“We’re not disappointed,” Joe Hart said, speaking about Manchester City’s goalless draw against Real Madrid in their UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg. “We’ve set it up for a good, old-fashioned rumble in the Bernabeu and we’re ready for it.”
Hart should be confident after his performance in the first leg, making several impressive saves in the second-half to keep Zinedine Zidane’s men at bay. Cristiano Ronaldo remained on the bench for the visitors after failing a late fitness test, but Hart still had to thwart attempts from Casemiro, Pepe and countless others, much to the delight of City’s supporters at the Etihad Stadium.
However, the statistics heading into the semi-final second leg are not in the Citizens' favour. In seven of the eight previous Champions League knockout round ties that Real Madrid have played where they drew the first leg away 0-0, the Spanish side prevailed. Alternatively, Manchester City have been knocked out on both occasions when they drew the first match 0-0 at home.
On the other end of the pitch, Keylor Navas had a significantly quieter evening to deal with but nevertheless recorded a clean sheet, Real Madrid’s ninth of the Champions League season, which is one short of Arsenal’s record of ten for a single campaign.
With Wednesday’s second leg looming, both City and Real will regroup for this weekend’s domestic action before they prepare for the Bernabeu ‘rumble’ Hart mentioned in his post-game comments. The winner will advance to the Champions League final, bringing them one step closer to an appearance at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2016.