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Immediate reaction: Real Madrid vs PSG, 2022 Champions League

The beautiful, crazy game we all love.

FBL-EUR-C1-REAL MADRID-PSG Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid. Kings of Europe. It’s just impossible to explain how Real Madrid survived this tie and went through. Just one of those magic nights we will never forget.

  1. Real started well but it took PSG 15 minutes to control the game and dominate. Real Madrid played well and with a lot of intensity from the first whistle. However, PSG survived that initial charge and ended up dominating the tempo of the match fairly quickly. The intensity was there, the fans were engaged, but ultimately the best team stepped up and controlled the game.
  2. Real Madrid had no answers for PSG’s left wing. Some might pull the trigger and blame Carvajal, but not even the best version of historic right-backs like Dani Alves or Cafu could’ve survived in that context. Asensio’s positioning when pressing was completely wrong and Valverde’s was too —effort was not an issue—. In the end, Carvajal was somehow expected to succeed against Mendes and Mbappe attacking him time and time again 2v1. He didn’t.
  3. The Champions League magic kicks in. Somehow, Madrid found themselves scoring the opening goal thanks to a colossal mistake by Gianluigi Donnarumma. From there, it was just chaos. Karim Benzema wrote his name —one more time— in the history of Real Madrid CF and Los Blancos earned the lead on aggregate in a span of just 5 minutes.
  4. Credit where credit is due. Ancelotti’s substitutions changed the game. Vazquez, Camavinga, Rodrygo, all three of them changed the game. Their intensity, their aggression, their fire gave Madrid a chance. That’s all this club needed.