Man City's Jesus justifies selection ahead of Aguero with 8/10 showing in comeback win in Madrid

Manchester City produced a stunning comeback to overturn a 1-0 deficit and beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Madrid pounced on sloppy play at the back to spring a quick counter, before Isco applied the finishing touch on the hour mark to put Los Blancos ahead, but quickfire goals from Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne put City on their way to a famous win. The action wasn't done there, as Sergio Ramos brought Jesus down as the Brazilian raced through on goal and was sent off in the 86th minute, meaning he will miss the second leg at the Etihad.


Heads could well have dropped after they went behind -- arguably against the run of play -- but De Bruyne grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck in the final 15 minutes and inspired a comeback that will go down in City folklore.


Pep Guardiola's side had a tough time working their way through Madrid's high press in the first half, with the ball regularly finding its way back to the hosts, and questions will also be asked about the opener, with a comedy of errors gifting Real the lead.

Manager rating out of 10

8 -- Eyebrows were raised when Guardiola started the game without either of Raheem Sterling or Sergio Aguero, but a system that saw De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva act as false nines gave them composure in the final third and rigidity at the back, while the manager's second-half introduction of Sterling changed the game.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Ederson, 6 -- Did well to palm away a Karim Benzema header in the first half, but couldn't deny Isco the opener despite racing out of his goal and closing down the angle.

DF Benjamin Mendy, 6 -- A clumsy first-half foul on Luka Modric earned the Frenchman a yellow card that means he will miss the second leg. Defensively, Mendy was well protected against Dani Carvajal by Jesus' excellent tracking back.

DF Aymeric Laporte, 6 -- Saw plenty of the ball in the opening half hour as he looked to guide his side out of the intense Madrid press, but his evening came to an end after 32 minutes when he limped off and was replaced by Fernandinho.

DF Nicolas Otamendi, 6 -- Landed Rodri in all kinds of trouble with a heavy pass that his teammate failed to bring under his spell, and Real cruelly punished them with a swift breakaway and clinical finish to go ahead.

DF Kyle Walker, 6 -- Looked to have gotten to grips with the slippery Vinicius Junior after a testing first 10 minutes, but he was unable to deal with the winger as he raced away and laid the ball on for Isco to fire home the opener.

MF Rodri, 6 -- One or two nervous moments in possession for the former Atletico Madrid man on his return to the Spanish capital, and didn't cover himself in glory for the Isco strike when his blind pass was intercepted by Real before they broke away to score.

MF Ilkay Gundogan, 6 -- Quietly went about his business and used the ball wisely in what was a no-nonsense display.

MF Kevin De Bruyne, 8 -- Often the most advanced City player as he roamed the final third as a deep-lying centre-forward, and provided an inch-perfect cross for Jesus to nod home the leveler, before calmly stroking home an 83rd-minute penalty to seal a glorious victory.

MF Riyad Mahrez, 6 -- Had a quiet first half, but became a more prominent figure in the second period and had three decent openings, but was unable to give Thibaut Courtois a seriously testing save to make.

MF Bernardo Silva, 5 -- A difficult night in which he was often surrounded by crowds of white shirts when he looked to make something happen, and there were one or two occasions when the Portuguese's first touch let him down.

MF Gabriel Jesus, 8 -- Did a brilliant job defensively to help Mendy deal with the threat of Carvajal, and going forward, Jesus was a constant threat, culminating in a well-taken header to get his side back into the game before forcing a red card for Ramos that makes City firm favourites heading into the second leg.


DF Fernandinho, 7 -- Slotted in at centre-back in place of the injured Laporte, and the switch coincided with City gaining some composure and control in the game. An excellent performance.

MF Raheem Sterling, 7 -- His quick burst of pace drew a poor tackle from Carvajal to win his side the late penalty.