Manchester City vs Real Madrid: Complete head-to-head record

Manchester City vs Real Madrid. A fixture that as recently as 2012 had never been played but is now a mouthwatering prospect each and every time the pair draw each other in the Champions League.

The Citizens are yet to lift Europe’s most prestigious club trophy, whereas Real Madrid are record-breaking 14-time winners. They are at completely opposite ends of the history scale but are two of the best clubs on the planet.

Since that a first meeting over a decade ago, City and Real have butted heads on a number of occasions, often with a place in the Champions League final on the line.

Real Madrid v Manchester City FC - UEFA Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a late winner in Real Madrid’s first-ever meeting with Manchester City / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

City were the new kids on the block when they travelled to the Bernabeu for the very first time. They’d won the Premier League the season prior, but this was just their second-ever Champions League campaign.

Roberto Mancini’s side exited at the group stage during their maiden voyage and would endure an even worse fate in 2012/13 as they finished bottom of the group.

On Matchday 1, City pushed Jose Mourinho’s Real all the way amid a hectic second half during which all five goals were scored. Edin Dzeko gave the visitors a 2-1 lead with five minutes remaining before a vintage Real late show saw them prevail as 3-2 victors. A certain Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winner at the death.

Sergio Aguero

The two sides couldn’t be separated in the reverse fixture at the Etihad / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

City’s fate as the bottom dwellers in the group was all but sealed by the time the reverse fixture rolled around in Manchester.

Borussia Dortmund and Real were the two that progressed from the group, but Mancini’s side were able to thwart the Spanish side’s quest to finish top by holding them to a point on Matchday 5.

Sergio Aguero’s spot kick cancelled out Karim Benzema’s early opener.

City finally grew relevant on the European stage under Manuel Pellegrini, and they progressed into the semi-finals during the 2015/16 season.

The 2013/14 champions awaited them in the last four, but they were without Cristiano Ronaldo for the first leg at the Etihad.

This was a pretty forgettable affair with City rarely threatening. At the other end, Joe Hart made a couple of huge stops in the closing stages to keep a clean sheet and ensure the scores were level heading into the second leg in Madrid.

Ronaldo was back for the second leg, but it was Gareth Bale who made all the difference in the Spanish capital.

A confident Real start was rewarded when the Welshman’s cross-cum-shot was deflected in by City midfielder Fernando in the opening 20 minutes. Fernandinho came close to restoring parity just before half-time, but Real’s superiority was evident and they dominated the second half without extending their advantage.

Thus, it was a slender 1-0 aggregate win for the Spanish giants, and they’d go on to beat crosstown rivals Atletico in the final on penalties.

Things were a little different the next time these two sides met four years later. City had established themselves as a major force under Pep Guardiola, and they headed into this round of 16 tie as the favourites.

Pep got funky with his starting XI and deployed a pair of false nines in Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva, but they were forced to come from behind after Isco gave Real the lead on the hour.

The visitors were excellent, however, and their dominance was justly rewarded via goals from the superb Gabriel Jesus and De Bruyne in the final 15 minutes.

The Covid-19 pandemic meant the second leg was delayed by a few months, but eventually an empty Etihad played host to the contest as City sought to advance into the quarter-finals.

They were aided by one of Raphael Varane’s worst games as a professional. The Frenchman gifted City both of their goals which arrived either side of Karim Benzema’s smart header that restored parity on the night.

Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus were the beneficiaries of Varane’s brain fades as City advanced as 4-2 aggregate winners.

There have been some stellar encounters between these two, but this has to be the pick of the bunch, right?

Real had worked a pair of miracles to progress into the semi-finals where they faced a majestic City side beaten in the final by Chelsea in 2021. The Citizens looked for all money to return to the showpiece event after they raced into a 2-0 lead, but the miracle-workers kept coming back at them.

A topsy-turvy affair saw both sides land significant blows, but it was Los Blancos who ended the bout more content after Benzema scored a deft panenka with eight minutes remaining to cut their deficit to one after City had enjoyed 3-1 and 4-2 leads in the second half.

Real’s track record meant City left the Etihad uneasy, but their performance in the second leg was, for the most part, completely controlled.

It was a pretty uneventful encounter before Riyad Mahrez extended the Citizens’ aggregate lead with 20 minutes remaining. With Real struggling to land a punch against Pep’s juggernaut, it seemed as if that would be the goal to see City through, but Real’s voodoo magic eventually manifested in the dying embers.

Once Rodrygo clawed one back in the final minute of normal time, there was a sense of inevitability about the end result. Six minutes went up on the fourth official’s board, but Carlo Ancelotti’s side didn’t even need one as Rodrygo headed home his second to force the tie into extra time.

City were dead, and Benzema landed the killer blow five minutes into the extended period after he was brought down by Ruben Dias in the box. The Frenchman converted coolly, and the La Liga giants held on for a memorable triumph.

Manchester City vs Real Madrid H2H record

Top scorers in Manchester City vs Real Madrid fixtures


Team represented


Karim Benzema

Real Madrid


Gabriel Jesus

Man City



Real Madrid


Kevin De Bruyne

Man City