It’s the morning after the night before.
Man City and Real Madrid produced an all-time classic in the Champions League semi-final first leg at the Etihad on Tuesday evening.
The hosts won 4-3 on the night but Pep Guardiola will feel his side should have booked their place in the final already having been evidently tactically superior.
But this is what the Spanish giants do in the competition they’ve won 13 times – as Zinedine Zidane used to say, they ‘know how to suffer’.
Tuesday night’s enthralling clash was like an amplified version of what happened in Real Madrid’s last two knockout ties.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side were mostly on the backfoot against PSG and Chelsea but they absorbed what they could and launched devastating counterpunches.
Los Blancos were on the ropes during the opening exchanges last night as City went 2-0 up in the 11th minute but, as he so often does these days, Karim Benzema converted a quarter-chance to instantly change the outlook.
Guardiola’s side scored four goals when all was said and done but a Gareth Bale-esque run from Vinicius Junior and an audacious panenka from their in-form No9 means the La Liga champions elect are very much still alive.
Benzema’s brace furthers his claim for the Ballon d’Or, a campaign that grows increasingly convincing by the day.
The 34-year-old is undoubtedly one of the world’s best players right now but what does the best season of his prestigious career look like through the prism of Dream Team?
Using our ratings providers WhoScored’s treasure trove of statistics, we’re able to calculate how many points Benzema would have amassed at this stage if all his fixtures were eligible.
First things first, the Frenchman has scored 41 goals in all competitions this term – that accounts for 205 points right off the bat.
However, nine of his goals have come in hat-tricks – two in the Champions League – earning him a further 15 points.
Naturally, such a prolific goalscorer has earned WhoScored’s highest match rating frequently, the equivalent of a Star Man award.
Tuesday night’s showing would have earned Benzema his 12th Star Man gong of the season, which would amount to another 60 points.
For comparison, Dream Team’s actual leader Harry Kane (£7.4m) has been named Star Man nine times.
Add in nine assists and a whole swathe of 7+ ratings (while also accounting for minus points incurred through yellow cards and missed penalties) and we arrive at a grand total of 372 points!
To put that mammoth tally into perspective, Mohamed Salah (£7.7m) is currently Dream Team’s genuine best performer with 313 points to his name.
Sadly, it seems extremely unlikely that Benzema will ever be available for selection in Dream Team’s classic format.
We can only dream of Karim…