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2015-16 Champions League semi-final, second leg

Full-time: Real Madrid 1-0 Manchester City

  • Real Madrid set up the second all-Madrid Champions League final in two seasons with a deserved victory at the Santiago Bernabeu
  • Lacklustre City fall behind after Gareth Bale's first-half shot from a tricky angle takes a huge deflection off Fernando and loops in off the upright
  • Manuel Pellegrini's side lose captain Vincent Kompany to injury after just 10 minutes and fail to produce a single shot on target throughout the match
  • Bale hits the post with a header after the break and Joe Hart thwarts both Luka Modric and the returning Cristiano Ronaldo
  • 10-time winners Real will meet rivals Atletico Madrid in their 14th European Cup final at Milan's San Siro on Saturday 28 May
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale celebrates giving Real Madrid the lead via a shot that took a big deflection off Fernando and the post David Ramos/Getty Images

That is all for now, but stay tuned to IBTimes UK for post-match reaction. We will also be back tomorrow evening to provide live coverage of another Anglo-Spanish semi-final between Liverpool and Villarreal in the Europa League. Holders Sevilla also continue their quest for a third consecutive title against Shakhtar Donetsk at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Until then, goodnight.

The overriding feeling for everyone connected with City will be one of immense disappointment. They were insipid over both legs and lacked the sort of intensity you would expect on such a big occasion, but still could have reached their first Champions League final with a goal late on. As it was, their big players went missing and only Aguero's late drive really threatened Keylor Navas' goal.

That exit means that they must now finish in the top four to qualify for the competition next season. Their lead over Manchester United in fourth is just four points ahead of a tricky clash with Arsenal at the weekend. Defeat there combined with victories for Louis van Gaal's side against relegation-threatened Norwich and in their game in hand at West Ham could leave City trailing by two points ahead of their trip to Swansea on the final day.

Guardiola will be watching on nervously during Pellegrini's final two matches in charge.

A deserved victory for Real in the end, who will play rivals Atletico at Milan's San Siro on 28 May in a repeat of the 2014 final in Lisbon. On that occasion, Ramos' late equaliser sent the tie to extra-time after a first-half goal from Diego Godin. The 10-time European Cup champions ran out comfortable winners from there, with efforts from Bale, Marcelo and Ronaldo securing a 4-1 victory.

There is the small matter of a incredibly close La Liga title race to be settled before then, however. Real are currently third, but trail leaders Barcelona and second-place Atletico by just one solitary point. They host Valencia on Sunday (8 May) before travelling to Deportivo on the final day.

Real Madrid book their place in the Champions League final


Real Madrid 1-0 Manchester City (Real Madrid win 1-0 on aggregate)

Bale takes the ball out wide with the clear intention of eating up more time. He then chooses to cut back inside and find Kroos, who sets up Vazquez for an inch-perfect cross to the back post.

James has the chance to finish the tie from six yards, but loses his footing at the vital moment.

Hart's turn to play sweeper-keeper as he sprints out to claim an overhit pass from Kovacic towards the run of James.

Otamendi has been booked for a high boot that makes contract with the chest of Ronaldo. More precious seconds tick away and this looks beyond City now.

Crazy/inspired goalkeeping from Keylor Navas, who races off his line to make two consecutive headed clearances to thwart both Aguero and Sterling. He seems to have hurt himself in the process and waves for treatment before sinking to the turf.

That will waste a bit of time. Four minutes of stoppage time signalled for City to find that elusive goal.

With just two minutes of normal time remaining, Aguero finally threatens to spoil Real's party with an ambitious drive from 20 yards that lands on the roof of the net with Keylor Navas beaten.

Zidane is incensed that Fernandinho's trip on Bale is not punished with a free-kick. Mateo Kovacic looks set to enter the fray. He replaces compatriot Modric, who has been as impressive as ever tonight.

The free-kick offers a good opportunity to put Real under serious pressure, but De Bruyne instead opts to try and catch Keylor Navas out with a whipped shot to the near post that goes past Kroos' one-man wall and into the side netting. What a waste.

Marcelo slips after dispossessing Aguero and that leads to a City counter. The ball eventually ends up at the feet of substitute Sterling, who is forced out wide before being scythed down by a nasty challenge from Vazquez. He is lucky only to receive a yellow card for that.

10 minutes left to play at the Bernabeu. Real have been much the better side tonight, but still City need just one goal to send them through. Can they find it?

A determined Vazquez burrows his way into the City box before seeing a shot blocked by Mangala. Referee Skomina then calls play back to defuse a heated row between Kroos and Fernandinho. The cards stay in his pocket.

City are seeing a lot of the ball just at the moment, but their movement is very static and it is all far too easy for Real to defend.

Fernando enters the referee's notebook for dragging down the fleet-footed Modric.

Pellegrini throws on another striker in the shape of Iheanacho, who will go up top alongside Aguero. Jesus Navas is the man to make way.

Mystifying how Real are still only 1-0 up. Is this written in the stars for City to smash and grab? If it is, then they are going to have to find some sort of an attacking threat from somewhere. Aguero has been a bystander.

A second switch from Zidane sees James on for Isco.

A timely slip from Mangala allows Ronaldo to scoop up possession in a dangerous area, but Clichy comes across to deflect his shot wide.

From the corner, Bale soars above Mangala to crash a header against the post. Ronaldo then blatantly uses his hands to turn home a deep cross, but he was never likely to get away with that. The offside flag appears to have saved him from a caution.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Otamendi wins a cheap free-kick off Ronaldo and that leads to a first substitution of the night from City. Pellegrini hauls off the disappointing Toure and introduces Sterling in his place. 30 minutes plus stoppage time remaining for City to find a goal that would send them through to the final.

Yet again the left-hand side of City's defence is left hopelessly exposed. Vazquez finds Ronaldo once more, but Hart gets down to smother his latest attempt.

Vazquez makes a swift impact, receiving possession from Modric and feeding Ronaldo down the right. Otamendi has to be alert to block his cross intended for Bale.

The opportunities keep on coming for Real, but again it's Hart to the rescue as he hangs in the air to catch Ronaldo's header from a Carvajal cross.

Zidane makes his first change of the evening, replacing Jese with Lucas Vazquez.

Modric passes to Bale before continuing his run into the box. After receiving a brilliant ball from his former Tottenham colleague, the Croatian takes a great touch but sees his effort deflected wide by Hart. That was another vital stop from the City goalkeeper, who should be chastising the sluggish Otamendi for playing him onside.

Luka Modric

Carvajal releases Jese down the right channel, but he fires over under pressure from the sliding Otamendi with Mangala nowhere to be seen.

Half-chances at either end for Ronaldo and De Bruyne, but neither player can make any real contact with the ball. Good play from Bale and Jesus Navas to set them up.

Toure telegraphs a lofted pass towards Navas that is easily cut out by Jese. The Spaniard then hurries forward on the break and skips over the hapless lunge of Otamendi before seeing a poor low cross taken by Hart.

Real come out of the blocks quickly and Kroos picks out Carvajal with a lovely switch of play. He touches the ball inside to Ronaldo, who is thwarted by a combination of Mangala and the offside flag.

The second half is off and running. Time is running out for City's final hopes.

City are being heavily criticised on the television broadcast for a passive approach totally devoid of any intensity, and it's hard to argue with that assessment. However, the well-worn cliche that the goal does not really change their task does rather ring true.

They are still only one goal away from a first Champions League final, but they absolutely cannot afford to concede again.

City will be cursing their luck at the end of that first half. To lose the influential Kompany so early on came as a major blow, while the wicked deflection for that goal rendered Hart a mere spectator. Pellegrini's side actually began the evening on the front foot, but failed to turn their possession into chances and quickly ceded control of proceedings.

Fernandinho's shot that whistled past the woodwork will have given them hope, but there are too many players underperforming just at the moment. They need so much more from Toure and playing De Bruyne out wide looks to be limiting his ability to influence things. He needs to be deployed in a more central role.

Real Madrid

Sorry, Gareth...



Real Madrid 1-0 Manchester City (Real lead 1-0 on aggregate)

Two minutes of added time have been signalled by the fourth official.

Jesus Navas drifts in off his right wing and finds De Bruyne, who turns and plays an inviting pass into the path of Fernandinho.

The Brazilian then cuts inside Carvajal before unleashing an effort that brushes the outside of the post on its way wide. That was much better from City, who have lacked much of an attacking threat during the first half so far.

Bale looks in the mood now and drives a long-range shot that flies beyond Otamendi before being held by Hart.

Marcelo whips a fierce cross into the City box, but there are no white shirts available to take advantage. Keylor Navas then cuts out a corner with a simple, clean catch.

Kroos delivers a dangerous ball to the back post, where Ramos scruffily bundles it past Hart after an initial touch from defensive partner Pepe. He runs off to celebrate, but the referee's assistant is flagging for offside and the goal will not stand. Still 1-0.

A perfectly executed Zidane turn from Marcelo should have his manager bursting with pride. Kroos is then crudely blocked off by Fernandinho and Real have a free-kick in the City half.

City win a corner following some good covering from Carvajal, but Real survive comfortably. The usual deafening whistles greet any touch of the ball that is not from a Real Madrid player.

Aguero holds his face in discomfort after being caught with a stray arm from Ramos. A free-kick is signalled, but no yellow card.

Slovenian referee Damir Skomina has his yellow card out for the first time tonight. De Bruyne is the guilty party, cautioned for a frustrated foul on Marcelo after a rare City attack breaks down.

Hart with his best Superman impression there to clear a free-kick after Ronaldo had been tripped by Sagna. The flag is up anyway after Ramos tried to run back in from an offside position.

Looking to respond quickly, Fernando heads over from a corner at the other end. Ronaldo also blazes a hopeful shot into row z and Keylor Navas confidently cuts out Jesus Navas' cross.

The Bernabeu erupts as Real break the deadlock. Modric finds Carvajal, who slides a low pass in behind Clichy for Bale to collect.

Played onside by Otamendi, the world's most expensive player hits a right-footed shot from a tricky angle that takes a deflection off Fernando and loops in off the upright. That is his 20th goal of the season and his first in the Champions League.

Gareth Bale
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Goal: Real Madrid 1-0 Manchester City (Gareth Bale)

Fernandinho and Fernando team up to dispossess the impressive Modric on the edge of City's penalty area. You get the feeling that duo will be crucial to any hopes of victory tonight, particularly with the partnership of Otamendi-Mangala having failed to impress in the past.

Real look to have capitalised on City's sense of disappointment at losing Kompany and are now beginning to dominate proceedings. Carvajal's latest delivery is swung in deep and too hard for either Ronaldo or Jese to make contact.


The first chance of the evening falls for Ronaldo, who rises above Otamendi but can't quite keep his header down after being teed up by a searching cross from Carvajal.

Kompany, who has been dogged by calf issues over recent years, limps towards the sideline and will not be able to continue. The latest in a very long line of injury problems sees the skipper replaced by Mangala.

That is a massive blow for City.

Vincent Kompany
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Important defending from Nicolas Otamendi to snuff out the threat from Ronaldo. A huge concern now for City as Kompany goes down in a heap after making a pass and will require treatment from the physios.

Real's first corner comes and goes without incident. City have made a rather positive start to this game, although they are yet to convert that possession into any meaningful chances in the opening eight minutes or so.

Jese is lining up as the central striker for Real, flanked either side by the formidable duo of Gareth Bale and Ronaldo. Kroos looks to be sitting deep in front of the back four, with Luka Modric and Isco further forward.

Positive play from Navas to skip away from Isco down the City right with Marcelo out of position. His cross is palmed away by namesake Keylor in the Real Madrid goal.

Real Madrid are kicking from left to right in their iconic all-white home strips. City, meanwhile, are donning their neon green away kits. The weather is perfect in Madrid and the atmosphere is impressive.

One of the very biggest nights in Manchester City's 136-year history is underway. Can they defy the odds to reach their first major European final against a side who are seeking to win the Champions League for the 11th time? We are about to find out.

Opposite number and former Real manager Pellegrini, meanwhile, has been keen to stress that there is far more to Madrid than just Ronaldo:

Cristiano will always be a different player – he scores a lot of goals and has throughout his six years here. However, I don't think Real are just Cristiano Ronaldo. We must work as a team defending and attacking. Not just against Ronaldo but against Real Madrid.

Our motivation must be to reach a final which we've never done before against a great team in a beautiful stadium. It's important tomorrow because it's high pressure but we have the personality and the football to beat them. Everyone must trust in their team – we trust in ours and I hope we can demonstrate it in the 90 minutes.

With approximately 10 minutes remaining until kick-off in the Spanish capital, here is what Zidane had to say in his pre-match press conference:

It is going to be a difficult game, more so than the first leg. Everything will be decided tomorrow. We are aware of that and we will prepare for the game as we always do, showing respect to the opponent, they've got very good players, especially in attack.

We are going to concentrate on our game. It's not going to be the same as the [quarter-final] second-leg against Wolfsburg. We can't think that we are going to score 2 or 3 goals in 15 minutes. We know that it will be difficult and the important thing is to prepare and play a well worked game.

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A rather ominous statistic for City, who suffered an eventful defeat on their only previous competitive visit to the Bernabeu under the tutelage of Roberto Mancini in September 2012. Edin Dzeko's opener was countered by Marcelo, before Kolarov restored their lead. However, late efforts from Benzema and Ronaldo secured a last-gasp 3-2 comeback win for the hosts.

The return fixture at the Etihad Stadium ended in a 1-1 draw when Aguero netted a penalty after Benzema had struck for 10-man Real. That result saw City fail to qualify for the last 16.


One other interesting storyline revolving around tonight's game is the question of City's Champions League participation next season. Following that loss at St Mary's, they are now just four points ahead of rivals Manchester United in fourth having played one game more and with a potentially tough clash with Arsenal to come this weekend.

They travel to Swansea on the last day, with a failure to finish in the top four meaning they would have to win the competition in order to secure their place for 2016-17. What a disaster it would be if they were to fail to qualify for Guardiola's first campaign at the helm, particularly with the former Barcelona stalwart looking to avenge his three consecutive semi-final defeats at Bayern.

It looks as though the pre-match atmosphere has been bubbling away nicely all day in sunny Madrid, as you might expect for a fixture of this magnitude....

Real Madrid fans
David Ramos/Getty Images
Real Madrid
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Manchester City fans
Real Madrid team bus
David Ramos/Getty Images

It looks like Toure will slot into his preferred role behind the striker tonight, with Fernando holding alongside Fernandinho and Navas/De Bruyne attacking down either flank...


Pellegrini makes eight changes from the starting XI who were soundly beaten by a Sadio Mane-inspired Southampton. Three of them come in the backline, where Zabaleta, Eliaquim Mangala and Aleksandar Kolarov are replaced by Bacary Sagna, captain Kompany and Gael Clichy.

Fernando comes in for Delph, while Nasri, Raheem Sterling, Iheanacho and Wilfried Bony are ousted in favour of Toure, De Bruyne, Jesus Navas and Aguero.

Ronaldo does indeed start for Real, although it will be interesting to see how long he can last. Pepe replaces Raphael Varane in the heart of defence, while Dani Carvajal is restored to right-back ahead of Danilo. Marcelo comes in for Nacho, with Toni Kroos and Isco called into midfield to deputise for Casemiro and James Rodriguez.

Lucas Vasquez makes way, as does 19-year-old striker Borja Mayoral. Jese features in the absence of Benzema.

Manchester City: Hart, Sagna, Kompany, Otamendi, Clichy, Fernando, Fernandinho, Toure, Navas, De Bruyne, Aguero

Subs: Caballero, Mangala, Kolarov, Delph, Sterling, Bony, Iheanacho

Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo, Modric, Kroos, Isco, Ronaldo, Bale, Jese

Subs: Casilla, Varane, Danilo, Kovacic, James, Vazquez, Mayoral

The lineups have been confirmed. Stay tuned...

As for City, Silva has not travelled due to a hamstring injury that Pellegrini has described as "small" but is expected to keep him sidelined for approximately a fortnight. However, Yaya Toure is back in the fold after returning to training following a muscle complaint that has affected him since the 4-0 victory over Stoke last month.

Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany

Key trio Vincent Kompany, Kevin de Bruyne and Sergio Aguero will also play after being rested during Sunday's 4-2 defeat to Southampton. Pablo Zabaleta is absent after confirming yesterday that a scan on his left calf has revealed a grade two muscle tear. The veteran right-back believes he will be out for three weeks.

There will of course be no Samir Nasri tonight, either. The Frenchman was axed from City's Champions League squad for the knockout stages in January, with Pellegrini later admitting that he did not expect the player to recover as quickly as he did from a gruesome training-ground thigh injury that required surgery and 100 stitches as well as a six-month absence.

Impressive young striker Kelechi Iheanacho was added in his place, while De Bruyne was wisely kept in despite suffering from a knee injury.

Official team news to come shortly, but we know that Ronaldo is definitely set to return from the thigh injury that kept him out of the first leg as well as narrow La Liga victories away at Rayo Vallecano and Real Sociedad. However, Benzema has been ruled out and defensive midfielder Casemiro will also play no part due to a hip problem.

Their 21-man squad named by Zinedine Zidane for tonight's match is as follows:


How you viewed the rather tepid first-leg stalemate from a City perspective is likely to depend on your general outlook. Those with their glasses half full will praise the fact that Pellegrini's side avoided giving themselves a mountain to climb by not conceding an away goal.

Those of a more negative persuasion, however, might see their failure to engineer a slender advantage over a Real side lacking the firepower of Cristiano Ronaldo as a real opportunity missed. The 10-time winners were further depleted at half-time when they lost Karim Benzema to a hamstring problem, although City had their own issues to contend with when canny playmaker David Silva was withdrawn before the break.

The visitors were rather subdued for the majority of that initial tie, but could have won it in the second half only to see substitute Jese's header clatter against the crossbar. Joe Hart also proved his weight in gold, standing firm to deny both Casemiro and Pepe and keep his deserved clean sheet intact.

Karim Benzema wins the ball
(Getty) Getty Images

With the identity of one of the teams set to contest the 2016 Champions League final later this month already confirmed, tonight we discover the second as Real Madrid battle Manchester City for the right to face Atletico at the San Siro in Milan on Saturday 28 May.

The La Liga title contenders scuppered future Citizens boss Pep Guardiola's hopes of bringing Europe's elite club trophy to Bavaria before he takes over from Manuel Pellegrini this summer, with Antoine Griezmann's second-half equaliser cancelling out a deflected opener from Xabi Alonso. Robert Lewandowski gave the hosts hope late on and both Thomas Muller and Fernando Torres missed penalties on a memorable night for the fiery Diego Simeone.

This is unchartered territory for City, who before this season had never advanced beyond the last 16. Live updates of a pivotal semi-final decider to come from IBTimes UK, in addition to a first-leg recap, breaking team news and confirmed lineups.

Real Madrid vs Barcelona
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