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Guillem Balague: Manchester City are starting to look like a team

Update:

Real Madrid are possibly the weakest team in the semi-finals. Not for their history or name, of course, and certainly not if we analyse the many encounters they've had against Spanish and foreign teams (the latter who have knocked them out only a few times). But this team is very capable of alarming ups and downs.

I start by saying this because it seems that City are seen as a formality but they have sufficient weaponry to bid farewell to Madrid. The English team is well aware that the visitors from the Spanish capital will arrive with an expectation of going through to the final, but everyone agrees that it's the side most suited for City. There are weaknesses in their defence that Agüero or De Bruyne can take advantage of. If the home team can get the ball to these front men, and defend compactly themselves, then Los Blancos could suffer. City are also in a position where they feel they have nothing to lose, as if their Champions League work is already done.

Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero could enjoy the Madrid defence.
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Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero could enjoy the Madrid defence.Lee SmithREUTERS

In 2012, these two teams met in the group stages. It was a better Madrid and a worse City,
and it was the Spanish side that progressed but only after a late, late comeback when being down 1-2 in the Bernabeu with only minutes to play. In Manchester it was a 1-1 draw. Not a lot separated them. The drop in this year's campaign for City has been the absence of key players throughout the season as well as the sensation that, somehow, things came to an early end following the announcement that Guardiola would be taking over next year. A second wind, however, gave them enough mental strength to overcome PSG, with a collective defensive display and the quality possessed by their stars. Now, more than ever, City feel like a team and they can smell glory. They're not afraid of Madrid or their history. This is their greatest danger...

Cristiano celebrates his last gasp winner in 2012...as Mourinho stains his suit doing likewise.
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Cristiano celebrates his last gasp winner in 2012...as Mourinho stains his suit doing likewise.
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