By Press Association
Manchester City produced a stunning late comeback at the Bernabeu to claim a 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League tie.
Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne, the latter from the penalty spot, both struck in the final 12 minutes to give Pep Guardiola’s side a brilliant victory after falling behind to an Isco strike.
To make matters worse for Real, captain Sergio Ramos was sent off in the closing stages for denying Jesus another goalscoring opportunity.
City had gone into the last-16 encounter under a cloud after recently being banned from the competition for the next two years.
That issue will continue to overshadow their immediate future but their fine display under pressure in Madrid at least breathed new life into their current campaign.
Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero were named on the bench at the Bernabeu Stadium, the England forward back in contention after three weeks out with a hamstring injury while Aguero, who missed a penalty against Leicester last weekend, was replaced by Gabriel Jesus.
David Silva was also among the substitutes while defender Nicolas Otamendi returned to the side for the last-16 first-leg clash.
Gareth Bale also had to settle for a place on the Real bench despite their loss of Eden Hazard to injury. Karim Benzema led the attack along with Isco and Vinicius Junior.
City created the first big chance of the match after 20 minutes as Kevin De Bruyne played Jesus through on goal and the Brazilian cut inside before unleashing a shot that was parried by Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Guardiola’s side were given a huge let off just before the half hour mark. Ferland Mendy’s cross was powerfully headed down by Karim Benzema and Ederson produced a superb save to push the ball out – where Vinicius slipped as he attempted to tap the ball in from five yards out.
City were then hit with a major blow as Aymeric Laporte, who has recently returned from long-term injury, was forced off.
They came close to the opener in first-half stoppage time as Courtois made a mess of a De Bruyne corner before Real cleared Riyad Mahrez’s shot away from the goalmouth.
City continued to be the better side after the break, pushing forward with ambition and testing Courtois.
But Real struck against the run of play on the hour mark. Rodrigo lost the ball in the midfield and Kyle Walker missed a chance to clear as Vinicius surged through and squared for Isco, who calmly slipped the ball past Ederson.
City turned the game on its head with a brilliant spell. Jesus nodded Guardiola’s side level from close range before Raheem Sterling was upended in the area.
De Bruyne stepped up to banish City’s recent penalty woes and fire the visitors into a 2-1 lead.
And the night took another turn for the worse for Real as captain Sergio Ramos was sent off in the closing stages for bringing down Jesus when clear through on goal.
City closed out the match to take a dominant 2-1 lead back to the Etihad for the second leg.