Real Madrid are on track for a record 11th Champions League trophy after they drew 0-0 with Manchester City in England on Tuesday night. Zinedine Zidane’s side will return home to the Santiago Bernabéu confident that they can get the win they will require to advance.
In a game of few chances, the best two fell to the Spanish side. First Jesé, a half-time replacement for Karim Benzema, placed one header against the crossbar and it needed a brilliant point-blank save from Joe Hart, the ball thudding off his chest when a corner was knocked down to Pepe inside the six-yard area, for the game’s best chance.
But Manuel Pellegrini will surely look at this match as a missed opportunity. Real were without Cristiano Ronaldo and for the second half Benzema, and rarely looked dangerous going forward.
City were extremely conservatively and seemed happy to take the 0-0, which is understandable given the way they have capitulated in European knockout ties previously, but the stats suggest they may regret not pushing harder for the win when they had the chance. Of the 29 teams to draw a first leg at home 0-0 in the Champions League, only nine have progressed, which is a modest 31%.
I doubt if Pep Guardiola would have been so conservative, which might explain why City are willing to replace a man who has won the league, two league cups, and potentially a Champions League.
Madrid controlled the midfield where Luka Modric and Toni Kroos dominated the game, especially in the second half and Zidane has to be happy that the longer the game went on the better The Whites played.
With Ronaldo expected back for the second leg, these seems like a tie for Real to lose as everything points towards another European final for Madrid.