Real Madrid has faced obstacle after obstacle in the Champions League knockout stage. And so far, Los Blancos have overcome everything that has been thrown at them. The disadvantages, the excruciating pressure, and the insurmountable odds have taken a major toll on the team. Regardless, so far, Real Madrid always finds a way out. Real Madrid’s determination to win the Champions League for the 14th time is a major factor in the team’s resiliency
Manchester City took a 4-3 win in the first leg. Real Madrid has been in this predicament previously in the knockout stage. In addition, they’ve been in a deeper hole. Therefore, being down on aggregate isn’t new to Los Blancos. In the Round of 16 against Paris Saint-Germain, Los Blancos found themselves in a 2-0 aggregate deficit. That deficit would be erased in less than twenty minutes. Seems like aggregate deficits motivate Real Madrid. And in Real Madrid’s case, motivation is key.
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Continued Resiliency of Los Blancos
It’s embarrassing enough that Kevin De Bruyne gave Manchester City the lead in just 93 seconds. After eleven minutes, The Citizens doubled their lead, courtesy of Gabriel Jesus. Manchester City wasted no time inflicting pressure on Real Madrid and it was working well to their advantage. Honestly, it looked as if it would be a long 90 minutes for Los Blancos.
In the 33rd minute, Karim Benzema cut the lead in half, giving his team a sigh of relief. However, in the 53rd minute, Phil Foden managed to make it 3-1, only for Vinicius Júnior to make the score 3-2 just two minutes later. With about 15 minutes left to play, The Citizens once again doubled their lead only to cough up a penalty due to a handball foul, which Benzema converted. Real Madrid overcame three two-goal deficits. A few missed scoring opportunities did hurt Los Blancos, but despite the loss, Real Madrid isn’t in a bad predicament.
Manchester City’s Missed Opportunities
The Citizens did win this match, but it was not in a convincing fashion. Squandering more than six scoring chances and blowing a two-goal lead three times isn’t something Manchester City should be proud of. Honestly, The Citizens shouldn’t be up by just one goal on aggregate. Had they converted at least three of those missed scoring chances, they’d be in a comfortable position. A position that would be too much for Real Madrid. As a result of Manchester City’s failure to capitalize, Real Madrid is still alive.
Real Madrid can finish things
With the second leg taking place in Madrid, Los Blancos have the opportunity to seal the deal at home. Real Madrid has come through strongly at home so far in the knockout stage. However, now that they’re facing a team that is stronger than PSG and Chelsea, the excruciating and overwhelming pressure only intensifies.
Real Madrid knows that they can’t make the same mistake Manchester City made; They can’t waste scoring opportunities. Manchester City will not let up, so Real Madrid needs to score as fast as possible and continue to score while preventing Manchester City from doing so. Los Blancos needs to stay at least two steps ahead of The Citizens. In Real Madrid’s case, one very important thing to remember is to avoid blowing two-goal leads at all costs. In other words, do not afford Manchester City any chances or any favors.
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