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WHAT THE STATS SAY

Madrid have won 7 of 8 European ties after a 0-0

Throughout their history, Real Madrid have been involved in eight goalless draws in the first leg of a European tie, going on to win seven of them.

Madrid have won 7 of 8 European ties after a 0-0
JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELA DIARIO AS

Real Madrid were unable to score in the Etihad Stadium and will turn out in Spain with a 0-0 draw for the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Manchester City. Even if a goalless draw can’t be considered a decent result by any side in such a tie, which remains finely balanced, there are precedents to steel the resolve of Zinedine Zidane’s side ahead of the return tonight.

Historically, Madrid have gone through on seven occasions out of eight when drawing the first leg of a European tie 0-0 away. The first was in 1959 against Wiener Sport Club and the most recent last season, against Atlético Madrid, when the first leg ended 0-0 in the Calderón. Javier Hernández scored the only goal of the game in the Bernabéu to send Real through to the semi-finals.

The only occasion Real have failed to progress after the same result achieved in the Etihad was in 1990-91, with Alfredo di Stéfano in the dugout, when the side lost 3-1 to Spartak Moscow in a European Cup tie.

Manchester City, by contrast, have never made it through a European clash after being held to a goalless draw in the first leg at home.

Real’s record in Europe after a 0-0 draw in away first leg

European Cup 1958-59 (quarter-final): Wiener Sport-Club 0 – Real Madrid 0 / Real Madrid 7 - Wiener Sport Club 1.

Cup Winner’s Cup 1970-71 (last 16): Hibernian 0 – Real Madrid 0 / Real Madrid 5 – Hibernian 0.

Cup Winner’s Cup 1970-71 (semi-final): PSV Eindhoven 0 – Real Madrid 0 / Real Madrid 2 - PSV Eindhoven 1.

European Cup 1972-73 (quarter-final): Dynamo Kiev 0 – Real Madrid 0 / Real Madrid 3 - Dynamo Kiev 0.

European Cup 1980-81 (quarter-final): Spartak Moscow 0 – Real Madrid 0 / Real Madrid 2 -Spartak Moscow 0.

Cup Winner’s Cup 1982-83 (last 16)

Baia Mare 0 – Real Madrid 0 / Real Madrid 5 – Baia Mare 2.

European Cup 1990-91 (quarter-final): Spartak Moscow 0 – Real Madrid 0 / Real Madrid 1 - Spartak Moscow 3.

Champions League 2014-15 (quarter-final): Atlético Madrid 0 – Real Madrid 0 / Real Madrid 1 - Atlético Madrid 0.

Wider context of the stats

If we consider all European games during the knock-out phase (since the away goal rule was introduced), the numbers also favour tonight's hosts with 65% of the teams who play the second leg at home after a no score draw progress (462 out of 712). This increases to 76% if we only consider Spanish teams.

If City were to score first, the complexion of the tie, from a statistics perspective at least, changes significantly. In the 372 second legs that started 0-0 and the away team scored first, 237 of those visitors qualified (64%).

Are Madrid likely to score tonight? Very simply, yes. Los Blancos have managed to notch up at least one goal in each of the previous 29 home games in Europe's top club competition. The last time they failed to do so was in the semi-final of the 2010-11 campaign, against Barcelona. Only two other teams have a better record than this - Juventus (43 games between 1973-2000) and Ajax (30 games between 1966-82). Madrid clearly could equal the Dutch side against City.

If Madrid make it through to the Milan final they will equal the record held by rivals Barcelona of playing in the most European finals (18). If City do the business though, they'll increase a record for English sides who already have the most finalists for the top trophy. The Manchester team would join their city rivals United, Leeds, Liverpool, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Arsenal and Chelsea making it eight representatives. Next best is Germany with six.