Thursday, January 19, 2017

Hart out to erase painful Bernabeu memories

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Apr 2016

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Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart said he is hoping to erase some painful memories when his side travel to the Santiago Bernabeu for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid next week.

Hart was slammed by then-City manager Roberto Mancini the last time he travelled to the Bernabeu for openly criticising his team-mates as they let a 2-1 lead slip to a 3-2 loss in September 2012.

The stakes were high that night, despite being a group stage fixture, but not as high as they will be on Wednesday.

“We’ve learned a lot since that night,” he said. “It was a tough game. It was certainly a busy one for me, especially.

“I think [Cristiano] Ronaldo and Benzema scored their last goals and as disappointing as it was, both goals were avoidable – definitely avoidable.”

But Hart said that City’s showing in the 0-0 first-leg draw in Manchester on Tuesday showed how far his side had come defensively, even though Madrid were unable to call on the considerable talents of Ronaldo.

“This year we’ve been a lot more confident away and we’ve made a solid start to the tie to set up the second leg on Wednesday,” the England international added.

“We’ve had a little sparring session, but next Wednesday will be a right ding-dong.

“We go again — but that’s what we want. We love being here and being part of this competition and are looking forward to the next big game.”

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