Pellegrini: City ‘not afraid’ of Real

Manuel Pellegrini has backed Manchester City to get a result at the Bernabeu after drawing 0-0 with Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.

In a cagey affair at the Etihad Stadium, City – competing for the first time at this stage – failed to break down a Real side without Cristiano Ronaldo.

But Pellegrini insists his players can cause Los Blancos problems in the Spanish capital.

“We tried from the beginning to win, we pressed high, but we were not very creative, we couldn’t create clear chances to score,” said the manager.

“I don’t think they are favourites. As I said before the game, we have the same option as Real Madrid.

“Of course they have the advantage to play the first game away, so they try to manage the tempo of the game, the pace of the game.

“After that they finish at home but this team play away very similar to how we play here at the Etihad.

“We had good results playing away so we are not afraid to go to Bernabeu and we will see which team plays better that game.”

However, City’s chances of progressing suffered a major blow with the injury of playmaker David Silva, who had to be withdrawn during the first half and is a doubt for the return leg.

“David had a slight strain in his thigh,” Pellegrini revealed. “It is difficult to say now (whether he will be involved).

“It is probably tough for him to recover in just one week. We’ll have a clearer idea tomorrow.”

And while Pellegrini remains positive that the club can make it to their first major European final, the Chilean also bemoaned the fact that the Spanish outfit, who play Real Sociedad on Saturday, will have an extra day to prepare for the second leg.

City travel to Southampton on Sunday, despite attempts to alter the fixture schedule.

“They believe in what we are doing so we have to play the second leg in Madrid,” Pellegrini said of his team.

“Before we go to Madrid, we must continue in the Premier League against a difficult team in Southampton.

“Unfortunately for us, maybe we are going to have one day less rest than Real Madrid because they play on Saturday.

“We tried change our game but it was impossible so we need to play on Sunday. I am sure we will give all we can to arrive to the final.”