Manchester City drew 0-0 against Real Madrid in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals on Tuesday. It was an intense battle that didn't feature a lot of football quality from either team, who seemed to play not to lose instead of playing to win.
That was the case for about 75 minutes of action, and that is when Madrid took over and finally started to chase a goal as the better football team on the pitch. They came dangerously close in at least three opportunities: first, Gareth Bale tried a beautiful curling shot that went just wide of the post. A few minutes later, Casemiro jumped over the City defense in a corner-kick, but his powerful header found the foot of City's goalkeeper
Then, in the 82nd minute, Madrid had another corner. Toni Kroos played a great ball into the box, which was deflected by Bale in the near post and felt right into the feet of defender Pepe, completely alone inside the six-yard box. Pepe was ready to score and give his team a vital away goal, but Joe Hart came to the rescue. A courageous dive in front of the Portuguese man to stop the ball from finding the net.
You know why City are still alive and have a chance of reaching the Champions League Final in the second leg at Santiago Bernabéu next week? Because of Hart. What a monumental save.