In addition to Silva’s contribution, an own goal from Eder Militao and a late goal from Julian Alvarez added the finishing touches to a remarkable night for Pep Guardiola’s side. This victory brings them closer to repeating Manchester United’s historic treble in the 1998/99 season, just three away from them.
“It will be a UEFA Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter”
“To play like this against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final is a great satisfaction,” said Guardiola.
A fifth Premier League title in six seasons looks like a formality with City needing just three points from their last three games as United look forward to the FA Cup final on 3 June.
But it’s the first ever Champions League that City are craving for the most and they will be heavily favored to finally conquer Europe against Inter Milan in Istanbul on 10 June.
Seven years into Guardiola’s reign as City manager, the home fans were sent over the moon by the quality of a performance that rivaled the former Barcelona manager. Champions League Final wins at the helm of the Catalan giants in 2009 and 2011.
Real Madrid shattered City’s dreams at this stage last season with a stunning comeback after two goals down in the closing seconds of the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
But Carlo Ancelotti’s men this time had no response to City’s excellence.
“I had the feeling that we had last year’s pain in our stomach,” added Guardiola.
“Today it all came out in our energy and desire. Sport always gives you a second chance to take revenge. We were lucky enough to get this chance this year and we took it.”
Were it not for Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, the holders might have risked going into hiding before the break.
The giant Belgian needed all of his two-metre (6 feet 7 inches) frame to grab Erling Haaland’s header around the post.
Haaland had already been denied his 53rd goal of the season by Courtois with another downhill header.
Rodri, John Stones and Jack Grealish also saw shots wide from the edge of the box, but Madrid’s luck finally ran out in the 23rd minute.
Kevin De Bruyne unlocked the lock when his pass found Silva inside the box, and cleared Courtois’ left hand.
The visitors had just registered a touch inside City’s half for the first half-hour but were inches away from equalizing 10 minutes before the break when a Toni Kroos piledriver rattled the bar.
Just as Madrid were starting to stabilize, City scored a deserved second goal from half-time dominance.
In May, in-form Ilkay Gundogan’s fifth goal was denied by Militao’s block, but the ball went well for Silva who headed into an unguarded goal.
City had to show a different side of their game early in the second half to weather Madrid’s reaction and ensure last season’s drama between the sides did not repeat itself.
“We played against a team that deserved to win,” said Ancelotti.
“We mustn’t make a fuss about it. This team did very well this year, they did very well last year and we haven’t been able to reach another final.”
The closest Madrid came to a lifeline was a diving free kick from David Alaba which Ederson tipped over.
At the other end, Courtois went on to win his personal battle with Haaland by deflecting the Norwegian’s shot onto the crossbar in a one-on-one draw.
But City won the war to move within a game of completing a transformation in the club’s fortunes since the Abu Dhabi-backed takeover in 2008.
The next blow to the Spanish giants was self-inflicted when Militao deflected Manuel Akanki’s header past Courtois with 15 minutes remaining.
Haaland was replaced by Alvarez with two minutes remaining and that was all the Argentine World Cup winner needed to make his mark as he scored home from a Phil Foden pass.
(With input from AFP)