Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insisted that his side will not be afraid to go to the Santiago Bernabeu looking for a result after the 0-0 draw in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid on Tuesday.
The first leg ended in a stalemate as Real Madrid failed to convert their attacking opportunities and Manchester City did not manage to create enough of their own. Hitting the woodwork — a Sergio Ramos header for Real and a Kevin de Bruyne free-kick for City — was the closest the teams got to finding the back of the net.
After the match, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini stated that they were not afraid to take the fight to the Santiago Berneabeu.
“I don’t think they are favourites,” said Pellegrini of Real Madrid, according to the Guardian.
“We have the same option as Real Madrid [to go through]. They have the advantage to play the first game away. They try to manage the tempo of the game. After that they finish at home.
“They play away very similar to how we play at the Etihad. We are not afraid to go to Bernabéu and we will see which team plays better.”
Injury concerns over Ronaldo and Benzema
Manchester City failed to take advantage of the absence of Real Madrid’s Portuguese goal machine Cristiano Ronaldo and the early withdrawal of French striker Karim Benzema. Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is hoping that Pellegrini’s side aren’t afforded another opportunity to do that in the second leg.
“We are going to try and get them fit,” said Zidane.
“That is our plan. I can’t assure you of anything. I can’t tell you right now if they will be fit. We have to look at it day by day.”
In the latter half of the match, only Gareth Bale remained from the renowned BBC attacking trio. Real Madrid youth team products Lucas Vasquez and Jese Rodriguez lined up as striker and left winger respectively in the absence of Benzema and Ronaldo. If they do not recover in time for next week’s decider, Zidane will be forced to call upon the inexperienced duo once again. However, James Rodriguez and Isco are also available to be called upon.