Spanish Football Club Real Madrid are through to the semi final phase of the UEFA Champions League. However, their exhibition & performance in last nights 2º leg away Q/Final game against Borussia Dortmund leads most to think that the Spanish team has little options of going further in the competition.

The 2 - 0 loss is one thing, but the way Real Madrid lost is another. Luck played its part last night as well with Iker Casillas saving his team along with a post. Borussia Dortmund overran a Spanish side that was ineffective, lacking intensity & full of errors. The post-match Real Madrid player comments were unanimous we need to reflect, need to improve & need to learn from our mistakes, something Luca Modric added "we never learn". Not very comforting words.

The Spanish performance has generated criticism locally & Internationally, French paper "L´Equipe" writing that without Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid will not go far. Locally Coach Carlo Ancelotti gets some slack as again the Italian illustrated some tactical issues that in the very least are debatable. 


That Real Madrid are not as strong without Cristiano Ronaldo has no arguments. But his substitutes last night were terrible, a team of this calibre & dimension must have players capable of responding to the circumstances. The apparent "natural" replacement Gareth Bale was absent & very disappointing. The Welshman will need to lift if Real Madrid think they can dent the aspirations of the remaining rivals in the competition. Karim Benzema has been criticised for lethargic, that is, he did not run to pressure the defenders & thus cause errors from them (perhaps harsh). Two pin-pointed examples that needs to be looked at globally along with the terrible errors from Pepe & Illaramendi that lead directly to both German goals. Lastly, the missed penalty by Di Maria, raised the question: "Why did not Xabi Alonso take it?".

The above has a lot to to with a team that that though it was a picnic, which saw the victory before playing & that the match was a mere formality. A huge error that has Coach Ancelotti & his staff under observation with criticism. The penalty situation showed that there was no clear instructions of hierarchy in taking penalties, a strange situation that lifts eye-brows. 

But Carlo Ancelotti has more to answer. Why go into the match with a defensive posture when leading on aggregate 3 - 0? Putting from the start Illaramendi over Isco sends a message that Real Madrid was basically giving the initiative over to Borussia. Then again, with all my respects to Illaramendi, the youngster lacks Champions League experience, Isco went to the Q/Finals with Malaga FC last season nearly knocking out Dortmund. The proof is that when Isco came on for Illaramendi the team at least had more the ball & created more opportunities.

Another curious observation from Carlo Ancelotti was the substitution of Karim Benzema for defender Varane with 5 minutes left in the game. Risky, very risky, because if Borussia had scored a third goal, Real Madrid would have gone into extra-time without a forward. Is this logical? After the event & winning the tie, the move can be seen as viable to secure the result, but what if the Germans had scored? They nearly did.

The big & transcendent matches this season has illustrated some serious deficits from the Real Madrid Coach. The FC Barcelona & Atletico de Madrid clashes has seen big tactical errors. The truth is Carlo Ancelotti has not won any BIG match this season, against FC Barcelona being one of those occasions. The "tactical" deficiencies have even been commented by Real Madrid player Xabi Alonso to his most intimate "inner circle". According to "insiders" Alonso believes that ex-Coach José Mourinho was far more superior to his current Coach in tactical matters. A story that caused some controversy within the Club as Xabi Alonso had to "side-step" the issue when asked by journalists. 

In a nut shell, if you have to make a bet on Real Madrid getting further in Champions League, I would advice you keep your money in your pocket, if yesterdays exhibition was anything to go by. I cannot see at this point Real Madrid knocking out Bayern Munich, & if matched with Chelsea FC they will be a very hard nut to crack due to the past link with Mourinho & the psychological war that will be unleashed. The other possible candidates FC Barcelona/At Madrid ( play tonight ) have both won Real Madrid locally. 

Real Madrid has this weekend against Almeria in Liga to put back the pieces, & again next Wednesday against FC Barcelona in the Final of the Spanish Cup to make me ( & others ) eat our words. Coach Ancelotti has his moment to prove to himself & everyone that he can win a BIG MATCH, & perhaps rise hopes that Real Madrid maybe able to do something positive in Champions League & help blur the terrible exhibition last night. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...