Gareth Bale insists he should have been awarded a penalty for a foul by Vincent Kompany as Manchester City and Real Madrid drew 0-0.
Referee Cuneyt Cakir waved away the winger’s protests and Bale told BT Sport after the match that though the tie was even, he felt it could have gone the way of Los Blancos if the referee had been more alert.
“I think for us to keep a clean sheet here was very important. We would have liked to nick a goal but it wasn’t to be. It was a cagey match at the start, like I predicted and like it normally is,” the Wales international noted.
“It opened up a bit more in the second half. We were unlucky not to get a few penalties. We’re happy with the performance and we’ll look forward to the second leg at [Santiago Bernabeu].
“We learned from our mistakes against Wolfsburg. We don’t want to go for the kill straight away and put ourselves in trouble, but I think it was a disciplined performance in the first half. The second half we came out a bit more, came at them, unlucky not to get some penalties and a goal but we’re in a good position now for the home tie.
“[The altercation with Kompany] was definitely a foul but what can you do? The referee didn’t seem to give us a lot.”
Madrid were without Cristiano Ronaldo, who failed a late fitness test, and Karim Benzema was forced off at half time, but Bale didn’t feel the loss of his attacking partners hampered Madrid’s efforts.
“I don’t think that disrupted the side at all. We knew Ronaldo was injured this afternoon and Karim had a little problem at half time so the players who come in do a fantastic job. We’re united together, we work as a team and we get on with it,” he said, adding that Madrid can feel positive for next week’s return.
“We’re very, very strong at home, the crowd gets behind us, big pitch and we like to score goals there. It’s going to be a difficult game, we know that, but one we’re really confident about and looking forward to.”