The figures to blame for Madrid's debacle against Man City

The figures to blame for Madrid's debacle against Man City

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Los Blancos were hammered by Pep Guardiola's side

Real Madrid said goodbye to the Champions League with a resounding defeat (4-0, 5-1 on aggregate) against Pep Guardiola's Manchester City. A defeat that points to the end of the cycle of a team that has won everything, but which at the Etihad certified a decline that Barça had already pointed to with the 14 point lead they have taken in La Liga.

The team coached by Carlo Ancelotti showed in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals all the shortcomings that their improbable and unlikely comebacks hid last season.

The debacle against Manchester City left a number of people to point the finger at. Starting with the approach of the coach, Carlo Ancelotti, and ending with the disappearance of Karim Benzema. These are the culprits of the shake-down they suffered on English soil:

Ancelotti: a timid approach

Pep Guardiola's courageous approach was a bitter pill to swallow. As always, Carlo Ancelotti relied on the saves of Courtois and the ability of his players to capitalise on any mistakes by their opponents. Courtois kept him afloat for 20 minutes with incredible hands, but City's mistake never came. The English overwhelmed Real Madrid with a suffocating pressure that they were unable to shake off. Proof of this is that Ederson did not touch a single ball in the first half. Nor did the Italian have the ability to change the game as on other occasions. The bloom was off the rose at the Etihad.

Militao: A sieve

It was a surprise that Ancelotti left Antonio Rüdiger on the bench in favour of Éder Militao, whose performance in recent weeks had left much to be desired. Even with the referee's permissiveness, the German had Erling Haaland under lock and key in the first leg. The Brazilian, for his part, was coming off the back of grotesque errors in Girona and Real Sociedad. And he repeated his disastrous performance. Haaland constantly took him out of position, unbalancing Real Madrid's defensive framework. And he culminated his performance by scoring the own goal for 3-0.

Camavinga: out of position

Much has been made of Camavinga's invention as a left-back, but when it came down to it, Real Madrid paid the price for not having a left-back good and proper. The Frenchman has made up for the repeated injury absences of Ferland Mendy. And his versatility has earned him a place in the starting eleven, but Guardiola knew that Real Madrid's weak point was in that position and that is where he sought to tickle Real Madrid's nerves. Camavinga was overwhelmed by Bernardo Silva who knew how to link up with Kevin De Bruyne to get him out of position and attack him again and again. The Frenchman was a wreck and did not contribute anything when Ancelotti brought him back into midfield.

Modric-Kroos: exhausted

Age is unforgiving and Luka Modric and Toni Kroos came up against the harsh reality at the Etihad, against an opponent who gave them no respite. The Croatian and the German are no longer there to chase shadows and nor did they have the ability to take possession of the ball to set the tempo of the game. At 37 and 33 years of age, the season has become too long for them. Real Madrid's midfield has grown old without finding adequate replacements. Neither Tchouaméni nor Ceballos are alternatives. And Fede Valverde only functions as a false winger, when the team plays with superiority in midfield.

Valverde: Blurred

Where is this powerful, hierarchical footballer, with a powerful finish and a devastating shot? He hasn't been there for a long time. The Uruguayan has problems when it is his turn to create and has been increasingly diluted throughout the season. At the Etihad he was not visible when Real Madrid had the ball. But what's more, he didn't provide any muscle in defence either. Gündogan, De Bruyne and Rodri ate him up.

Benzema: a ghostly leader

Real Madrid lived last season on the saves of Thibaut Courtois and the goals of Karim Benzema. But the Frenchman has not featured all season or has done so only sporadically and occasionally. In this tie he has not even been seen. In the moment of truth, Benzema is still expected to deliver. At the Etihad, he was a soul in pain who only shot once at goal and into the hands of Ederson. A far cry from the player who won him the Ballon d'Or last season. Like Modric and Kroos, his era is beginning to be more history than present.

And Vinicius and Rodrygo, where are they?

A lot of ink has been spilled praising the virtues of Vinicius and Rodrygo. Of the former, it has even been said that he is the best footballer in the world in this moment. Of the latter, it has been said that he has a special relationship with the Champions League. Really? Certainly nothing of the sort was on show at the Etihad. Vinicius lost all his duels with Walker to the point of moving away from that left flank to try and get into the game. Rodrygo didn't even do that. The only time he was seen is when he came off the pitch to be replaced by Dani Ceballos.

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