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Atletico Madrid 0-0 Manchester City: Key Talking Points As Pep Guardiola’s Men Book A Semi-Final Showdown Against Real Madrid

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 14 Apr 2022

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In what was a frantic night in the Spanish capital, Manchester City just about managed to book their spot in the semi-final of this year’s Champions League and a showdown against Real Madrid.

Eventually leaving the Wanda Metropolitano with a gritty 0-0 stalemate amidst fiery scenes, Pep Guardiola would have been proud with the way that his side dealt with some childish antics from Los Colchoneros.

With Kevin De Bruyne’s first-leg winner turning out to be the decider, the Premier League heavyweights will now turn their attention back to domestic duties and an FA Cup semi-final meeting against Liverpool this weekend.

In a showdown between two managers who were exchanging public digs prior to Wednesday’s contest, we have taken a look at the main talking points.

All eyes on Los Blancos

Coming off the back of what was a remarkable 2-2 draw against fellow European semi-finalists Liverpool last weekend, some were wondering how Manchester City would fair after a testing schedule.

However, electing to bring back England international Phil Foden from the start, Guardiola’s side really showed their resolve as they overcome a late surge from the defending Spanish champions.

Still holding a one-point buffer at the top of the Premier League table, the Sky Blues will have a domestic and European double at the top of their wishlist.

With the one-time Barcelona boss now reaching his ninth Champions League semi-final, a new record for the tournament, all eyes will be firmly on another Spanish giant in a fortnight’s time.

Eventually coming past Los Colchoneros thanks to a 1-0 aggregate victory on Wednesday night, Guardiola’s side will welcome Real Madrid to the Etihad on April 27th for what looks set to be another action-packed affair.

While many across Europe might have tipped City as the standout pick to claim their first-ever Champions League crown this season, the Sky Blues should be wary of a Los Blancos side that stunned Chelsea 24 hours prior to their showdown at the Wanda Metropolitano.

KDB concern for Pep

While Manchester City might have managed to book another heavyweight showdown against Real Madrid for later in the month, there is no doubt that fans around the Etihad would have been worried to see Kevin De Bruyne limp off.

Hobbling off midway through the second-half after what was a quiet game for the Belgium superstar, he was then seen sitting in the dugout with his calf heavily strapped.

Only continuing on what has been a remarkable purple patch over the past six weeks, the 30-year-old had previously found the net in each of his last four appearances on the spin ahead of their trip to Spain on Wednesday night.

With it now looking like the one-time Chelsea starlet could be a real doubt ahead of City’s FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool this weekend, Guardiola’s side will also have to go without another influential star when they welcome Los Blancos to Manchester on April 27th.

Picking up what was a costly booking late into injury-time, the impressive Joao Cancelo will miss out on City’s first-leg as he serves a one-match suspension.

Also watching the returning Kyle Walker pick up an ankle injury during the second-half, Guardiola certainly faces a nervy wait.

Atletico let themselves down once again

Coming under scrutiny once again after the way that they imploded at the Etihad last week, Wednesday’s showdown at the Wanda Metropolitano will largely be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Despite coming out bravely during the second-half as their Champions League adventure started to fade away, Diego Simeone’s men let themselves down as they completely lost their heads during the final stages of Wednesday’s meeting.

While one-time Manchester City man Stefan Savić might have been lucky to have stayed on the pitch after multiple incidents on either side of the break, German referee Daniel Siebert was far less lenient with Savic’s defensive partner, Felipe.

Constantly struggling to control his emotions, the Brazilian was shown a deserved second yellow in injury-time for a dangerous swipe at Foden, having received his first for an elbow that saw the England international suffer a cut to the head that needed strapping.

Although Simeone might have gained the reputation as a pantomime villain during his time at Atletico, the 51-year-old and his side certainly overstepped the line on multiple occasions in both legs.

Eventually shown his own booking from the sidelines, Atletico will be lucky to avoid some sort of investigation from UEFA regarding their conduct in the final minutes.

Match Report:

Atletico Madrid: Oblak, Llorente, Savic, Felipe, Mandava, Lodi, Lemar, Kondogbia, Koke, Griezmann, Felix

Subs: Correa, Carrasco, de Paul, Suarez, Cunha

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Cancelo, De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan, Mahrez, Foden, Silva

Subs: Ake, Sterling, Fernandinho

Goals: N/A

Yellow Cards: Atletico Madrid: Llorente, Savic, Felipe Simeone (not on pitch) – Manchester City: Rodri, Ake, Mahrez, Foden, Cancelo

Red Cards: Felipe

Referee: Daniel Siebert


Tom Dunstan

Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan



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