Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany is convinced his side will realise the true value of Tuesday's goalless draw against Real Madrid when their Champions League semi-final tie is determined next week.
In a game of few opportunities, City were indebted to goalkeeper Joe Hart for pulling off two crucial late saves to keep the scores level and avoid the concession of a potentially pivotal away goal.
The scale of the task facing City in the Spanish capital in seven days is reflected by 10-time European champions Real having won all five of their Champions League ties at home this term with an aggregate scoreline of 18-0, although Kompany is unperturbed.
“Nil-nil is a very dangerous score. From the moment we manage to score in Madrid, it will be a very different game,” said Kompany.
“This is a good result. It’s hard to keep a clean sheet against such a good attacking team.
“Overall we can be proud of what we have achieved in the first leg of this game. We couldn’t have wished for more at this stage. There are 90 minutes to play and we’re looking forward to it.”
Hart echoed his captain’s sentiments and expressed his own satisfaction for setting up a winner-takes-all clash in the club’s first ever Champions League last-four tussle.
“We’re not disappointed with the result and we’ve set it up for a good, old-fashioned rumble in the Bernabeu,” said Hart.
The hosts lost midfielder David Silva five minutes before the break with a hamstring strain, while City boss Manuel Pellegrini said post-match that he doubts the Spaniard will be fit for the second leg.
City were fortunate to escape nine minutes into the second period as unmarked Real centre-half Sergio Ramos directed a free header from Toni Kroos’s corner straight into the grateful clutches of Hart.
Real, who were without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, threatened again inside the final 20 minutes as substitute Jese’s looping header thudded off the top of the crossbar. Hart repelled a downward Casemiro header shortly afterwards, while he pulled off a stunning save late on to deny Pepe from point-blank range.