A Real Opportunity
Manchester City v Real Madrid, Tuesday 7.45pm, BT Sports 1
Tuesday night will see Real Madrid play in the semi-final of the Champions League for the sixth straight year. An excellent achievement by any standards.
However the Spanish side have only progressed to the final once in the last five years, in 2014 when the beat their city rivals Atletico after extra-time to land their record extending tenth European Cup/Champions League trophy.
Over the last ten seasons Real have exited at the knock-out stages nine times. Eight of those nine times they lost the first leg and were unable to make a comeback in the second leg. The one time they won the first leg but failed to progress was against Bayern Munich in 2007 when they went out on away goals.
With home advantage in the first leg and the current scoring form of Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne there is plenty of room for realistic optimism from the City fans. Real Madrid did lose the first leg of their quarter-final away to Wolfsburg.
Of the twelve games Madrid have failed to win in all competitions this season nine of them have come away from home. They’re also coming off a rather shaky win over 16th placed Rayo Vallecano in La Liga where they needed to come from 2-0 down to win 3-2. Real Madrid have conceded in seventeen of their twenty-three away games in all competitions this season. If there is a vulnerability it comes on their travels.
As we’ve seen over the last ten seasons that if City can win the first leg against Madrid they stand a great chance of progressing. Over the last decade Real Madrid have never lost their first leg of a two-leg knockout tie and managed to progress.
Now for the bad news. Over the past ten seasons only one team has knocked Real Madrid out of the competition and gone on to lift the trophy. That team was Barcelona of course. So City could well be final bound but they could then be set to face disappointment in Milan all the same.