The hype, the anticipation, and the hope surrounding the big second leg vs. Manchester City looked deflated from Real Madrid’s perspective by the end of the first half. Real Madrid have not been dominated this badly by any opponent in recent history. The scoreline read 2-0 when the referee blew the half-time whistle, but the game Real Madrid played was much more humiliating than that.
By the 15th minute of the game, Real Madrid had completed 13 passes compared to Manchester City’s 124. This statistic alone was sufficient to depict Madrid’s suffering. Yes, as Ancelotti had warned, suffering was inevitable in a game like this, but the degree of it seemed unimaginable at halftime in Manchester.
The scoreline could have been 4-0 easily, and Erling Haaland could have had a brace like Bernardo Silva did in the first half had it not been for two brilliant saves from Courtois. However, his weakness on the near-post was exploited by Silva for his first goal, and the Belgian had no chance in the second goal as all Silva had to do was poke a simple header back into Madrid’s empty net. David Alaba was in the vicinity but not agile enough to make a difference. Real Madrid’s only chance came from a long-distance effort from Toni Kroos, which was denied by the post.
A grim-looking Real Madrid side headed into the tunnel with their heads remaining low as they had been throughout the half.
Real Madrid’s fate did not alter in the second half but the scoreline did. Manchester City added a couple of more goals, making it a 4-0 humiliation. An own goal from Eder Militao and the final dagger from Julian Alvarez in stoppage time sent Real Madrid back home.
The second half was slightly better, to begin with, but that was mostly due to City dropping their gears and inviting Madrid into their half. This allowed the home team to transition into the offense more seamlessly. Ancelotti first made two changes: Rudiger for Modric which moved Camavinga to the midfield, and Asensio for Kroos. After the third goal, Ceballos, Lucas Vazquez, and Tchouameni entered the pitch. It was a little too late for them to have any impact on the proceedings of the evening.
This was a disappointing night, and Real Madrid have some serious thinking to do about their imminent and distant future. This kind of a performance should be unacceptable at this level. This Real Madrid roster is not as bad as it appeared to be. This team needs certain reinforcements, but not showing up in the biggest game of the season points to some other grave concerns. Starting the next season without addressing them would be an even bigger mistake.