Man City keep cool to set-up Champions League semi with Real Madrid
Manchester City produced a mature and disciplined performance to hold off the challenge of Atletico Madrid – and set up a Champions League semi-final showdown with the Spanish side’s city rivals Real.
Knowing a clean sheet would be enough to seal the tie, City kept their cool in the face of a hostile home crowd and intimidation from a physical Atleti side showing far more ambition than in the first leg.
Ilkay Gundogan could have made life much easier for Pep Guardiola’s men by slotting in from close range, instead of against the post in the first half.
But in the face of much-increased pressure and a home side pushing desperately for parity, City put up a resolute rearguard action to confirm their progression to the last four.
Atletico ended the contest with 10 men when defender Felipe was shown a second yellow card for a dangerous follow-through on Phil Foden, having received his first for an arm that drew blood from the England international’s head.
Real Madrid, who edged past Chelsea in a thrilling quarter-final tie on Tuesday, now stand between City and a second successive appearance in the final of Europe’s premier club competition.
Having lost to Thomas Tuchel’s Blues in last season’s final, Guardiola’s side are seeking a maiden Champions League title in a campaign where they are still challenging on three fronts.
They lead the Premier League by one point from second-placed Liverpool – and face Jurgen Klopp’s Reds in an FA Cup semi-final this Saturday.