Real Madrid News
Guardiola blames Real Madrid for Manchester City’s failure to win the Champions League
Reigning supreme over European football for the 14th time in May this year, there is simply not a bigger powerhouse than Real Madrid in the competition.
Just last season, Carlo Ancelotti’s side were billed as the underdogs in the build-up to every knockout game.
Despite suffering defeat in at least one leg of the knockout ties against Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City, Los Blancos did the impossible by pulling off a comeback for the ages in every contest.
In the final as well, the La Liga champions fended off Liverpool, courtesy of a Thibaut Courtois masterclass to become European champions.
Speaking after their goalless draw against FC Copenhagen last night, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was quizzed about why it is so difficult for his team to win the Champions League.
And he instantly pointed to the sense of inevitability about Los Merengues in the competition. “Because Real Madrid is always there,” he told Viaplay (h/t Mirror).
Since 2014, Real Madrid have won as many as five Champions League titles, including a hat-trick of triumphs under former manager Zinedine Zidane.
It was only last term when the Spanish tactician’s City side seemed destined for a place in successive Champions League finals after Riyad Mahrez’s 73rd-minute strike put them in a 5-3 lead on aggregate against Real Madrid.
However, Rodrygo came up clutch off the bench, scoring a miraculous brace in the 90th and 91st minute to take the game to extra time, where Karim Benzema scored the match-winner from the spot to take Los Blancos to the finals.
While many were sceptical about Real Madrid’s chances of winning the competition, their unrivalled pedigree in Europe coupled with the whole host of seasoned winners in their ranks made them a cut above the rest.
Ultimately, there will be those that question the club’s chances of repeating their triumph this season. However, it would be advisable to be wary of Real Madrid, as Pep Guardiola is, as they remain the only team in Champions League history to complete an incredible three-peat.
Real Madrid News
Barcelona key duo expected to miss Copa del Rey second leg vs Real Madrid
It hasn’t been a good week for Real Madrid, who look all set to relinquish their Spanish league title to arch-rivals Barcelona come the end of the season, following a narrow defeat to the Blaugrana at the weekend.
However, as Real Madrid enter the international break, there is some positive news for Carlo Ancelotti and his men.
As reported by Toni Juanmarti, Barcelona look set to miss out on their two star players in Ousmane Dembele and Pedri due to injury, ahead of the upcoming second-leg semifinal tie against Real Madrid, in Copa Del Rey.
Real Madrid are heading into this game with a 1-0 defeat in the first-leg, meaning they must beat Barça with a two-goal margin in order to book a place in the final. The absence of both Pedri and Dembele, to that end, could be a major boost for Ancelotti.
Pedri, who was expected to return to full fitness for the second leg, has suffered a relapse. It has set his return back to three or four weeks late, meaning the youngster will not return until the April 23 tie against Atletico Madrid.
The situation is not much different for Ousmane Dembele. The explosive attacker is recovering slower than expected and though he was tipped to return in the league game against Real Madrid this month, he remains a major doubt for this Copa Del Rey tie.
However, Barcelona did register a narrow victory over Los Blancos even without these two individuals, so the task is definitely cut out for Ancelotti and his men as they look to exact revenge against the Catalans in Copa Del Rey next month.