An own goal from Fernando saw Manchester City crash out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage, as they were beaten 1-0 by Real Madrid on the night at the Bernabeu, and on aggregate, setting up an all-Madrid final with Atletico in the San Siro later this month.
Following a goalless draw at the Etihad last Wednesday, City knew that they needed to score in the Spanish capital if they were to progress in normal time, and a number of players that were rested for Sunday’s defeat to Southampton returned to the starting line-up, including captain Vincent Kompany and star man Sergio Aguero.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who missed the first leg in Manchester, started for the hosts, but it was the visitors who suffered a blow just eight minutes in, when Kompany fell to the ground after passing the ball, and he was unable to continue, being replaced by Eliaquim Mangala in central defence.
The first sight of goal for either side came in the 13th minute as Daniel Carvajal crossed from the right, but Ronaldo couldn’t find the target with his header.
However, Zinedine Zidane’s men were ahead just seven minutes later as Gareth Bale found himself on the right-hand side of the area, and his cross deflected off of Fernando and past Joe Hart into the far corner, via the post.
City were struggling to create any clear-cut chances, and Isco prevented Bacary Sagna’s cross from finding Aguero, while Pepe did find the net for Real, but the goal was disallowed as the Portugal international was offside.
Manuel Pellegrini’s went close on the stroke of half-time as Kevin De Bruyne turned and played in Fernandinho, but the Brazilian’s shot from the edge of the area hit the outside of the post and went wide.
Luka Modric had a great chance to put the game out of sight 10 minutes after the interval as he was put through by a brilliant ball from Bale, but he could only shoot straight at Hart, who made himself big.
Real went even closer as Bale’s effort smacked off the crossbar, but not even the introduction of Raheem Sterling and Kelechi Iheanacho could help City find the goal they needed, with De Bruyne hitting a free-kick into the side netting, before Aguero fired in a shot from just outside the area, which flew just over Keylor Navas’ crossbar.
City, who failed to reach their first ever Champions League final, will now concentrate on finishing as high as they can in the Premier League, while neutrals will look forward to a Madrid derby in a repeat of the 2014 final.