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Thursday 18. April 2024 - 09:13

Rudiger gave Lunin a signal to save Kovacic’s penalty

Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger is well-versed with Manchester City midfielder Mateo Kovacic, having shared the field with the Croatian during their time at Chelsea.

On Wednesday, the former teammates crossed paths and although Kovacic’s side was better on paper, Rudiger had the last laugh as Madrid are now in the UEFA Champions League semi-final.

The match needed a penalty shootout to decide the winner and while credit is due to Andriy Lunin for blocking Bernardo Silva and Kovacic, one must point out to the instance when the Croatian was about to take charge.

Interestingly, the former Chelsea centre-back was seen signalling to Lunin where Kovacic was going to shoot his penalty, as a result of which, the Ukrainian saved the spot-kick.

Rudiger showcased his leadership in Real Madrid’s defence during the entire match, delivering a stellar performance against a formidable attack.

His standout moment came in the shootout, where he clinched the decisive goal, sealing Madrid’s victory. Throughout the game, he orchestrated the defence, working tirelessly alongside his teammates to neutralize City’s aerial threats.

However, with just 15 minutes remaining, Madrid’s hopes of holding onto Rodrygo’s 1-0 lead were dashed when Rudiger’s mistake led to Kevin De Bruyne’s equalizer.

Despite this setback, Madrid remained resilient, with Rudiger drawing strength from his error, supported by the likes of Nacho.

As the game entered extra time, Madrid gained momentum, particularly after Erling Haaland’s departure, eventually reaching the climax: a penalty shootout. In this tense moment, Madrid held their nerve, while City faltered.

Eventually, crucial saves from Lunin and Rudiger’s successful penalty secured Madrid’s triumph over the reigning champions, solidifying their status as Europe’s top contenders.

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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