Bale strikes as Real Madrid outclass scrappy Man City
Champions League final will be a repeat of 2014 as Real Madrid join neighbours Atletico after seeing off City
Real Madrid 1 Manchester City 0 (Real win 1-0 on aggregate)
The final of the Champions League next month in Milan will be an all-Madrid affair and a repeat of the 2014 showpiece, after Real Madrid sauntered past Manchester City to set up a clash with Atletico on 28 May.
It was a night to forget for the Sky Blues, who didn't manage a single shot on target and looked overawed by the occasion. Although Los Merengues were not much better in a game that never got going.
The 5,000 travelling fans made a good noise throughout but unfortunately, their stamina wasn't matched by the City players. True, the visitors suffered an early disruption when captain Vincent Kompany hobbled off after just ten minutes with a thigh strain, but for a team of their class to succumb so timidly was embarrassing.
"We would have liked to have given more and nicked a goal," said goalkeeper Joe Hart. "Did we do enough to win? I don't know. But we've not been knocking at the door. We've not worked Real keeper Keylor Navas off his feet."
Hart alone of the City players emerged from the night with credit. Outstanding in denying Real Madrid in last week's first leg, the England keeper again pulled off some fine saves and was only beaten by a wicked deflection on 20 minutes.
The goal came when Luka Modric fed Dani Carvajal on the right and his pass was picked up by Gareth Bale in the penalty area. The Welshman went for goal from a tight angle and found the net, but only after his shot had hit Fernando and looped over Hart. Perhaps fittingly, given the scrappy nature of the game, it went down as an own goal for the unfortunate Fernando.
It was cruel on the keeper, too, but Real - who had 15 attempts on goal, five of which were on target - deserve to be in the final.
"We played better than City," said Cristiano Ronaldo, who was back in action after sitting out the first leg through injury. "We created more chances in the first and second half, we were more intense. After the goal, we knew City would press high. But we controlled all the game."
The defeat leaves City with nothing to play for in the final fortnight of the season other than to ensure they finish third in the Premier League. To do that, they must beat Arsenal on Sunday when they visit the Etihad, but manager Manuel Pellegrini may have a job on his hands lifting the morale of his players.
"Yes, I am disappointed we didn't create chances," said Pellegrini, who leaves the club at the end of the season. "It's not the best thing to make a change with a defender early on but I don't think we had a problem in defence. Our problem was we were not very creative."
There will at least be one British representative in Milan next month, with Gareth Bale seeking his second European title in three years. "The reason I came here was to win Champions Leagues," said the Welshman. "I've got one already and I've got the chance to win another one now."