(CNN) It was a match that will go down in the Champions League history as a classic. Manchester City and Real Madrid played off a thrilling 4-3 first-leg semifinal encounter on Tuesday, with seven goals, one of which was an extraordinary penalty, lots of chances, and fantastic performances.
On social media, football fans drooled as Real battled back from a 2-0 deficit to keep the tie alive for the return leg in Madrid. “The game has just begun,” Real goalscorer Karim Benzema said after the game on social media.
“It was a terrific game of football as a football fan,” Real manager Carlo Ancelotti told reporters.
“As the manager of Real Madrid, I must consider the fact that we… surrendered two goals extremely early. But we’re going to the Bernabeu with three goals. We are now hoping to go to the final.”
After only 94 seconds, City took the lead thanks to Kevin De Bruyne’s spectacular diving header. Real appeared to be in for a long night when Gabriel Jesus spun inside the area to double the home side’s advantage in the 11th minute. The 13-time winner and the competition’s all-time leading scorer had never allowed two goals in the Champions League previously.
City, who were trying to win the Champions League for the first time, was stunning and should have gone 3-0 up, but Pep Guardiola’s side failed to convert great chances, and Real fought back, with Benzema directing the ball into the bottom corner to lessen the lead before the break.
City struck again eight minutes after the break, with Phil Foden tapping home a cross from Fernandinho before Vinicius Jr. produced a stunning goal to make it 3-2.
However, there were more goals and drama to come.
Bernardo Silva beat Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois with a blistering shot into the top corner in the 74th minute, and then Benzema scored his second of the night — a penalty that will be repeated numerous times.
With eight minutes left, Benzema stepped up with a ‘Panenka’ — a chipped penalty through the middle — after Aymeric Laporte was penalized for handling inside the area.
The Frenchman had missed two penalties in Real’s La Liga triumph over Osasuna six days prior, so attempting a penalty in such a tense circumstance was incredible.
Alan Shearer, a former England striker, remarked on BBC Radio 5 live: “All I can do is laugh and think to myself, ‘I can’t believe Karim Benzema just did that…’ The bravado! It was fantastic.”
It was the perfect way to cap off a memorable evening.
“For both teams, it was a tremendous match. We accomplished a great deal. Unfortunately, we conceded goals and were unable to score additional goals. But it’s two games in a row, with another one coming up in a week “Guardiola stated to the press.