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Write off Real Madrid at your peril as Los Blancos once again show why they are built for Champions League glory



Write off Real Madrid at your peril as Los Blancos once again show why they are built for Champions League glory
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The UEFA Champions League semi-final with Bayern Munich is going more or less according to a familiar script so far, with the Spanish giants in the driver’s seat after a 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday, making next week’s second leg perfect was for Los Blancos. Carlo Ancelotti’s side still have work to do to beat Thomas Tuchel’s Germans in this battle between two European giants, but the Italian tactician’s job has been made easier with the aggregate score at level 2-1 behind after he led 1-0 for most of the match. second half. Vinicius Junior scored once in each half in Bavaria either side of a brilliant Leroy Sane strike and a confident Harry Kane penalty to ensure Real are still level despite not always being at their best this week .

Granted, one of Bayern’s goals came from the spot, but so did one of the La Liga leaders’ goals. The home side also had other chances to score as Tuchel threatened with another of his famous continental masterclasses. It wasn’t to be and Real held on for a draw which Bayern won’t be too disappointed with, but it also makes the task that much harder for the deposed Bundesliga dominants who now have to face the European masters on their home soil in Santiago Bernabeu. Not only that, but Los Merengues supporters are all too familiar with this scenario, which usually ends with Ancelotti’s men advancing to the next round, which in this case will be the final.

We look at why you write off Real at your own peril in these situations where no one does it better than the Spaniards:

Mentality monsters

First and foremost, Real have a collective mentality that few clubs – if any – can even come close to. It is true that Bayern would normally be considered among those worthy of being in the same select band given their status as one of Europe’s elite, but there are levels to that and the playbook was written and bound in Madrid before Ancelotti’s time in the Spanish capital. This Real side is the product of years of success, creating an almost divine right to Champions League success that is reflected in every single player. Hostile atmosphere in Bayern’s favor? No problem, Vini Jr. silenced the home fans. Unexpected turnaround at Bayern early in the second half? No problems either because the visitors are able to switch things up in no time and improve the result by winning a penalty through sheer courage and determination.

Duckweed control

Another key factor in much of Real’s success against Bayern on Tuesday came from their German international maestro Toni Kroos, who was sensational in midfield and produced an excellent pass for Vini Jr. to score in the first half and distribute the Bavarian defense at will across the course. of 90 minutes in Munich. If the 34-year-old is in similarly scintillating form just months out from UEFA Euro 2024 on home soil, Real will have a great chance of getting past Bayern given the greater control over proceedings that Ancelotti’s men will have in Madrid enjoy compared to their Allianz. Arena outing. If Kroos is allowed to get on the ball as often as he did here, his influence could directly determine the outcome of the next match.

Ancelotti’s know-how

Taking the lead against Real in any Champions League match is rarely advisable, but certainly not in a knockout round given their ability to turn games on their head in a matter of minutes. This was a perfect example of Bayern taking control before the hour mark through Sane and Kane, only for the away side to respond strongly. Ancelotti’s vast tactical knowledge helps with this and is combined brilliantly with the mega mentality that all Real players seem to possess. Once that switch is flipped and the La Liga giants enter the fray, there is rarely another winner for Bayern to now try to refute, despite an abundance of history against their chances in Madrid.