Real Madrid will meet neighbours Atletico in the 2016 Champions League final after Zinedine Zidane’s side eased to a 1-0 victory against a lacklustre Manchester City at the Bernabeu.
A deflected strike from Gareth Bale, officially credited as a Fernando own goal by UEFA, was enough to put an end to Manuel Pellegrini’s hopes of taking the Citizens to their first European final since 1970 in his last term in charge.
In truth, they never looked likely to cause an upset in the Spanish capital. After a cagey stalemate in the first leg, the visitors saw their hopes seriously hampered when captain Vincent Kompany’s injury curse struck again after just nine minutes. The Belgian was replaced by Eliaquim Mangala and from that moment Real bossed the proceedings.
The hosts took the lead via the fortunate deflection off Bale’s cross-shot on 20 minutes and should have doubled their advantage on more than one occasion, but Cristiano Ronaldo and co were thwarted by an inspired Joe Hart.
An away goal for City would have sent them through but they couldn’t take advantage of several reprieves, with their insipid attacking performance personified by Yaya Toure, who cut a disinterested figure during his hour on the pitch.
Pellegrini and his charges must now turn their attention to a crunch Premier League clash at home to Arsenal on Sunday as they look to ensure Champions League qualification for Pep Guardiola next season.
Real are still in with a chance of winning La Liga and could yet end the campaign with an 11th European Cup title when they lock horns with their local rivals in the San Siro on May 28.