Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini called his side’s display “not very creative” after they held Real Madrid to a goalless draw in Tuesday night’s Champions League semi-final first leg.
City were unable to capitalise on the absence of former Manchester Uniter winger Cristiano Ronaldo, who failed a late fitness test prior to the match. The Portuguese, who has taken his tally for the season to 31 goals, is hopeful of being fit in time to play in next week’s second leg.
Striker Karim Benzema was withdrawn at half time after picking up a knock and Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is unsure whether he or Ronaldo will be available for the return leg in Spain.
“We are going to try and get them fit,” said the Real coach. “That is our plan. I can’t assure you of anything. I can’t tell you right now if they will be fit. We have to look at it day by day”.
“I am happy with the game. It has not been easy,” he added. “We defended really well, above all in the second half. We had a couple of chances to score a goal. With the chances we had I am a little bit disappointed. We perhaps deserved more. Defensively, I’m really pleased. We fought hard. It was a hardworking performance from us.”
City lost David Silva to injury during the match and manager Pellegrini has revealed the club had attempted to have Sunday’s trip to Southampton moved forward to Saturday to give the players an extra day’s rest in preparation for Wednesday’s return leg at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Madrid’s failure to score an away goal in Manchester means a score draw will be enough for City to progress to the final in Milan and Pellegrini promises his team “will give all we can to arrive to the final”.