Gareth Bale was satisfied with Tuesday’s goalless Champions League semi-final first leg with Manchester City, but felt Real Madrid could have had two penalties in the second half.
Madrid – without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo – soaked up a lot of City pressure in the opening 45 minutes at Etihad Stadium, before dominating the second period and twice going close.
Pepe and Casemiro both saw late chances superbly saved by Joe Hart, while Keylor Navas had to be alert to tip Kevin De Bruyne’s stoppage time free-kick over his crossbar.
In the end both sides found positives in the stalemate, with Bale hopeful they can use their home advantage to book a place in next month’s final in Milan.
“[It is] very exciting, I think for us to keep a clean sheet here is very important,” Bale told BT Sport.
“We would have liked to have nicked a goal but it wasn’t to be.
“It was a cagey match at the start like I predicted, and like it normally is, [but] it opened up a bit in the second half, and we thought we were unlucky not to get a few penalties.
“We are happy with the performance and we’ll look forward to the second leg in the Bernabeu.”
Navas was also pleased with the clean sheet away from home, and knows Madrid must produce an even better performance if they are to knock City out next week.
“We have to give everything if we want to be in the final, so we have to win,” he is quoted as saying by AS.
“Thank God everyone did a good job, concentrated and well-ordered defensively. That’s why we didn’t have problems at the back. They came forward but we didn’t make mistakes, and ultimately took control of the game.
“Yes, we all wanted to win, but it’s always good to get a result with a clean sheet. So we’ll take that and try to win at home.”
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