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Published: 21:49 | 4/5/16

Own goal sees Real Madrid past Man City

Fernando woe as City lose in Spain

A Fernando own goal sealed Real Madrid's passage into the Champions League final as they beat a toothless Manchester City 1-0 in their semi-final second leg clash at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The tie was settled in the 20th minute of a poor second leg as Gareth Bale's cross-shot took a slight deflection off Fernando to take it beyond City goalkeeper Joe Hart and i off the far post.

It was enough to seal a 1-0 aggregate victory for the home side who now face city rivals Atletico in the final for the second time in three years.

Real manager Zinedine Zidane made three changes from the goalless first leg a week ago, with Cristiano Ronaldo coming in for Lucas Vasquez and Jesse and Isco replacing the injured Karim Benzema and Casemiro.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini, meanwhile, making a return to his old club, made just a single change from last week, with Yaya Toure starting in place of David Silva who limped out of the first leg with a calf injury.

The visitors suffered a significant blow within the opening ten minutes as skipper Vincent Kompany was forced off with what looked like a recurrence of the calf strain that has dogged him all season, with Eliaquim Mangala coming in to replace him.

Ronaldo headed over from a good position shortly afterwards after getting in front of his marker to meet Dani Carvajal's cross at the near post.

City were being forced to sit deep as Real continued to force the pace and the home side were duly rewarded on 20 minutes when Carvajal threaded a ball through for Bale whose shot from a tight angle deflected off Fernando to loop over Joe Hart and in off the far post.

The visitors had a chance to get back into he tie shortly afterwards when Jesus Navas got free down the right. However, he was unable to pick out the unmarked Sergio Aguero in the six-yard box as Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas got down to intercept.

The tie looked to have been settled in Real's favour on 36 minutes as City's defence struggled once again to deal with a set piece delivery into the penalty area.

A scramble ensued before Sergio Ramos toe-poked past Hart from two yards, but the flag was raised for offside and the goal was ruled out.

City were almost level two minutes before the break as Kevin de Bruyne picked out Fernandinho on the edge of the Real penalty area, but the Brazilian's low shot grazed the outside of the upright with Navas well beaten.

Hart produced a superb point blank save to deny Luka Modric within five minutes of the restart before diving acrobatically to hold a Ronaldo header as Real began the second half with real intent.

Ronaldo almost took advantage of a Mangala slip but Gael Clichy got back to divert the Portuguese captain's shot inches wide of the post.

Real were completely dominant now and almost made it 2-0 from the resulting corner, but Bale's glancing header came down off the crossbar before being hacked to safety by a grateful City defence.

But the tie remained finely poised as chance after chance went astray for Real and Pellegrini reacted by bringing on Raheem Sterling for the listless Toure and Kelechi Iheanacho for Navas in a final roll of the dice to get the goal that would take City though to the final.

But, despite enjoying more possession in front of an increasingly nervous home crowd, they struggled to make any in-roads into the Real defence.

De Bruyne wasted a rare opportunity as he drove a free-kick straight into the side netting from wide on the right on 82 minutes.

Aguero then sent a swerving effort inches over the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area with barely two minutes remaining, but that was as close as City came as Real saw out the remainder of the game without alarm to deservedly set up a second Champions League final meeting with city rivals Atletico in three years.


By: Kieran O'Daly

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