City are 'not afraid' to go to Bernabeu

A BIG BLOW FOR CITY: Real Madrid's Bale (right) was fouled by Manchester City's Silva (left). Pellegrini was pessimistic about Silva's chances of gracing the Bernabeu after the Spaniard suffered a hamstring injury in the first-half challenge.


    Apr 28, 2016

    City are 'not afraid' to go to Bernabeu


    MANCHESTER City manager Manuel Pellegrini vowed that his team would play with no fear in their Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid following a 0-0 first-leg draw.

    Missing the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, Madrid created the better chances in Tuesday's game but substitute Jese saw a header hit the bar and City goalkeeper Joe Hart produced late saves to thwart Casemiro and Pepe.

    City, appearing in their first semi-final, did not work visiting goalkeeper Keylor Navas until Kevin de Bruyne found the target with a stoppage-time free kick.

    But Pellegrini said his side would show a greater cutting edge in next week's return leg in the Spanish capital.

    "I don't think they are favourites," said the Chilean, who was sacked after only one season as Madrid head coach in 2010.

    "We are not afraid to go to the Bernabeu and we will see which team plays better in that game."

    Pellegrini claimed that his side had shown the "most intent to win the game" and that Madrid had arrived at the Etihad Stadium "with a result in mind".

    His opposite number, Zine-dine Zidane, contested the claim, asserting that his team "always go out to win".

    But he agreed that neither side had procured an outright advantage.

    "We could have scored a goal. But even with scoring a goal, we would not have been sure of being in the final," said the Frenchman, whose memorable volley against Bayer Leverkusen inspired Madrid to Champions League glory in 2002.

    Both teams have fitness concerns ahead of the second leg but Zidane was upbeat about Ronaldo, who missed out with a thigh strain, and Karim Benzema, who went off at half-time due to a knee problem.

    "We hope that they can both be in the second leg," he said.

    Pellegrini was more pessimistic about David Silva's chances of gracing the Bernabeu after the Spaniard suffered a hamstring injury in a first-half challenge on Gareth Bale that earned him a booking.

    "It is quite tough for him to recover in one week," Pellegrini said.

    "We will have a clearer picture tomorrow."