The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail or Oscnar.
A deserved win and first in the group!
Los Blancos put a great performance yesterday, achieving a deserved victory against Borussia Monchengladbach, who also managed to qualify for the knockout phase of the competition, courtesy of a goalless draw between Inter and Shakhtar. This is the first time the German club is qualifying since 1977. Real Madrid ended the group stage at the top. With this result, Zidane is now the second manager in Real Madrid’s history to achieve 150 official victories.
Zidane spoke to the press after the game stating: “We can perform under or without pressure. Well, there’s no pressure-free play here. We can’t always play well. There’s the problem, in this club they always want us to play well. We want to try, but you can’t. Sometimes you have to put up, there are ups and downs.” He also went on to say that he will never be the Alex Ferguson of Real Madrid as covered in the article by Euan Mctear.
Yesterday’s game was covered in detail in the following articles: Immediate reaction, Player ratings, 3 questions and 3 answers and the Managing Madrid Podcast.
It’s time to celebrate but not for long, because Saturday the team have another important match. The Madrid Derby.
So who can Real Madrid draw?
We now know that it will be either Porto, RB Leipzig, Lazio or Atalanta. According to stats man Mister Chip, RB Leipzig is the most likely with a 30.923% possibility, followed by Lazio (25.688%), Atalanta (23.419%) and Porto (19.970%). The draw for R16 of Champions League will be held on Monday at UEFA HQ in Nyon, Switzerland and is due to start at 11 a.m. GMT/6 a.m.
All 4 Spanish and German teams have qualified.
Atletico Madrid also booked their place in the knockout round beating Salzburg 2-0 and joining Real, Barca and Sevilla. Real Madrid however is the only Spanish team to top their group. Apart from Monchengladbach, the German teams include Leipzig, Bayern and Dortmund. Additionally there are 3 English Teams; Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, 3 Italian ones, Juventus, Atalanta, who knocked out Ajax and Lazio and one French team in PSG and one Portuguese team in Porto.
ICYMI: Diego Maradona and Real Madrid: A rivalry full of admiration.
Mehedi Hassan Pranggon relives the games the legend played against Los Blancos and the mutual admiration and respect that was present when the two met.