Manchester City 0-0 — 0
Real Madrid 0-0 — 0
It’s a scoreless draw at the Etihad, a result that is probably acceptable from both managers’ perspectives. There isn’t much to show on the stat sheet, but it really was an incredibly tense match between two great teams.
Madrid, with Cristiano Ronaldo inactive, played a relaxed counter in the opening half. The pressure gradually increased in the later stages, and City needed big saves from joe hart to hang out for the draw. City had a few chances, including a late run from Kevin De Bruyne, but hardly threatended Keylor Navas. Sergio Aguero was almost a non-factor, and City will be without David Silva for some time after the Spaniard exited after 38 minutes with an injury.
We’ll see you next week at the Bernabeu. Ronaldo will be there, Yaya Toure will be there, and so will a ticket to the Champions League final.
KDB saved his best for last, and burst past Carvajal in City’s final chance of the evening. De Bruyne rips a shot towards Navas, who slaps it over the bar. De Bruyne takes the ensuing corner, and a Madrid clearance brings on the final whistle. It’s over.
A roar erupts from the crowd as Raheem Sterling finds space towards goal, but a heavy touch made for a short possession. A 0-0 draw is a great result for City, but shouldn’t inspire much confidence heading to the Bernabeu.
Hart’s been fantastic tonight.
Chaos in front of the City net! Pepe has a point-blank chance, but he is again turned away by Hart. The corner was won by Bale, who has been tremendous the entire evening.
Big save for Joe Hart on a Madrid corner attempt, as Los Blancos are inching closer to the prized away goal they are looking for. It’s now City that are having real problems maintaining possession, and it’s getting tense at the Etihad.
Raheem Sterling is on for Jesus Navas, as City narrowly escape a penalty call. Otamendi has made some risky challenges thus far, but none more so than his most recent on Lucas Vasquez, who went flying after light contact and didn’t get the whistle.
Real Madrid hit the crossbar!
After an appeal for handball in the box at one end, Madrid go on the counter via Bale. They end up with an open header from Jese, who lobs a high shot on goal that rattles off the bar. Madrid have begun to take over somewhat, but hasn’t resulted in any real scoring threats.
Real Madrid have picked up the tempo in the second half, and put their first shot on goal after Ramos headed a corner directly at Joe Hart. It’s a big moment for the City defense, who haven’t exactly locked down players like Bale and Marcelo on the wings.
The half ends with both teams failing to record a shot on target. City controlled possessoin, but it’s worth noting the difference in the second half with Ihenacho in for Silva. Still, City are very much alive with 45 minutes left in the first leg, and it’s possible both managers were pleased with the first half result.
Huge blow for City, as Silva pulls up holding his hamstring. He is replaced by Kelechi Ihenacho, who has provided some spark off the bench in Premier League action lately.
It’s been a boring and exciting first half simultaneoulsy. No goals, but high-level soccer from both teams. City are really applying the pressure in the midfield, and the Fernando/Fernandinho combination has been working very well. Still no significant touches for Aguero, as neither team has had an outstanding chance on goal.
Manchester City hanging in just fine so far, and have been playing tough in the middle of the field. Joe Hart has been untested, but City have made little noise on the other end. Real Madrid haven’t been getting steady possession, but seem content with letting City pass around then rushing on the counter.
And we’re away. City start cautiously, and no team does anything threatening in first five minutes.
This is huge:
Vincent Kompany returns to the field for Manchester City today, as he captains the first City side to play in a Champions League semifinals. It’s perfect timing for Kompany, as City will face their toughest test of the year against Real Madrid, who have surged towards greatness in the last month.
After it looked like a disappointing season for Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane has turned the season around. They have won seven of eight in all competitions since toppling Barcelona, and are back in contention for the Spanish crown. This will be the team’s 27th appearance in the final four of a European tournament, more than any other club on the planet. They’ve also gone unbeaten in eight Champions League games against English clubs.
Madrid will once again start the two-legged tie on the road, similar to last round. In the quarterfinals the first leg was a shocker, as Madrid went down 0-2 to German side Wolfsburg. They responded in the second leg with a furious comeback, bolstered by three goals from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Manchester City scraped by PSG in the quarterfinals, and they’ll need their best to take down Madrid. Without Yaya Toure, City will need heroic performances from Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero.
Find out how to watch this game in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com: