Published on April 27th, 2016 | by Daniel Cheeseman0
Manchester City 0-0 Real Madrid – Report & Ratings
Joe Hart kept City’s hopes of reaching their first Champions League final alive with two brilliant late saves that left next week’s second leg is still all to play for
With Real’s star man Cristiano Ronaldo missing because of a thigh injury, a cautious Real side offered little goal threat until the closing stages.
But in the last 20 minutes, Jese headed against the bar for the Spanish side before Hart brilliantly denied Casemiro and Pepe from set pieces.
The England #1 showed great reactions to keep out Casemiro’s header with his foot but his block to deny Pepe, who was unmarked and five yards from goal, is the standout reason the Blues will travel to Spain next week with a precious clean sheet.
The closest City came to a goal of their own was when Keylor Navas’ only save of the game saw him tip over Kevin de Bruyne’s dipping free-kick in stoppage time.
City will take the positives from denying Real an away goal but England’s last remaining representatives in the Champions League still face a huge task if they are to reach the final in Milan on 28th May.
The Blues’ failure to score at home means former Real boss Manuel Pellegrini does not have a lead to take back to the Bernabeu (where Zinedine Zidane’s side have not conceded a goal in the Champions League all season) however, if City were to strike first in Spain then it would mean Madrid would have to score at least two.
Joe Hart – 9
Pulled off two world class saves to effectively keep the tie alive.
Bacary Sagna – 7
Was probably relieved when he heard that Ronaldo wasn’t playing, overall he had a pretty quiet (but solid) game.
Vincent Kompany – 8
The Skipper was virtually flawless at the back and seems to (for now) have put his injury problems behind him.
Nicolas Otamendi – 8
Didn’t let Benzema conjure up anything and probably proved to be the right choice ahead of Mangala.
Gael Clichy – 7
Switched off a couple of times, allowing Bale to gain a yard on him, but otherwise it was a good performance.
Fernando – 8
Put in a great shift in the middle and managed to keep Modric at bay.
Fernandinho – 8
Was City’s best player for large portions of the game, attacked and defended really well.
Jesus Navas – 7
Not as effective as he usually is, had a better first half than second.
David Silva – 7
Still not back to his best but the game changed when he went off, City couldn’t keep the ball or attack anywhere near as well without him on the field.
Kevin De Bruyne – 7
Misplaced quite a few passes over the 90 minutes, had decent spells (particularly in the first half).
Sergio Aguero – 7
An unusually quiet game from the Argentine, didn’t register a shot on target but was still a threat.
Kelechi Iheanacho – 6
Hadn’t had time to warm up when he came on for Silva, hardly touched the ball in the second half.
Raheem Sterling – 6
Didn’t change anything when he was subbed on for Navas, missed a big chance late on.