Former England and Manchester United Wayne Rooney has suggested that Manchester City will crush the defending European champions Real Madrid in their upcoming fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu. The two giants will lock horns twice in the month of May fighting for a place in the final of the UEFA Champions League 2023 season.
“Manchester City will not only beat Real Madrid in the semi-final of the Champions League, but they are going to destroy them,” Rooney wrote in his column in The Times.
Los Blancos midfielder Toni Kroos had a humble reply to the England legend’s comment as he expressed the same thing was being considered last year but eventually Madrid did not went on to defeat Man City but also won UCL.
“I think it’s always the same. I remember they said one or two things last year, nobody expected us to win it, and we were able to do so. Apart from the words he said, Rooney is a guy I like a lot,” he told the press as quoted Football Espana.
Toni Kroos: “Rooney said Manchester City will destroy us? They said the same last season. Then we won the Champions League. This doesn’t affect us. We are already enough motivated.” #rmalive pic.twitter.com/6RNttlNhgq
— Madrid Zone (@theMadridZone) May 8, 2023
Battle Of The Titans: Real Madrid vs Manchester City Match Preview
Real Madrid will be hosting Manchester City on Wednesday in Santiago Bernabeu as both teams will be looking to win the semifinal Leg 1 of the UEFA Champions League.
In the Clash of the Titans, Pep Guardiola’s men will take on Carlo Ancelotti’s team on May 10 in Santiago Bernabeu. The Semi-Final clash between the two is going to be epic as Manchester City will be looking to take their revenge for being knocked by Los Blancos in the last Semi-Finals of the last season. Last season in the Semi-Finals of the UEFA Champions League, Manchester City won the 1st Leg of the tie by 4-3. (Watch: Cristiano Ronaldo Loses His Cool, Pushes Away Al Khaleej Staffer Seeking Selfie After Al Nassr’s Frustrating Draw)
Coming into the second Leg, Real Madrid bossed over City and won the match 3-1, advancing into the final. Manchester City ran out of luck despite putting in their best efforts. City fell short of European success yet again, while Madrid went on to win a record-extending 14th title.
On Wednesday, they will be looking to give a payback to Real Madrid and hopefully win the title this year. Two of the best-attacking teams in Europe face off in the Champions League semifinals this week, with Manchester City’s record-seeking Erling Haaland going against Real Madrid’s red-hot trio of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Karim Benzema.
The addition of Haaland could be the difference-maker for Pep Guardiola’s team. The Norwegian has 12 of City’s 26 goals this season. He is five short of Cristiano Ronaldo’s single-season record of 17 for Madrid in 2013-14.
Haaland added a new dimension to a City attack that played most of last season without a striker. Instead of focusing on always dominating possession, Guardiola has been happy to use Haaland as a weapon on the counterattack at times. The striker has an English Premier League-record 35 goals this season, and 51 across all competitions.
Madrid will stick to the formula that has worked well in recent years, with Vinicius, Benzema and Rodrygo taking turns to lead an attack that scored 25 times in the Champions League this season — 15 of them coming from the trio. They have eight of the team’s 10 goals in the knockout stage alone. With the Copa title secured and La Liga out of reach, Madrid can fully focus on the matchup against City.
Madrid eliminated two other English clubs in the Champions League — Liverpool in the round of 16 and Chelsea in the quarterfinals. City advanced past Leipzig in the last 16 and Bayern Munich in the previous eight.
Madrid is making its 11th semifinal appearance in 13 seasons and is trying to win its sixth title in 10 seasons. City played in its first Champions League final two seasons ago, losing to Chelsea. It will be interesting to see who takes the advantage in the 1st Leg of the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final on May 10. (With ANI inputs)