Today: July 19, 2024
May 4, 2022
4 mins read

Real Madrid completes a new miracle and goes to the final

Hoy Paraguay

It’s not just epic. It is heart, it is faith in its possibilities until the last breath. It’s soccer. It is the inheritance of a single gene, a special DNA that is transmitted from generation to generation. Without Casemiro, Kroos or Modric already on the field. With a handful of fearless youngsters who are not weighed down by the shield, Real Madrid imposed its history when everything was lost. The only team in the world capable of repeating a comeback in each tie until the final. Making a new twist with two goals in added time when it seemed sentenced.

In a Champions League in which he peered into the abyss on several occasions, Ancelotti felt that a goal from City was the final sentence. In the exchange of blows, in the madness of the Etihad, he never saw his superior team. And he protected himself from the start. Despite playing in a Bernabéu on fire like never before, his plan was Fede Valverde to arrive alive at the decisive moment of the tie, the last ‘fourth’.

If each European tie is divided into four parts, there is only one team in the world that can win one and be beaten in the remaining three. It could be seen against PSG, when half an hour served to add a new comeback to the long list that shapes the legend. And that was the plan of ‘Carletto’, who planted a low block and excessive respect for a City with a defined identity, with that unmistakable ‘Guardiola hallmark’ that the Bernabéu knows so well.

Pep represents a style that usually harms Real Madrid and that he has managed to instill in an English team. He experienced it as a footballer at Barcelona and planted it as a coach in a time that was difficult to match. From there his challenge is to win the ‘Champions’ with another club and once again he fell by the wayside. His City always wanted the ball, played to the rhythm of Bernardo Silva, with two open ends to create space for a team that runs after the ball, with De Bruyne appearing into space, making Kroos’ back suffer, and Gabriel Jesus ready to hook her up at any time. he also wanted to dominate the ‘other football’, as he already demonstrated in the Metropolitano, with his loss of time to stop the madridista momentum.

That’s what Ancelotti’s team was reduced to in the first act. Suffocated in the ordered pressure of City. With four means but none to build. Caught in a spider web that caused the continuous losses of the defenses in the exit phase. Only the speed, associated with the quality of the dribbling, of Vinícius. Without Benzema in contact with the ball, Real Madrid is less Real Madrid. Even so, in the Champions League of his career, the Frenchman hooked two centers as a song of hope. None on goal.

Courtois intoned when after the Madrid rush, City put anesthetic into the game until it took over, forced Real Madrid to lock themselves up by joining lines and threatened with a centered shot from De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus ran into the inspiration below of the Belgian goalkeeper and grazed the square in another shot full of intention.

To defeat Guardiola’s style, heart is not enough, which Real Madrid has plenty of, quality football seasoned with success in definition must be added. And of that, which he exhibited at the Etihad, Ancelotti’s team lacked until the last breath of a second half in which he starred in the expected change of identity.

The moment marked in the plan had arrived. He came out of the locker room to bite and in 15 seconds he had the chance that he would score the match. Carvajal found space for the first time due to Cancelo’s mistake, Karim did not reach the center and at the second post, alone, with everything to score, Vinícius rediscovered the image of his past. He hit the ball off balance instead of simply setting the boot to send the ball into the net, with Ederson beaten with no chance of reaching it.

They are the contrasts of ‘Vini’, so brave to ask for the ball in the next action and leave everyone, with a unique ability to erase the mistake from his head. He served Modric the goal with a back pass after attracting all the rivals, but the Croatian also forgave after poor control. There was no success but the panorama had already changed. The City chewed the fear. The beast had woken up.

It was time to handle all the records, put a stop to the white stampedes with loss of time that were cooling the duel. It was when Ancelotti resorted to his plan b, as he had planned, with the entry of Rodrygo, showing personality to seat Kroos after his anger. The savior against Chelsea, on a scoring streak, would leave an indelible moment for the rest of his career.

Before, Real Madrid faltered with the move to 4-3-3 that cost them a goal that seemed decisive. Bernardo Silva closed his class lesson driving, dividing the rival defense and assisting Mahrez. At the goalkeeper’s post, with Courtois defeating himself early, he placed his shot in the top corner. A dagger that would have mortally wounded any team except one that can never be considered sentenced.

When it seemed that there was no room for the miracle. When the City felt in the English final in Paris. When it seemed that the environmental factor did not affect it like PSG and Chelsea, a Real Madrid without its three untouchables in midfield, substituted, exhibited pride until the end and lifted the tie in added time.

He was still alive thanks to Mendy, who saved Grealish’s goal under the goal line, who even forgave another clear to a Real Madrid that seemed broken. He was just gathering strength for his last attempt. In a magical minute Rodrygo launched two claws for history, appearing hungry at Karim’s pass and heading a Carvajal cross into the top corner.

Ancelotti’s team had returned to bury the inferiority in a tie. No one at City understood what had happened. He could even be sentenced before extra time if Ederson had not prevented Rodrygo’s third. In that scenario, no one can handle a Real Madrid with more than enough physicality and an unrivaled competitive character. The first of extra time was forgiven by Benzema and in the second he was brought down by Rubén Dias, who arrived late and committed a penalty. The top scorer of the ‘Champions’ did not forgive. The miracle was already reality.

Guardiola turned to Sterling looking to escape the nightmare but it was time to suffer from his own medicine. Real Madrid took the game home, let the minutes pass and Courtois saved the goal with his usual saving save, in a shot by Fernandinho alone at the second post, which would have caused the penalties. Four years later he meets Liverpool again in the Champions League of impossible comebacks.

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