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Manchester City 0-0 Real Madrid, 2016 Champions League: 3 Things We Learned

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Manchester City's first ever trip to the Champions League semifinal ended with an ugly, unexciting 0-0 first leg draw with Real Madrid at Etihad Stadium. Here's a few takeaways from the action on Tuesday.

1. City are still alive

This sounds cliché, but it's the absolute truth. After a win, the next best result to get a home is a goalless draw. Especially against a team like Real Madrid, hold on to a 0-0 is basically a victory, and while Manuel Pellegrini might have played too safe for a home game, but let's face the facts: City are clear underdogs and the tie could have been decided already in Manchester because of Madrid's chances in the end. Considering the circumstances, the opponent and Man City's counter-attacking game, there is no reason to think the Blancos have already secured qualification. They are still massive favorites, but City can still shock the world.

2. The tie will be decided by the injury report

Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Yaya Touré, David Silva. These four names will be the most important thing about the second leg. Silva's injury destroyed City's offense on Tuesday, since Kevin De Bruyne was in charge of defending on the wings and was unable to create anything as the lone playmaker on the pitch. Touré's presence in midfield was surely missed going forward, and if he's able to contribute at the Bernabéu, City are in good position. If Silva returns, then the Citizens are really alive.

Ronaldo was not even on the bench for Tuesday's game, and with eight days to recover, it's safe to assume he'll be ready. Benzema looks to have aggravated his problem and is unlikely to play next week. But if Ronaldo alone is healthy enough to play, then the Whites will certainly be big favorites again.

Next Wednesday's team news will be the most important thing about the second leg. The finalist will be revealed before the game even starts.

3. Joe Hart is a god


(via r/Soccer)