Three things Manchester City must do to beat Real Madrid


Manchester City took a massive progression away from their usual naive stride in the Champions League when they eliminated fellow financial power, Paris Saint-Germaine, in the quarter-finals.

The Citizens could make a huge leap forward, when they host Real Madrid in their first European semi-final for 45 years on Tuesday.

Here are the three things coach Manuel Pellegrini and his men must do to seal a sensational win over Los Blancos.

  1. Keep Ronaldo and his attacking partners calm

Pellegrini must churn out a befitting defence to keep Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema quiet at the Etihad Stadium so as to arrive at their opponents’ Santiago Bernabeu fortress with something tangible to hang on to.

The return of Captain Vincent Kompany and Gael Clichy in this game will be massive for the Citizens.

Ronaldo has scored 47 times this season, including 16 in just 10 Champions League appearances, but Pellegrini says he knows how to stop the Portuguese goal machine.

“I knew all about him from playing (against) Manchester United when I was at Villarreal,” Pellegrini said.

“We played them four times in the Champions League and each time it was 0-0, so defensively we must have been doing something right.”

  1. Make effective use of Aguero and De Bruyne

Real Madrid’s loss away to Wolfsburg in the first leg of UEFA Champions League quarter-finals gives City an obvious optimism.

For City to record a huge win, they must make effective use of their Argentina striker, Sergio Aguero, and Belgium midfielder, Kevin De Bruyne.

Aguero and De Bruyne have combined well and created a good understanding this season, and it was not a co-incidence that the Citizens have looked so dangerous since the return of the Belgian from injury.

  1. Quench Modric, Casemiro and Kroos fire

City must find a way to pocket Madrid Midfield dynamos of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro, and with the Ivorian midfielder, Yaya Toure, out after picking up a muscle injury in the 4-0 win over stoke, the midfield is short of leadership and power.

Pellegrini must seek succour with the combination of Fernandinho and Fernando to anchor the midfield and ensure that Modric, Casemiro and Kroos do not combine well to good effect.

If all things being equal, Pellegrini make keep alive an intriguing possibility of a Milan final against Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, whose manager Pep Guardiola will take over the Manchester City hot seat from him come next season.