It was looking likely to be a frustrating night for the home side who, despite dominating possession and rarely being threatened, struggled to find the final pass or shot.
But substitute Phil Foden threaded a pass to Kevin De Bruyne in the Atletico Madrid box, and the Belgian beat Jan Oblak with a low drive to give Manchester City a crucial advantage in the tie.
Pep Guardiola’s side will take the one-nil lead to Spain next Wednesday, knowing that a draw will be enough to book them a place in the Semi-Final, but on tonight’s evidence it won’t be easy to score in Madrid.
Here’s how we rated the players…
Ederson – 6
Rarely sees as little of the ball as he did in the first half. Had a bit more to do after the break and dealt with it all comfortably.
Joao Cancelo – 7
Heavily involved but you can’t help feeling like a player of his immense talent needs to do better with the crossing opportunities he had.
John Stones – 7
Seemed unfazed by Antoine Griezmann or Joao Felix and it wasn’t his fault Manchester City had trouble breaking down the visitors.
Aymeric Laporte – 7
Knows Atletico Madrid well from his years in La Liga at Athletic Bilbao and didn’t have many problems defending their counter-attacks.
Nathan Aké – 7
Was well up for every footrace and played the offside trap smartly. Deserved a start after his performance against Burnley.
Rodri – 6
Very good at putting an end to counter-attacks but guilty of a fair handful of misplaced passes, certainly more than we’re used to from him.
Kevin De Bruyne – 8.5 (Man of the Match)
At the centre of most of Manchester City’s most promising moves and continued his brilliant record against top sides with the crucial opening goal, a smart run and finish. Whether it’s PSG, Liverpool, Real Madrid or Chelsea, you can usually count on this man to get something in the big games.
Ilkay Gundogan – 7
Had one of Manchester City’s best chances, then gave the ball away inexplicably before stopping the counter-attack himself with some excellent defending. Taken off just after an hour.
Bernardo Silva – 7
The quietest of the “midfielders” who started the game, but his presence in the midfield was important in giving De Bruyne the license to get forward and do his thing.
Riyad Mahrez – 6
Put in a few promising balls but there’s just not much you can do when the opposition box is so tightly packed. Subbed off after just over an hour.
Raheem Sterling – 6
Usually opted to keep it simple when he got the ball, which wasn’t often as City focused down the right almost every time. Had a few tame penalty appeals turned down.
Phil Foden – 7
An instant impact with a really nice assist moments after coming off the bench. The sooner he gets to return to the wing, the better.
Jack Grealish – 6
Pulled out one of his best party tricks- forcing defenders to panic and make stupid mistakes that get them in the book.
Gabriel Jesus – 5.5
Showed industry and bravery after coming on, but then got himself booked and suspended for no good reason late on.