th goal in the competition – only former Galacticos left-back Roberto Carlos (16) has scored more Champions League goals among defenders.

Atalanta managed to get one goal back thanks to a free kick from Luis Muriel in the 83rd but any hope they had of completing a comeback was quickly dashed a minute later by a low strike from Real substitute Marco Asensio.

Real advance to the quarters for the first time since 2018.

Liverpool, Porto, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain reached the quarter-finals last week.

-with AAP