Real Madrid 1-0 Manchester City: Los Blancos edge past City as sky Blues dream is extinguished

Despite a promising first-leg display, the sky Blues succumbed to a frustrating defeat at the Bernabeú, courtesy of an unfortunate deflected flick from Gareth Bale's first-half effort.

Real Madrid 1-0 Manchester City: Los Blancos edge past City as sky Blues dream is extinguished
Picture source: Getty Images
Real Madrid
1 0
Manchester City
Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Ramos (c), Pepe, Marcelo, Modrić ('84 Kovacic), Kroos, Isco ('66 Rodriguez), Bale, Jesé ('51 Vazquez), Ronaldo
Manchester City : Hart, Sagna, Kompany ('9 Mangala) (C), Otamendi, Clichy, Fernando, Fernandinho, Toure, Navas, De Bruyne, Aguero
SCORE: 1-0 '19 Bale
REFEREE: Damir Skomina (SLVN) '30 De Bruyne '71 Fernando '85 Vazquez
INCIDENTS: UEFA Champions League. Manchester City's first time in the last four.

Ultimately, it wasn't meant to be. Manchester City succumbed to defeat against an effective Real Madrid side - who've booked their place in this year's final with a 1-0 victory, courtesy of a deflected first-half strike.

Kompany sustains yet another blow   

City began brightly at the Bernabeú on a night where the sky Blues were undoubtedly seen as the underdogs. Good spells for possession from tonight's visitors early on was distributed with heartbreak - as just nine minutes in captain and first-choice centre-back Vincent Kompany bowed out with another suspected muscle injury. Considering the magnitude of the tie, it was definitely another untimely blow for the Belgian, with an issue that has plagued him throughout the current campaign. Eliaquim Mangala came on as his replacement and soon afterwards, Madrid were unfortunate not to find themselves ahead as Cristiano Ronaldo headed over the bar from an excellent Jesé Rodriguez cross. 

Deflected strike breaks deadlock

19 minutes in, a superb effort from Gareth Bale handed Madrid the lead, his deflected shot from an incredibly tight angle evaded the dive of goalkeeper Joe Hart and cannoned in off the back post. From there on, Madrid imposed themselves on the game and as they sat deep, it was seemingly easy for them to cut out most of the danger that Manuel Pellegrini's side presented.

Real's lead was nearly doubled too, as Toni Kroos' looping free-kick delivery found Pepe who slotted home though the assistants decreed the effort as offside. As the first-half drew to a close it was City enjoying the best of the football with Fernandinho taking aim at Keylor Navas' bottom corner, the Brazilian's shot ricocheting off the post and behind, suggesting that City were beginning to get themselves back into the match. 

A second-half filled with tension and chances

Madrid got the second half underway and Los Blancos were immediately on the front foot, Dani Carvajal's low cross was intercepted by Mangala, the Frenchman virtually preventing the on-rushing Ronaldo from doubling Real's lead. The hosts kept the pressure firmly on City giving them barely any breathing space. Madrid's first change of the evening saw Jesé replaced by Lucas Vazquez - as Zinedine Zidane opted for fresh legs to keep the Citzens at bay.

Play became somewhat stagnant for the next five minutes with Madrid dominant and City struggling to create. City made appropriate changes of their own as midfielder Yaya Touré - who had struggled for the majority of the night - was replaced by the pace injection and direct threat of 21-year-old winger Raheem Sterling. Soon afterwards James Rodríguez then replaced Isco. With less than half-an-hour to go, City struggled to get into their full-flowing gear and Manuel Pellegrini made his final throw of the dice, Kelechi Iheanacho taking Jesús Navas' place as the Spaniard was visibly ineffective. 

Five minutes remaining and Kevin de Bruyne's free-kick could've proved troublesome but he dragged it wide - a chance horribly wasted as frustration for City began to grow rapidly, much to the delight of the Bernabeú. Luka Modric, having ran most of the show was replaced by fellow Croatian Mateo Kovacic as the clock continued to tick down on City's European adventure. City came within inches of an equaliser, Sergio Agüero's dipping shot from range just skimming the crossbar, painful viewing for the Blues.

Aguero (pictured, centre) endured a frustrating night with virtually no service. | Photo: Getty
Agüero (pictured, centre) endured a frustrating night with virtually no service, in a crunch game of such importance. | Photo: Getty

Real Madrid were definitely the superior side but in truth City never offered any real threat, surprising when you'd have thought that on a night like this the desire to create and take risks would be there in abundance.