Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Manchester City trailed Real Madrid 1-0 after nearly 80 minutes before storming back to beat the La Liga power in a Champions League round of 16 matchup.
Gabriel Jesus and Kevin de Bruyne each scored goals in the final 12 minutes of the first leg clash Wednesday at at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid.
"Today we are happy but it's still not over," City manager Pep Guardiola told ManCity.com. "For our people hopefully we can do a good performance.
"This club has only been to semifinal. To win at the Bernabeu is brilliant and we hope it will help us in the future to believe in ourselves."
Madrid drew first blood in the 60th minute after some sloppy play from the Sky Blues defense. The Sky Blues were passing the ball on their half of the field when Luka Modric poked the ball loose. The ball went back toward the Sky Blues goal, where Madrid striker Vinicius Junior stole it from the last line of defense. The Brazilian forward then passed the ball to his right, finding Isco. The Madrid star then sent a sliding shot into the net for a 1-0 edge.
Jesus scored an equalizer about 18 minutes later. Raheem Sterling tracked a long pass into the box at the start of that play. Sterling then dribbled away from the goal before passing to de Bruyne. The Sky Blues star took several touches before being surrounded by Madrid defenders. De Bruyne finished the play by chipping a cross toward the near post. Jesus out-jumped Madrid defender Sergio Ramos and headed a shot into the near-post netting.
De Bruyne gave the Sky Blues the go-ahead score five minutes later. Sterling dribbled into the left side of the Madrid box at the start of that sequence. He was then taken out by Madrid right back Dani Carvajal, granting the Sky Blues a penalty kick. De Bruyne blasted the shot into the left side of the net, as Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois dove to the other side.
"They brought on Sterling, who's pacy," Courtois told RealMadrid.com. "We were controlling things and we lost the game inside a five-minute spell. That's the way it goes in football. We're feeling confident ahead of Sunday's game and know that we have to beat Barcelona".
Madrid battles Barcelona in El Clasico at 3 p.m. EST Sunday in Madrid. City faces Aston Villa at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London. Leg two of the Champions League round of 16 matchup will be at 4 p.m. EST March 17 at Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England.
"We're only halfway there," de Bruyne said. "We have an important game at home in three weeks. Now we have to recover for Sunday's [Carabao Cup] final."
"In four years with Pep [Guardiola], he sometimes surprises. Sometimes players aren't told until the game what we need to do. There were some good and some lesser moments. In a quality game like this, you'll struggle sometimes.
"It was an even first half. We started the second half really well. Their goal came at a bad moment for us -- we were dominating. Our response was brilliant. It was a beautiful goal from Gabriel Jesus."