Real Madrid request UEFA permission to play Manchester City under a closed roof: Report

by IANS |

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Real Madrid have asked UEFA administration for permission to play Manchester City under a closed roof at the Santiago Bernabeu for Tuesday's Champions League quarterfinal first-leg tie against the Premier League side, said a report.

According to ESPN, Madrid have made the request to UEFA, and the decision on whether to play with a closed or opened roof will be taken at a routine pre-match technical meeting on Tuesday.

The final decision will be made by UEFA in conjunction with match referee Francois Letexier, with the provision that the game must end under the same conditions as it started, unless severe weather forces the roof to be either opened or closed.

City won their first Champions League title last season, and are due to face Madrid for the third-successive season in the competition. Pep Guardiola's team drew 1-1 at the Bernabeu in last season's semifinal first-leg and lost 3-1 in Madrid in the semifinal second-leg 12 months earlier. while the club that won the first leg of the previous season finished 1-1 at the Bernabeu.

The retractable cover was built to the stadium during renovations that increased the capacity to 85,000 spectators, but Madrid is now trying to make the most of it after losing 5-1 on aggregate in the semifinals of the previous season.

Reflecting on past encounters between City and Madrid, Guardiola emphasized the evolution of both teams. New players had come into the fold, altering the dynamics of the game. Despite City's advantage of playing the second leg at home, Guardiola remained grounded, knowing that every minute on the pitch would be fiercely contested. Analyzing Madrid's strengths, Guardiola highlighted their formidable attacking prowess, led by the likes of Rodrygo, Bellingham, Valverde, and Vinicius. Yet, he urged his team not to merely focus on containment but to seize every opportunity to assert their dominance on the field.

"I have huge admiration for Carlo," Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference. "But sometimes when you have the experience, because I was in Barcelona, when Real Madrid lose it was really, really bad and they have to think that the other team was better.

"In football, it happens. That game, we were better, not because Real were bad. We made a lot of good things, but in those clubs, we are always judged as really bad and not good.

"I try to think differently. Sometimes I came here and they beat me and I can say they were better."

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