According to Jose Luis Sanchez on El Chiringuito TV, the UEFA Champions League draw that pits Liverpool against Real Madrid in the Round of 16 has gone down well within the Merengues’ dressing room.
Having finished on top of Group F in the first round of the competition, the current holders of the Champions League title could have faced some tough ties against the likes of PSG, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Eintracht Frankfurt.
But what the draw threw was a rematch of the last season’s Champions League final as Real Madrid will again lock horns with Liverpool, after having beaten them in that main event.
Prior to that, Los Blancos had gotten the better of Jurgen Klopp’s side in the 2020/21 Champions League quarter-finals as well and in the finals of the 2017/18 finals.
Despite having come out on top in recent meetings, Real Madrid will be in for a stern challenge against Liverpool. But the report states that the dressing room has not gone down too badly in the dressing room.
It is claimed that the Real Madrid players see the tie as fair and are content with it.
The two teams will lock horns in late February in the first leg, which will take place at Anfield. The second leg of the Round of 16 contest will be played at the Santiago Bernabeu in early March.
Liverpool have not made the most ideal of starts to the ongoing campaign. But with the UCL tie still months away, they have plenty of time to turn things around.
Real Madrid rising star suffered against Atletico due to veteran forward’s absence, says Simeone
Real Madrid’s 3-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid was not the first time were in trouble this season. In fact, the Merengues have gone behind early in almost every league game so far.
However, the difference on Sunday night was that they never really mounted a comeback. More importantly, Jude Bellingham did not come good, for the first time.
Simeone unravels the mystery
A jubilant Diego Simeone spoke to the media after his side downed Real Madrid by three goals to one and spoke about a plethora of topics.
Interestingly, he commented specifically on why Bellingham did not have an impact at Civitas Metropolitano, citing the absence of Joselu as a key factor.
“No, the spaces were reduced and I think that Joselu’s lack of presence left him with fewer chances to get there, when he takes advantage of Joselu’s aerial play. We controlled him better, he’s extraordinary,” he said, as quoted by AS.
He even called out the refereeing on the night and insisted that the Real Madrid star-boy should have seen red for his late tackle on Angel Correa, saying:
“It looked like a sending-off to me live, it was a hard leg up, with Angelito hitting the ball.”
Ironically, he defended his defender Jose Maria Gimenez for an equally threatening tackle on the night.
“A bad foul, it’s a yellow card because it goes sideways. Bellingham goes from the front and I think it’s a bit more,” he stated paradoxically.
No time to lament
The game at Civitas Metropolitano may not have gone Real Madrid’s way. Yet, it is good for the Merengues to taste defeat early and see the gaping holes in their dynamic.
Carlo Ancelotti admitted in his press conference that he bore the lion’s share of the fault for Sunday’s loss and that he would have done things differently if given the chance.
“Maybe I could have done it better. It’s pretty clear. When the team doesn’t do what it has to do, it’s my responsibility,” he stated.
Nevertheless, Los Blancos have a hectic schedule ahead with two games in the next five days and a UCL fixture against Napoli next week. With Vinicius Jr back, one hopes they find their mojo once again.