City hold Madrid to goalless draw at the Etihad

City hold Madrid to goalless draw at the Etihad

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Manchester City’s Joe Hart was the hero of the night when he made a super stop, blocking a late Pepe strike from 5 yards out to ensure the game ended goalless.

With striker Cristiano Ronaldo forced to watch from the stands after failing a late fitness test ahead of the match, Madrid were always going to be a little short of firepower. But the final minutes of the tie showed Zidane’s men really wanted that all important away goal – Jese came closest when he headed against the bar before Man of the match, Hart brilliantly denied Casemiro and Pepe from corners. If the save to deny Casemiro was good, the reactions he pulled to stop an unmarked Pepe from only 5 yards, putting his midriff behind the ball is the reason Pellegrini’s charges will travel to Spain with belief.

Manchester City were goal-shy however and failed to really threaten the Madrid goal. Kevin de Bruyne’s dipping freekick which was tipped over the bar by Keylor Navas was the closest they came to goal. Sergio Aguero was highly starved of service and the exit of David Silva in the 40th minute due to injury removed any sort of creativity the English side would have had. Silva’s replacement, Kelechi Iheanacho introduced a little pace for his side but it had very little impact. City will need to be more offensive if they are to overcome the Los Blancos at the Bernabeu.

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