Football

Gareth Bale basically scored the decisive goal..

Gareth Bale dismisses Manuel Pellegrini's "lucky" claim

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Gareth Bale has rejected Manuel Pellegrini's claim that Real Madrid were "lucky" to beat Manchester City in the Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night.

The Welshman was the instigator for the two-legged tie's only goal when his cross deflected off Fernando and looped over the helpless Joe Hart into the Bernabeu net.

While the final result suggests a closely fought contest, the reality is different. In truth, Real Madrid dominated the second leg and should have won by a much greater margin. In comparison, Manchester City managed just one shot on target.

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But Chilean manager Pellegrini still claimed that his side were "unlucky" to crash out of the competition.

"They were very lucky with their goal and we were very unlucky because it was a deflected cross that put the ball in the top corner," Pellegrini said. "The goal gave them more time to play but both teams couldn't create, and it was very similar to the first leg with both teams without many clear chances."

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Response

Bale, however, does not agree with the Manchester City boss. The 26-year-old admitted that Fernando's own goal did have a stroke of luck, but believes Real Madrid would have progressed regardless.

"I don't think we were lucky," Bale said, according to Goal.

"There was a bit of luck involved in the goal, obviously. I went to cross, but obviously, it doesn't matter however the ball goes in the back of the net. We're very happy and the most important thing is we're in the final.

"We controlled possession. They had their moments but I don't think they had a shot on target in two games - maybe just one. We're definitely the deserved winners.

"Semi-finals are always cagey - no-one really wants to make a mistake. We were lucky enough to get a goal and that's the difference."

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Zidane belief

Bale also took the chance to praise current manager Zinedine Zidane, who has guided Los Blancos to the Champions League final in his first season in management.

The Frenchman took over from Rafa Benitez in January and has suitably impressed, driving Real Madrid to within one point of La Liga leaders Barcelona as well as the Champions League final in Milan.

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"He's given us that belief and freedom to go out and express ourselves and enjoy ourselves," Bale told UEFA's official website.

"When players can do that you see the best of them."

Real Madrid will take on city rivals Atletico in a repeat of the 2014 final, which was won by Bale's side. He scored in a 4-1 win after extra time and will be hoping to repeat the feat at the San Siro.

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Topics:
Gareth Bale
Real Madrid
Football
Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester City
Sergio Aguero
UEFA Champions League

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