Manchester City are holders, but Real Madrid’s kings must still be dethroned

Last year’s semi-final blitz at the Etihad was a triumphant night yet Pep Guardiola knows there is no guarantee of a repeat

Blowing away Real Madrid in a Champions League semi-final second leg before their home crowd was the fantasy Manchester City made reality last spring. On Wednesday the challenge for the holders is to knock the Madridistas out again at the Etihad Stadium, and after the scintillating performance of a year ago there is no sense of inferiority.

By the close of a seismic night at a jubilant Etihad Stadium Pep Guardiola’s team were 4-0 victors, 5-1 on aggregate, a step closer to the treble, and Carlo Ancelotti’s continental aristocrats were heading back to the Spanish capital shellshocked.

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