Outcled in all areas by Manchester City (4-0), Real Madrid must analyze the reasons for this bitter failure in order to immediately move forward.
Real Madrid will not go to Istanbul to face Inter Milan on June 10 to try to win a 15th crown in the most prestigious of competitions. Beaten by Manchester City (4-0) in the semi-final return of the Champions League this Wednesday evening, the people of Madrid have failed in their mission and it is a whole club which is now wondering about the future.
On the pitch, Real Madrid’s specialty is known to all: suffer, give the impression of giving way then sting on a half-chance by betting on the dazzling Vinicius and the technical correctness of Karim Benzema, whether in his movements or the last gesture. This Wednesday evening, when we could have feared they were taken by the challenge and destabilized by the aura of their opponent, the players of Manchester City mastered their subject from start to finish by showing a bewildering superiority over their opponents.
Dominated in all areas, Karim Benzema and his partners never saw the light on the lawn of the Etihad Stadium. Thibaut Courtois, imperial the whole meeting, even lamented the attitude of his team on the field. The Belgian doorman bitterly regretted that his people had let Manchester City play their game without ever managing to shake them up.
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A far too stereotypical game
Pep Guardiola’s men recited their score to perfection and above all rendered obsolete Real Madrid’s main strength, namely to immediately touch Vinicius on the left side with each projection. This circuit being cut by the intelligence of the citizen pressing, Carlo Ancelotti’s team was not able to find the solution and stammered their football as rarely.
Offensively, Manchester City’s full-back was intractable and never gave the front trio even an ounce of space. In other words, the pressing put in place by the English stifled every Spanish desire.
Systematically in numerical superiority in the midfield, the Citizens wiped out the influence of Luka Modric (37) and Toni Kroos (33). Weaned from balls, the middle of Real spent the entire meeting chasing after. A burst of energy which paid the price for the two thirty-somethings, released very early by their coach (63 and 70th minute).
Will this failure force Perez to react?
The observation was glaring this Wednesday evening: a world of difference separated the two formations. On the field yes, but also on the bench. When Pep Guardiola successively launched Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden (an ist) and Julian Alvarez (a goal), his counterpart brought in Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez or Dani Ceballos…
“Next season I will be there to fight to win the Champions League againdeclared Carlo Ancelotti after the match. Acclaimed by his players despite this slap, the Italian surely hopes that his president Florentino Perez will put his hand in his pocket and finally take out the wallet. The limits of the workforce have been displayed for all to see and reinforcements are needed.
In the mixed zone after the rout, Luka Modric immediately supported his coach. “He deserves to continue for everything he does and has done, for what he brings to the team with his experience. For this defeat, there is no need to dramatize. Since he arrived, he won all the titless” declared the Croatian before adding: “our team still has a lot to give and will undoubtedly bring a lot of joy to Madrid fans». Toni Kroos and Vinicius also went there with their commentary to Mr. : “Who doesn’t trust Carlo?asked the German,of course Ancelotti must continue!erted the Brazilian.
The arrival of Bellingham to satisfy the supporters?
On the other side of the Pyrenees, the press wonders about the near future and seeks to diagnose the reasons for this failure. Several dailies question the way in which the workforce was built and insist on the alterations to be made. Certainly not provided enough in depth, the group must be expanded. Carlo Ancelotti is obviously still the man for the job, so new impetus is needed at player level. This revival therefore requires ambitious recruitment in the transfer window.
For this, several avenues are studied. If the arrival of Kylian Mbappé is a sea serpent in the Spanish capitalthe president is close to attracting Borussia Dortmund’s English gem Jude Bellingham to strengthen the midfield but also to satisfy the supporters. Sides are actively sought in order to establish fierce competition with Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy (Eduardo Camavinga helps out very regularly on the left side) and the arrivals of one or two offensive elements would be seen as priorities.
Karim Benzema (35) is increasingly plagued by physical problems and a high-level understudy is needed for the position of number 9. Around him, Vinicius and Rodrygo are unstoppable but when an injury occurs, the Real attack is deprived of quality solutions. This summer in Madrid, the work promises to be colossal and there is no doubt that Florentino Perez will do everything possible to ensure that his team wins a 6th Champions League in 10 years on June 1, 2024 at Wembley.