- Manuel Pellegrini, up against former club, says City “need our emotions under control”
- City unbeaten in seven; Real Madrid on five-game winning streak
- Cristiano Ronaldo expected to play after missing weekend match
- Yaya Touré the only significant absentee for City
- Real Madrid press conference scheduled for 19.30CET
Man. City: Hart; Sagna, Otamendi, Kompany, Clichy; Fernando, Fernandinho; Navas, De Bruyne, Silva; Agüero.
Out: Touré (muscular problem)
Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Modrić, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Jesé (Lucas Vázquez), Ronaldo.
Out: Lazo (suspended)
Doubtful: Benzema (knee)
Manuel Pellegrini, Man. City manager
It’s very important to enjoy the semi-final as it’s not something we achieve every year. The players know that. It’s important not to be comfortable because we’re at this stage. Everyone wants to continue, to play the final. We’ll see a City team that will play to win.
We won’t just try to defend to reach the final. I have always tried to have a team who play good football, play well. We need a hot heart and a cold mind … We need our emotions under control.
Zinédine Zidane, Real Madrid coach
Press conference scheduled for 19.30CET
Kelechi Iheanacho scored twice against Stoke
Manchester City 4-0 Stoke City (Fernando 35, Agüero 43pen, Iheanacho 64 74)
Fernando headed Pellegrini’s side in front, before Sergio Agüero made it 2-0 from the penalty spot following a foul on Kelechi Iheanacho. The 19-year-old went on to steal the show, scoring from close range before rounding the keeper to cap off a 4-0 victory.
Rayo Vallecano 2-3 Real Madrid (Embarba 7, Miku 14; Bale 35 81, Lucas Vázquez 52)
Real Madrid recovered from going 2-0 down inside 14 minutes to earn a fifth successive win in all competitions. Embarba and Miku struck for the hosts, but a Ronaldo-less Madrid rallied, Gareth Bale halving the deficit with a header before the break. Lucas Vázquez – a first-half replacement for Karim Benzema – then nodded Zidane’s team level, before Bale’s low finish on 81 minutes sealed a 3-2 triumph.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Real Madrid: WWWWWL
Reporter’s view: Tom Kell (@UEFAcomTomK)
The odds are stacked against City, no doubt. Their lack of experience at this stage could well be telling, while their defence – even if it has been steadied by captain Vincent Kompany’s recent return – will have its work cut out against a Madrid side who have scored 18 goals in their last five fixtures. However, let us not forget amid all the talk of Ronaldo, Bale et al that City have their very own bona fide, match-winning superstar. Agüero has netted in four of his last five appearances and, when fit and firing, always ensures they have more than a sniff.
Did you know?
City manager Pellegrini was in charge of Madrid in 2009/10 yet was replaced despite achieving a then-club record of how many Liga points? Find the answer, as well as various other facts and stats, in our extensive match background.