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What the Media Says

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Telegraph: City will rue Madrid display

The end of City’s Champions League dream for this season is the only show in town today.

There’s scrutiny to spare all over the media, so we’ll start with Jason Burt in the Telegraph who says that there is “no shame” in losing so narrowly to one of the most successful clubs in European history.

However Jason feels the Blues will regret their approach, saying: “…here they received a lesson as Real set up a second all-Madrid final in three years with their city rivals Atlético seeking revenge – and that is not too strong a word given Diego Simeone is involved – in Milan. And that lesson was to believe. To not be so timid.

“…City have big players and there has to be a change in mentality in that they are no longer newbies and that they belong in this company. They have £30 million, £50 million players and this represented a glorious missed opportunity for them against a Real team who dominated without being convincing.”

Rob Pollard pulls no punches in the Manchester Evening News but sees plenty of hope for the future, given how the side has improved on previous European campaigns.

“This, surely, goes down as a huge opportunity missed for City. They controlled the first half of the first leg and didn't score, with Cristiano Ronaldo absent and Real looking distinctly average.

“And here at the Bernabeu, Zinedine Zidane’s side lacked their usual intensity and were vulnerable at the back. City appeared to pay them too much respect and paid a heavy price.

TIGHT TUSSLE: Fernando and Gareth Bale

“Reaching the last four appears to have injected some confidence into the squad. They may have ultimately fallen short against the 10-time winners – but their campaign overall has been a big improvement.”

The global impact of the game is reflected by the coverage from parts far and wide – take Sports Illustrated, whose Jonathan Wilson calls the tie “weirdly lacklustre” and bemoans a lack of creativity.

Bringing it all back home, ex-England winger Chris Waddle tells BBC Sport, “It's no disgrace at all, losing to Real Madrid, it's just the manner of the defeat.

"Manchester City never played at a tempo. They looked like they were a bit afraid of Madrid.”

Nick Wright echoes a familiar theme on Sky Sports’ website, saying: “There is no shame in losing to a side like Real Madrid, of course, but the grimly familiar manner of the defeat was tough to swallow for the thousands of travelling City fans, and a total of two shots on target in 180 minutes told the story of the tie.”

A tough day to be Blue but there’s plenty to look forward to while looking back with some pride on progress in Europe this season.


Match Report

City's Champions League dream ends

City’s Champions League dream is over.

The Blues went down to a first-half own goal from Fernando but rarely threatened to find the precious away goal that sees Real Madrid triumph 1-0 on aggregate.