MADRID: Manchester City secured the goalless draw they needed to edge out Atletico Madrid and advance to the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday.
Kevin De Bruyne’s first-leg strike last week at the Etihad Stadium proved enough for City to claim a 1-0 victory on aggregate in Madrid, although the Belgian had to go off with an injury which, if significant, would be a hammer blow to their hopes of winning the treble.
Kyle Walker also hobbled off in the second half.
The City will now face Real Madrid, with Liverpool up against Villarreal in the other semi-final to complete an all Spanish-English line-up in the last four.
Simeone was widely criticised for Atletico’s negative tactics in the first leg and there was only a minor shift here, with the plan still to keep the game tight ahead of a final push.
Atletico came close, spurning a number of late chances, but instead, City advanced to the semis for a second consecutive year, in sight again of their first Champions League triumph.
After a rousing ceremony before kick-off that saw the words “Pride, Passion, Feeling” spelt out across the crowd, Atletico made a stirring start, harrying City high up the pitch and snapping at their heels in midfield.
Foden was clattered by Felipe, Stefan Savic bulldozed Ilkay Gundogan over and Walker poked a ball out of play, under stress from the Atletico press.
But City survived the early, physical onslaught and established control, even if Atletico looked a threat on the break, failing only with their final pass.