Champions League: Real back against the wall

Champions League

David Alaba and Real Madrid have a clear goal on Wednesday (9:00 pm) in the second leg of the round of 16, beating Paris Saint-Germain: at the all-sold Santiago Bernabeu, he trailed 0-1 from the first. The leg should be offset and promotion is still possible. However, the French superstar’s squad set the tone for the first leg – and with the final moved to the gates of Paris in May due to the Russian invasion of St. Petersburg, they now have additional motivation.

The final in which France participates in the form of Paris Saint-Germain is not an unrealistic scenario after the first leg. Because Kylian Mbappe & Co. not only dominated the match against the Champions League record winner with 58:42 percent of ball possession, but also fired eight shots on goal – the Alaba and Madrilenians, on the other hand, didn’t score. Shot on goal. However, only Mbappe’s attempt fell into the Real Madrid’s goal in the third minute of extra time, but it greatly improved the starting position in favor of the Parisians.

Whether Mbappe, according to Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, “the best player in Europe” and “unstoppable”, will be on the field from the start in the second leg, remains to be seen. Because the 23-year-old is said to have sustained an injury while training. Mbappe, who has been linked with a move to Madrid for months, made the trip to Madrid anyway. In addition to superstars Lionel Messi and Neymar, Sergio Ramos was also on board the Paris Saint-Germain plane. Real Madrid’s longtime leading player will only be a great guest at his old workplace.

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Reuters/Sarah Messonnier

In the first leg, Mbappe (in blue) scored the late goal but deserved to win for PSG

The advantage of the home as a lifeline

At Real Madrid, the main focus is on the ground advantage at the Bernabeu. Ancelotti has reiterated his belief in the home previously. “I know the Bernabeu well and he will motivate us even more. We know that we will not play this match alone because Madridismo are behind us. This makes us stronger.” His team “came out stronger” from the 4-1 win over Real Sociedad. Barring an embarrassing 2-1 draw against Sherif Tiraspol in their first home game of the group stage, Real Madrid have not lost at home this year.

It’s been so long since Real Madrid’s return in the European Cup, or “remontada”, that correcting the result of the first leg is called in the language of the Madrelinha fans. In the quarter-finals of the 2015/2016 season, Real suddenly lost 2-0 to Wolfsburg. At the time, Cristiano Ronaldo announced three goals in the second leg – and in fact Madrid led 3-0 and Ronaldo hat-trick. This was followed by three consecutive Champions League titles.

Employee Concerns in Real

However, the land advantage alone would not be enough against the strong star group of Paris Saint-Germain around Lionel Messi and Neymar. The Spanish newspapers are eagerly baffled about the tricks Real coach Ancelotti wants to use to trip up the opponent, who was well balanced in the first leg. Especially since the Italian also has his own building sites to fix in his lineup. In addition to German Toni Kroos in midfield, Ferland Mendy is missing in defense as a left back. Specialized Spanish media reported that Alaba was not expected to replace Ancelotti in either position. Guarantee: ÖFB’s star is highly valued in central defense.

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