Manchester City 0-0 Real Madrid: Citizens fail to come away with advantage

A cagey affair in Eastlands saw the Sky Blues draw 0-0 with ten times champions Real Madrid, on a night where neither side wanted to concede it was evident.

Manchester City 0-0 Real Madrid: Citizens fail to come away with advantage
Hart saves from Pepe (photo: Getty Images)
Manchester City
0 0
Real Madrid
Manchester City: Hart, Sagna, Kompany (C), Otamendi, Clichy, Fernando, Fernandinho, Navas ('76 Sterling), Silva (Iheanacho '40), De Bruyne, Aguero
Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo, Casemiro, Kroos ('88 Isco), Modric, Bale, Lucas Vázquez, Benzema ('45 Jesé)
SCORE: 0-0.
REFEREE: Yellows '24 Pepe '26 Ramos '36 Silva '91 Carvajal
INCIDENTS: Champions League fixture

It was a historic night for Manchester City as the Sky Blues played host to ten time European Champions Real Madrid, but the game failed to build on it's expecatations, finishing 0-0.

Los Blancos had to do without Cristiano Ronaldo. It wasn't pretty but it means there's all to play for at the Bernabeu following a 0-0 stalemate. 

Injury to Silva ruins solid first half from City

The first ten minutes saw Madrid enjoy good spells of possession but City were having none of it, Fernandinho and Fernando working excellently in tandem to hurry the Madrid midfield into making mistakes and making life tough for them. 

From there on a calculated and measured City defence stood firm comfortably dealing with most of Real's attacking play, Gael Clichy especially neutralising Gareth Bale with ease. The first change of the night came five minutes before the interval, an injury to Silva saw him replaced with teenage sensation Kelechi Iheanacho.

Second half somewhat more lively

With the second half underway Madrid made their first change with Karim Benzema replaced by Jesé Rodriguez. Immediately City sought to gain an advantage with Sergio Aguero letting rip from the edge of the area although his shot didn't trouble Keylor Navas whatsoever. Penalty calls from Bale were waved away after Nicolas Otamendi seemingly clipped the Welshman, already the second half a much more intense affair.

Madrid's first opportunity came on 53 minutes, a free kick whipped in by Bale was cleared for a corner, resulting in Madrids first shot on target, Ramos' header quashed by Joe Hart. It was then normal service resumed as both sides looked to nullify each other with both sides becoming ever more adventurous in equal measures.

Bale curls wide (photo: Ian Hodgson)
Bale curls wide (photo: Ian Hodgson)

A brief scare for City on 70 minutes, Jesé's header almost deceiving Hart and landing on the roof of the net though the replays showed the Englishman had it covered. Into the last 20 minutes and Bale decided to test his luck though his bending effort evaded both Hart and the far post, Real Madrid knocking. Jesus Navas made way for Raheem Sterling on the 76 minute mark. 

A quick reaction save was needed from Hart soon after, a corner swung in found Casemiro, with his low header beaten away by the City stopper. A dangerous free kick on the edge of City's area was dealt with comfortably however the corner to follow nearly saw City conceded. Finding Pepe in space the centre half blasted it straight at Hart, an excellent reaction save prevented the Sky Blues from dropping behind. 

Into the closing stages and Toni Kroos was replaced by Isco Alárcon. Two minutes of added time and City came agonisingly close to breaking the  deadlock, an excellent ball fed through to Sterling was wasted as a poor touch saw Pepe pounce. A free kick in the dying seconds from Kevin De Bruyne's tipped over, the resulting corner amounting to nothing. Final score Manchester City 0-o Real Madrid.