UEFA.com puts Manchester City and Real Madrid's goalless draw under the microscope, zooming in on both sides' caution, Madrid's options and City's lack of killer instinct.
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In many ways, Tuesday's UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg between Manchester City and Real Madrid threw up more questions than answers. UEFA.com investigates.
Who will blink first?
Joe Hart, arguably City's saviour on Tuesday, described the first leg as nothing more than "a sparring session" when speaking to UEFA.com afterwards. "Now we go again and it'll be a ding-dong at the Bernabéu," he added. "That's the beauty of it – we love being here and we love being part of this competition."
We wondered if either team would go for the jugular, but neither was prepared to risk defeat in the search for victory. Indeed Madrid, uncharacteristically for them, played much of the 90 minutes with the handbrake on. Now, a goal in the Spanish capital for Manuel Pellegrini's team would change the tie in an instant, while Madrid would surely be impossible to stop should they strike the first blow in front of their home support.
Can Madrid do it without Ronaldo?
Gareth Bale told UEFA.com that the Merengues "did not have to change too much" in the absence of all-time UEFA Champions League top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo. "Jesé and Lucas [Vázquez] did a very good job. We looked solid, we looked a threat on the counter and we were unlucky not to get a goal." Maybe so, but City will know that their Liga opponents are an inordinately more manageable proposition without their talisman. Madrid, meanwhile, will be keeping their fingers crossed …
Can City kill off the very best?
The Manchester Evening News suggested on Tuesday that City have "this season matured as a European team" and belong at this stage of the competition. There were some excellent individual displays on the night, certainly, but for all their composure for much of the game, City mustered just five shots, two of which were on target.
What they must now prove is that they can up their game once more. They have shown the poise, now is time for the precision. Sergio Agüero is normally their main attacking outlet but was unusually quiet on Tuesday and has now not beaten Madrid in 13 attempts. He's scored four in those games, mind, and City will be confident of reaching the final should he add to that tally next week.
Are Madrid more content than we might think?
"I would not feel comfortable with a 0-0," said City captain Vincent Kompany mischievously when putting himself in Madrid's shoes. Toni Kroos echoed those views: "We're a little bit disappointed because we were the better team in the second half and of course it's important to score away."
Perhaps Gareth Bale's comments were most telling, though. Madrid have so nearly exited this competition once already, losing 2-0 at Wolfsburg in the opening instalment of their quarter-final tie. A rampant home performance saved them, but Bale suggested a safety-first approach this time around might just pay off. "The main thing we learnt from Wolfsburg was not to go for the kill too early and end up putting ourselves in a bad position," he said. Job done.
Where does Zidane get his trousers from?
For those who missed it, a quick internet search will explain all …