Champions League - Quarter-finals - 1st Leg
Man CityManchester City1Atl MadridAtlético Madrid0

Manchester City 1-0 Atletico Madrid: Kevin de Bruyne goal gives hosts a slender lead

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Etihad Stadium
Kevin de Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne has scored six goals and created five in his last 12 knockout stage matches in the Champions League

Kevin de Bruyne's second-half goal gave Manchester City victory as they overcame Atletico Madrid's typically fierce resistance in their Champions League quarter-final first leg at Etihad Stadium.

Diego Simeone's side performed with their trademark defensive discipline, restricting City to very few opportunities until De Bruyne pounced to make the breakthrough with 20 minutes left.

Phil Foden, on as a substitute, produced the moment of magic to unlock Atletico with a perfect pass through the legs of Reinildo for De Bruyne to slot past goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

It was the decisive moment in the tightest of games but City manager Pep Guardiola's wild celebration illustrated just how much it means to take a lead, even if slender, to Madrid for the second leg on 13 April.

Foden introduction sparks City

Difficult game, tough opponent - Guardiola on Manchester City's 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid

It was clear from the opening moments this was going to be a night for patience from City as Atletico, to no-one's great surprise, strung a bank of five defenders across the pitch and invited Guardiola's side to break them down.

For the first 45 minutes it worked to perfection as the hosts barely laid a glove on the Spanish champions, who protected keeper Oblak with the diligence and desire Simeone demands.

It was actually Atletico who threatened with a couple of breaks early in the second half, but City eventually managed to impose themselves and become more of a threat.

De Bruyne saw a free-kick well saved by Oblak and Aymeric Laporte headed over from a good position following a corner.

But it was the introduction of Foden that finally allowed City to spread some stardust on proceedings.

He showed glorious control and vision to nutmeg Reinildo, allowing De Bruyne to fire low past Oblak to ignite what had been a tense, largely subdued atmosphere inside Etihad Stadium.

City could not add a second with De Bruyne denied by a block on the line from Stefan Savic, but any lead is precious against an Atletico side who have made a speciality of frustrating Premier League giants in the past.

Liverpool found that out in 2020 when they lost both legs as holders in the last 16, while Manchester United were also eliminated at the same stage this season.

"We played an incredible top side who are difficult to face, but it is a good result," said Guardiola.

"We had chances to score a second and third. It is not easy to face a team with a lot of experience in this tournament. We will go there to score and try to win again."

Simeone marched off in defiant fashion at the final whistle and the Argentine will rightly feel Atletico are still in this tie - it would be folly to dismiss Simeone or his durable Champions League campaigners.

The onus though, is now on them to attack in the return leg.

"It is a bad result because we lost 1-0 and we were looking to win," Simeone said.

"It is clear we were playing against an extraordinary opponent. The numbers and statistics speak for themselves and they play in a very dynamic way. We had to suffer but we have to go to Madrid now and use the tools we have at our disposal.

"We need to be better but we are still in the tie. Let's see if we can have the ball more in the second leg and create more difficulties for our opponents but that comes with being calm and having the collective defensive effort."

However, alterations to Atletico's approach may well suit City more than having to break down the red and white wall of resistance that made their lives so difficult until that important De Bruyne strike on his 50th Champions League appearance for the club.

Player of the match

AkéNathan Aké

with an average of 7.34

Manchester City

  1. Squad number6Player nameAké
    Average rating


  2. Squad number47Player nameFoden
    Average rating


  3. Squad number17Player nameDe Bruyne
    Average rating


  4. Squad number9Player nameGabriel Jesus
    Average rating


  5. Squad number10Player nameGrealish
    Average rating


  6. Squad number20Player nameBernardo Silva
    Average rating


  7. Squad number27Player nameJoão Cancelo
    Average rating


  8. Squad number5Player nameStones
    Average rating


  9. Squad number26Player nameMahrez
    Average rating


  10. Squad number16Player nameRodri
    Average rating


  11. Squad number31Player nameEderson
    Average rating


  12. Squad number14Player nameLaporte
    Average rating


  13. Squad number8Player nameGündogan
    Average rating


  14. Squad number7Player nameSterling
    Average rating


Atlético Madrid

  1. Squad number13Player nameOblak
    Average rating


  2. Squad number7Player nameJoão Félix
    Average rating


  3. Squad number14Player nameMarcos Llorente
    Average rating


  4. Squad number6Player nameKoke
    Average rating


  5. Squad number8Player nameGriezmann
    Average rating


  6. Squad number23Player nameReinildo
    Average rating


  7. Squad number18Player nameFelipe
    Average rating


  8. Squad number4Player nameKondogbia
    Average rating


  9. Squad number12Player nameRenan Lodi
    Average rating


  10. Squad number15Player nameSavic
    Average rating


  11. Squad number24Player nameVrsaljko
    Average rating


  12. Squad number5Player namede Paul
    Average rating


  13. Squad number10Player nameCorrea
    Average rating


  14. Squad number19Player nameMatheus Cunha
    Average rating


  15. Squad number11Player nameLemar
    Average rating



Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31EdersonBooked at 90mins
  • 27Cancelo
  • 5Stones
  • 14Laporte
  • 6Aké
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 16Rodri
  • 8GündoganSubstituted forGrealishat 68'minutes
  • 26MahrezSubstituted forFodenat 68'minutes
  • 20Bernardo Silva
  • 7SterlingSubstituted forGabriel Jesusat 68'minutesBooked at 85mins


  • 9Gabriel Jesus
  • 10Grealish
  • 11Zinchenko
  • 13Steffen
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 33Carson
  • 47Foden
  • 56Egan-Riley
  • 79Mbete

Atl Madrid

Formation 5-3-2

  • 13Oblak
  • 24VrsaljkoBooked at 90mins
  • 15Savic
  • 18Felipe
  • 23Mandava
  • 12Lodi dos Santos
  • 14LlorenteSubstituted forSantos Carneiro Da Cunhaat 60'minutes
  • 6KokeSubstituted forde Paulat 60'minutesBooked at 69mins
  • 4Kondogbia
  • 8GriezmannSubstituted forCorreaat 60'minutesBooked at 83mins
  • 7SequeiraSubstituted forLemarat 81'minutes


  • 1Lecomte
  • 5de Paul
  • 9Suárez
  • 10Correa
  • 11Lemar
  • 17Wass
  • 19Santos Carneiro Da Cunha
  • 22Hermoso
  • 26Serrano Martínez
  • 31Gómez
  • 47Cámara Silva
István Kovács

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamAtl Madrid
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester City 1, Atletico Madrid 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester City 1, Atletico Madrid 0.

  3. Booking

    Ederson (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.

  4. Booking

    Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid).

  7. Post update

    Foul by Jack Grealish (Manchester City).

  8. Post update

    Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid).

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Phil Foden (Manchester City) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by João Cancelo.

  13. Booking

    Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card.

  14. Booking

    Ángel Correa (Atletico Madrid) is shown the yellow card.

  15. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Sime Vrsaljko (Atletico Madrid).

  17. Post update

    Jack Grealish (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Ángel Correa (Atletico Madrid).

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Atletico Madrid. Thomas Lemar replaces João Félix.

  20. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Bernardo Silva.

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