Mens Team

More running and Jesus' aerial dominance: The stats behind City’s Madrid triumph

More running and Jesus' aerial dominance: The stats behind City’s Madrid triumph
Manchester City were utterly dominant to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League at Real Madrid’s expense.

Pep Guardiola had called the 13-time winners the ‘Kings of Europe’ beforehand, but it was his side who produced a royal show to prevail 2-1 in the second leg and set-up a quarter-final tie with Lyon.


City were relentless at the Etihad Stadium, where we were in control from start to finish, with the statistics highlighting our superiority in contrast to what the scoreline might suggest.

Here, we break down the key stats from a brilliant European night…

Team performance

Distance covered

The intensity of City’s pressing set the tone for a game which belonged to the hosts from minute one.

The forward line of Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling led by example and reaped their rewards with both goals as Madrid struggled to cope with the pressure.

But the whole team had a part to play, with Kevin De Bruyne typically tireless in midfield and Kyle Walker marauding up and down the right flank.

It meant City outran Madrid by 3.9km, covering 112.2km to the visitors 108.4km.

WATCH: City 2-1 Real Madrid: Match highlights

Ball recoveries

So often City’s pressing forced Zinedine Zidane’s side into mistakes and it allowed us to win possession back in promising areas.

Jesus’ pressure on Raphael Varane for Sterling’s opener was the best example of that and in total, we recovered the ball 44 times.

We were slick in possession, too, crucially in the closing stages when Madrid were trying to get back into the game, but we restricted them to just 33 ball recoveries.

In possession

Dominating the ball is central to Guardiola’s philosophy and City certainly did that in the second leg, completing more passes than the La Liga winners even attempted.

We made 535 successful passes, whilst Madrid tried just 507.

It meant the Spanish outfit were forced to do more defending than they would have liked in a tie in which they trailed and the only areas where they out performed City was in the number of blocks, tackles and clearances.

If you don’t have the ball you can’t score and Guardiola’s side negated Madrid’s obvious attacking threat by consistently threatening themselves.

WATCH: Guardiola: Gabriel Jesus the star of the tie

Individual performance

Gabriel Jesus – Most aerials won

In exalted company, the Brazilian was the star man across both legs, but not just for the goals he scored.

At the Bernabeu, his tireless work-rate in the first half was rightly praised, and at the Etihad, he again demonstrated his vast array of attributes as a constant defensive nuisance.

Nobody on the pitch won more aerial duels than him (8) and he was streets ahead of everyone else in this department, with Varane managing only three to lead the way for the opposition.

Kevin De Bruyne – Chances created

We are running out of superlatives for the Belgian’s creativity, but on a pitch boasting several world class midfielders, it was he who was the architect of the home side’s superior play.

He created nine chances in total, seven more than Toni Kroos, who had Madrid’s highest tally.

It was a career-best performance in the competition for De Bruyne in that sense, creating more chances in a single Champions League game than ever before, whilst it is also the most chances a single player has generated against Madrid since Andrey Arshavin’s eight for Zenit 2008.

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