The fans of both teams got their money’s worth, football was the biggest winner of this exhilarating night in the legendary Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. After the six-goal festival between Real Madrid and Manchester City, experts and media were overwhelmed with praise and superlatives.

“On evenings like these, the Champions League remains the gold standard. It was one of those games that gives this competition its magic and mysticism and that you will be amazed at for years,” enthused the “Independent” from England.

At the end of the first leg of the quarter-finals of the European championship, the score was 3-3 between the record winners and the defending champions. A pairing that seems like an anticipated endgame for quite a few people. But it was a result that didn’t entirely satisfy German national team returnee Toni Kroos.

The former world champion couldn’t allow himself to feel more than “okay”. “We’ll take that with us,” emphasized a noticeably happier City coach Pep Guardiola, who immediately did further educational work in a good mood and in his typical manner.

Guardiola clarifies: “It’s the Bernabéu, my friend.”

When the former long-time successful coach of Real’s arch-rivals FC Barcelona was asked whether he viewed Manchester’s draw as a missed opportunity after the (renewed) lead 20 minutes before the end, Guardiola briefly raised his right hand in reassurance: “It’s good, it is good,” he said.

With a smile, the 53-year-old added: “It’s the Bernabéu, my friend. You’re from England, you don’t know what it means to play at the Bernabéu.”

After this game, word will probably spread even more about what it means to play there. “Real never dies,” wrote the Real-affiliated sports newspaper “Marca” after the hosts had come from behind twice, although they had also led once.

“It was a game about death and resurrection, about sparks and meteorites,” philosophized “As”. “What a fight,” commented Real professional Rüdiger, who had practically neutralized the Norwegian storm force Erling Haaland in the duel between the “Goliaths” (“Marca”).

A game of “wonderful chaos”

Nevertheless, the guests took the lead in the second minute through Bernardo Silva. Ten minutes later, City professional Ruben Días scored in his own goal, and Real led for another two minutes thanks to Rodrygo’s goal.

Things continued wild after the break: Phil Foden (66th) equalized for Manchester with a shot into the corner, before former Leipzig player Joskos Gvardiol (71st) did the same.

But that wasn’t the end of a “game of wonderful chaos” (“The Sun”). With another dream goal, Federico Valverde (79th) equalized for Real in Carlo Ancelotti’s 200th Champions League game as coach. “It was the right result for what both teams achieved,” said the Italian star coach.

“A draw is the fairest result. Because neither team deserved to lose,” wrote “La Gazzetta dello Sport” from Ancelotti’s home country.

Kroos warns: City is even stronger at home

However, memories of the previous season were immediately brought back. Real and City met in the semi-finals. Both teams also drew in Madrid, with a score of 1-1 at the time. The Royal team then went down 4-0 in Manchester.

“Above all, we have to do much better than last year,” emphasized Kroos on DAZN with a view to the quarter-final second leg on Wednesday next week: “We know that City are probably a level stronger at home. And we have to do that prepare ourselves.” Then nothing stands in the way of the next magical football night.