Manchester City failed to achieve their first Champions League final after a dull performance in the semi-final second leg against record 10-time winners Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. After a goalless draw in the first leg at Etihad Stadium, Real Madrid beat the English side by 1-0 in the return leg and reached their record 14th European Cup final. The Spanish giants went ahead when Gareth Bale’s cross shot deflected off City’s Fernando in the 20th-minute.
Fernandinho hit the post in an uncommon Man City chance, however Real Madrid ruled as Bale hit the bar and Joe Hart saved from Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo. Real Madrid saw out the win to meet Atletico Madrid in the Milan final at the end of this month. Man City knew they possibly just required one away goal to advance, but seemed hesitant to go for broke in the last moments – in spite of being motivated to assault by the vocal 4,500 away fans. The hosts’ only other moment of anxiety came in the last minutes when Sergio Aguero’s theoretical attempt flew on to the top of the goal.
Now Real Madrid will face their city rivals Atletico at Milan’s San Siro on 28 May, which will be a repeat of 2014 final in which they beat Atletico by 4-1 after extra time. Manchester City commenced the second leg knowing there would be no possibly clumsy meeting with incoming boss Pep Guardiola in the final, his Bayern Munich team have been knocked-out by Atletico on Tuesday. Now Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini will end his three-year rule without a dream goodbye in the San Siro.
However, the Chilean will reliably be associated with taking the Man City into the Champions League semi-final for the first time. Pellegrini at last succeeded where antecedent Roberto Mancini failed, however City’s demanding owners will anticipate that Guardiola will take their club into the last stages as a basic requirement. In light of their display in the two legs against Real Madrid, the ex-Barcelona boss may judge his inherited squad requires a dose of world-class talent to compete with consistency against Europe’s top clubs.