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Four takeaways from Real Madrid's 2-1 defeat against Juventus

Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

  1. It could have been much worse. The atmosphere at the Juventus stadium was extraordinary and, roared by their supporters, the bianconeri entered the field with the energy and intensity that a Champions League semifinal demands, unlike Los Blancos. Juventus controlled the first twenty minutes of the game and could have even achieved a greater advantage that might have been decisive. In the end, a 2-1 loss is not that bad for a Real Madrid side that should be able to compensate in the Santiago Bernabéu.

  2. But it could have also been much better. As soon as Juventus players pulled off a little and Los Blancos increased their intensity, it was clear that Real Madrid is the superior side. Every time our players were able to connect five consecutive passes, the space between Juventus midfielders appeared and a chance to shoot was created. Had James' header gone an inch lower, Real Madrid would have probably been able to get a victory.

  3. Ancelotti's substitutions did not make any sense. One can understand that after how good Chicharito's recent performances have been, our coach wanted to give him some game time against Juventus, but a Champions League semifinal is not the right place to deliver prizes. As I see it, Isco had been the catalyst of Real Madrid's reaction in the first half, and sending him out in the sixtieth minute, while Juventus were getting ready to switch to a 5-3-2 and abandon the midfield, was a blunder. If Bale was tired, as Ancelotti claimed in the press conference when he was asked about the reason that moved him to send him out for Jesé, he should have been the chosen one to let Hernández in.

  4. The Varane-Pepe couple could not deal with Morata and Tévez. And this will probably make Sergio Ramos go back to the centerback spot next week in the Santiago Bernabéu. Our vicecaptain has learned how to imitate Modric (from a tactical standpoint, his match was perfect yesterday), but his technique is obviously quite far from that of Luka's, which explains his numerous mistakes last night. The unpredictability of Juventus' forwards was never matched by Rafa and Pepe, but Sergio's wisdom should help Real Madrid to nullify them in the Bernabéu next week.

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