The visitors were dealt a blow before kick-off as Cristiano Ronaldo, who trained on Monday after not playing at the weekend due to a thigh injury, was not included in the squad.
However, City were unable to take advantage of Ronaldo’s absence in a game of few clear chances.
Real went closest to breaking the deadlock in the second half as substitute Jese headed against the bar and Joe Hart made a point-blank save to deny Pepe.
City failed to muster a shot on target at the other end until a late free-kick from Kevin de Bruyne, which was tipped over by Keylor Navas.
The two sides will meet again at the Bernabeu on Wednesday, May 4, with Ronaldo’s involvement unclear after his exclusion at the Etihad.