MADRID: Real Madrid and Manchester City battled out a 3-3 draw in a thrilling Champions League quarter-final clash under the Bernabeu stadium roof. leaving the tie between the last two holders of the trophy wide open for the second leg.

Federico Valverde salvaged a draw for Real late on after City had taken a 3-2 lead with sumptuous strikes from Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol following a Ruben Dias own goal and Rodrygo strike that gave the hosts a halftime lead in Spain’s capital.

The noisy home crowd had been left stunned after two minutes when City midfielder Bernardo Silva took advantage of a one-man wall to drill a low free kick from 40 metres just inside Andriy Lunin’s post to give the visitors the lead.

It was a schoolboy error by the Ukrainian who seemed to have been waiting for a cross and left his right side unguarded. He got a hand on the ball but could not keep it out.

To make things worse, Real midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni, playing as an emergency centre back, was shown a yellow card for the foul on Jack Grealish that led to the goal and will miss the return leg in Manchester next Wednesday.

Without midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, who was left on the bench after illness, City tried to make the most of Real’s sloppy start and could have extended their lead.

However, Erling Haaland was denied by Lunin before Grealish had a shot blocked and Haaland could not capitalise on the rebound, leaving City to rue their missed chances.

Eduardo Camavinga soon helped level the scores after 12 minutes when his long-range strike deflected off defender Dias for an own goal after wrongfooting keeper Stefan Ortega.

Two minutes later Vinicius Jr delivered a brilliant through ball that Rodrygo took in his stride before his weak shot was deflected off Manuel Akanji’s heel to give the hosts the lead.

Real had the momentum and should have extended their lead but were wasteful. Rodrygo misfired twice from the edge of the box late in the first half and then Vinicius blasted a close-range strike over the bar early in the second half.

But just as Real looked set to grab a third, the visitors levelled in the 66th minute with a stunning Foden strike into the top corner and went ahead as Gvardiol fired home in similar fashion five minutes later for his first City goal.

Real were not to be beaten, though, and Valverde produced a glorious volley in the 79th minute to rescue a draw on another epic Champions League night that left the fans eager for more in the second leg in Manchester next week.

“We wanted to win and go out with an advantage to the second leg but we conceded goals that should not have happened,” Rodrygo told Movistar Plus.

“We needed to take control of the game and failed at doing that, I think we could have done better. But it is what it is, we must learn and go to the second leg more focused.

“The tie is wide open and we will go there to make the most of the chances we create.”

It was another epic encounter as the teams faced each other in a Champions League knockout tie for a third year running.

Real eliminated City in the 2022 semi-finals but Pep Guardiola’s side gained revenge a year later at the same stage. The winners of the tie ended up lifting the trophy both times.

##########