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We can reign in Spain over Real Madrid, insists Man City boss Pellegrini

By Simon Peach

Manuel Pellegrini remains steadfast in his belief that Manchester City can see off Real Madrid, despite losing David Silva to injury and failing to get more time to prepare for the return leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Tuesday looked a wonderful opportunity for City to mark their first-ever appearance at the last-four juncture with a memorable victory, yet they were unable to capitalise on Cristiano Ronaldo's absence and were somewhat fortunate to escape with a 0-0 draw.

Only the wonderful reflexes of Joe Hart kept Madrid from snatching an all-important away goal at the Etihad Stadium.

The failure to net gives City a fighting chance and Pellegrini focused on the positives, despite his side only mustering two shots on target. "I think it was a very close game," the former Real Madrid boss said. "We tried from the beginning to win, we pressed high, but we were not very creative, we couldn't create clear chances to score.

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

City may be confident ahead of the second leg, but they will almost certainly have to do without Silva in the Spanish capital after sustaining a first-half injury. "David had a slight strain in his thigh," Pellegrini said. "It is difficult to say now (whether he will be involved).

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