The game: Calm down and then … the hurricane
For a long time, this semifinal was exactly the opposite of the first leg. Because Manchester City played with the handbrake and Real Madrid did not get the spaces they crave. Many faults, many technical errors and very few clear chances: the Bernabéu got bored on a night that took an eternity to light. Real dominated, but City miraculously scored in the heart of Madrid’s highlight.
Real never seemed to be able to lift their heads and the English champions had two chances to break. They missed them all. Madrid woke up, the Bernabeu roared, City literally collapsed and that semi-final entered the Champions League legend with three goals in six minutes. Crazy.
“Let him tell us”: The press invokes God to understand this Real
18 HOURS AGO
Players: Courtois Huge, De Bruyne Ghost
Three parades, including a capital against Grealish before Real Madrid tied: Courtois was the great man of the Madrid team. Although it was the entry of Rodrygo, author of a double, which tipped this semifinal. In this Wednesday’s withdrawal, Karim Benzema, Rodrygo’s decisive passenger, however, has sealed the classification by transforming a penalty that he himself caused. And what about the entry of Eduardo Camavinga that woke up the Real midfielder.
Guardiola, eleven years of failure and an afternoon of resignation
On the part of the City, Kevin De Bruyne, guilty of an unusual waste, never took the measure of this return of semifinals. For a very long time, Ruben Dias has completely broken the penalty awarded against Karim Benzema. Bernardo Silva, an incredible precision for 120 minutes, will have nothing to complain about …
Factor x: Mendy saves the country
87 minutes into the match, Grealish’s Courtois popped up from nowhere, cheekily stole the ball off an opposition player and scored. Although no one believes the Real, Ferland Mendy launches and saves the country from a desperate entrance. Two minutes later, Rodrygo equalized. And if the Brazilian’s double remains the strong point of this return to the semifinals, we must never forget this decisive rescue of the former Olympique Lyonnais player.
Statistics: 5 and 10
Carlo Ancelotti, the first coach to be proclaimed champion of the five major leagues on Saturday, has become the first coach to qualify for his fifth Champions League final on Wednesday. Legendary.
Karim Benzema has scored ten goals in the round of 16 of the Champions League this season, only Cristiano Ronaldo in 2016/17 has done so well in a single edition.
The tweet that makes you want to be there
The statement: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
It’s crazier (note: than the classification against Paris SG and Chelsea) because it lasted until the last moment, until the 90th and 92nd minutes … I think even with the 1-0 we weren’t great until the 89th minute.
The question: The most beautiful of all?
Yes yes Yes. A thousand times yes. We thought we had seen it all against PSG, then Chelsea. But Real Madrid pushed the irrational even further this Wednesday. In their three return matches, Real lost 76 minutes against PSG, 5 minutes against Chelsea and 91 minutes against Manchester City. Against Ciutadans, the Madrid team took the lead on the scoreboard from the 2nd minute of the first leg to the 91st minute of the return leg.
Credit: Getty Images
And this time, before Rodrygo’s draw, no one seemed to believe it except Courtois and Mendy, authors of two major stops. The legendary midfielder, Kroos, Casemiro and Modric had already left their place. The heroes are called Benzema and Courtois, of course. But also Rodrygo and Camavinga, aged 21 and 19. No matter the cast, they will always be in the lead this season.
We call it the weight of history, of heritage. The DNA of a club like no other. The biggest of all. Manchester City are definitely a better team, they proved it in this semi-final. But he lacks, as at PSG, that extra soul, that absolute culture of winning. Raising a score once can be lucky. Twice a miracle. Three times it is a culture. meringue culture.
Guardiola: “And then it was those two minutes …”
Yesterday AT 00:09
The absolute peak, the end of sleep
Yesterday AT 23:56