Real Madrid semi-final trend shows Man City will get through
Manchester City’s first ever Champions League semi-final will be against the 10-time winners Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, their incoming manager Pep Guardiola will test his tactical nous against Barcelona-conquering Diego Simeone and his Atletico Madrid side, meaning the Bayern Munich boss has a strong chance of a final against his future employers.
Facing the team with the most-ever La Liga titles won’t be a new experience for Man City, having met Real in the group stages of the Champions League in the 2012/13 season.
Roberto Mancini’s side weren’t able to pick a win over those two matches, losing 3-2 in Madrid and drawing 1-1 in the Etihad, but Manuel Pellegrini has reason to be more confident this time round.
This is Los Blancos’ sixth Champions League semi-final in a row and they have only made it beyond this stage on one occasion in that run.
Even more encouragingly for the Citizens, Real’s sole passage to the final came when they were drawn at home for the first leg of the semi-finals, a luxury they don’t have now.
Furthermore, three of their four exits came when they were acting as visitors in the first outing putting Man City in a good position to carry on the trend started by Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus.
Meanwhile, City’s future manager Guardiola faces an old foe in the shape of Atletico Madrid.
During his time at Barcelona, the Bayern boss went up against Atleti 10 times and emerged victorious on eight occasions.
However, he has only gone up against Simeone once, early in the Argentine’s managerial career, winning 2-1 at the Calderon in a La Liga clash in 2012.
Since then, the Atletico manager has got the better of a heavily Guardiola-inspired Barca in two Champions League knockout rounds, masterminding a 2-0 win at home in the last round of this year’s tournament and getting through another quarter-final 2-1 on aggregate in 2013/14.
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