Wednesday 26 September 2018

Bale confident Real will find way past City

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale Photo: PA
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale Photo: PA

Gareth Bale is confident Real Madrid will progress to the Champions League final, despite the frustration of failing to make their chances count at Manchester City.

The absence of star turn Cristiano Ronaldo gave Manuel Pellegrini's side a great opportunity to take a first-leg lead on Tuesday, yet they were made to sweat for a goalless draw on their first ever semi-final appearance.

Jese hit the crossbar as Real improved markedly after half-time, with Joe Hart having to be at his best late on to prevent Casimero and Pepe netting all-important away goals.

Bale was frustrated not to have found a winner, especially having felt both he and Lucas Vazquez should have had penalties, but was upbeat about the 10-time champions' chances of making the Milan finale.

"I didn't think we had to change too much," the attacker said of coping with Ronaldo's absence. "I think the players, Jese and Lucas, who came in did a very good job.

"We looked solid, we looked a threat on the counter and we were unlucky maybe not to get the goal and a few penalties.

"It was a little bit frustrating not to be able to score, but we got a clean sheet and we go back to the Bernabeu now very confident.

"Obviously we'd loved to have scored a goal, but it is not a bad result.

"We got a clean sheet and we go to the Bernabeu where we have a great record, where we score a lot of goals, very confident and, yeah, we are looking forward to it."

Zinedine Zidane's side certainly go into the home leg in a far better position than they did in the quarter-finals, when Wolfsburg inflicted a shock 2-0 first-leg defeat in Germany.

However, Real rallied rather than wilted on that occasion and progressed thanks to a 3-0 triumph on home turf - a result that gives them understandable confidence, albeit Bale knows City are a different calibre of opponent.

"Ultimately when we're at home we attack a lot," he said. "We'll try to keep it defensively tight as well so it will obviously be a difficult game at home, we know that. They're a very good team.

"I think both teams are evenly matched. We're very confident at home. We know it'll be a difficult game, but we will be going all out to try and win it."

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