Vinicius Junior gave the home side the lead at the Bernabeu with a stunning strike from distance, before Kevin De Bruyne leveled the tie with an exquisite hit of his own.
Madrid had several chances to take a first leg lead in the final stages with Karim Benzema having a header kept out from close distance by Ederson, while Aurelien Tchouameni was also denied by the City goalkeeper.
Speaking on BT Sport after the match, former Real striker Owen said: “I think they’ll [City] be pleased to get off there today with a draw.”
“Tactically, it felt like Pep Guardiola had the upper-hand first half. It switched in the second half and a 1-1 draw going back to Manchester is probably something they’re quite relieved to have.”
Ex-England defender Rio Ferdinand thinks instead of being relieved, City will be delighted with the outcome, describing it as a “huge, huge, huge result.”
He said: “The resilience and character you’ve got to show when you come into a stadium like this. The hostility from the home fans – managing that, managing this environment is huge.”
De Bruyne’s equaliser left the home crowd stunned but the goal certainly did not surprise Owen, having seen the Belgian preparing for the perfect moment to strike.
“We were watching them doing a finishing practice before the game and he was knocking them in clean then as well,” he said.
“He hit a free-kick right in the top corner. He hits the ball different to most people. He’s such a clean striker of the ball – both feet as well.”
Much of the pre-match anticipation focused around the battle of the strikers with Karim Benzema leading the line for Madrid, while Manchester City’s top scorer Erling Haaland was tipped to be a potential matchwinner.
However, things did not go to plan for City’s Norwegian hot-shot, who had just 21 touches of the ball in the entire game which was fewer than both goalkeepers.
Ferdinand thinks Haaland’s quiet evening was down to the excellent defensive marshaling from Real Madrid duo Antonio Rudiger and David Alaba.
“That’s what we’ve been saying about Erling Haaland in the Premier League,” he said. “Who’s been willing to take him and have a one v one battle and be confident the way Rudiger was today?
“You’ve got to be aggressive with Haaland. I still don’t think that nullifies him completely but I thought today, that’s the best I’ve seen a centre half pairing play him.”
The teams meet in the second leg next Wednesday.
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