Champions League 2nd Semis: Why Do The “Real” Have A Real Advantage Over The City? 

Defeats do not always mean the end of the story as the manner of inflicting these plays a significant part in determining the climax. On this count, Real Madrid did exceedingly well against Manchester City as they narrowed down the goal difference considerably even in the Champions League First Leg Semi loss (4-3). Had it been a crushing failure or fiasco, the Real would have found themselves on a slippery slope in the clash against City yet again in the Second Leg Semis. So, now they can head into the crucial encounter with a clear advantage. Therefore, the occasion warrants us to explain why the Real have their tails up in the encounter. 

Home Sweet Home 

This might sound cliché but cannot be overlooked as well. There is something between the iconic Santiago Bernabeu stadium and the Real Madrid team that mostly gets the best out of the latter. Attribute it to the electrifying atmosphere or feeling of familiarity, Carlo Ancelotti’s devils have invariably dazzled in home conditions. The recent drubbing of Espanyol (4-0) to claim 35th La Liga testifies to Real’s dominance at Bernabeu. This apart, their victories recently against PSG and Chelsea prove that the stadium has proved lucky for them, more often than not. So, their favourite destination makes them firm favourites for this game. 

The Champions League Pumps Up The Real Madrid 

The Real have proved to be a tough nail to crack in European competitions for a decade or so. They have always put their best feet forward in the UEFA Champions League competitions, the recent games involving Chelsea, PSG etc would vouch for the same. The occasion itself makes them play out of their skins. Recently in the first leg Semi, when Ancelotti’s side was trailing by two goals on two occasions the Reals clawed their way back into the game to eventually salvage some pride even in a losing cause. The Real have always surprised everyone with their fightbacks in various league seasons, including the current one, when the situations were totally against them. Hence, the resilience shown by the Real in the Champions League has enough heft to weigh down the City prior to the encounter. 

The Pressure Will Be Immense On The City 

The comeback trail of the Real in the recent past is another aspect that would haunt the City as they brace to lock horns with the former for the second time in one week. Even if they eliminate what happened last week from their memories, the 4-3 win over Chelsea and 3-2 win over PSG recently would be tough to erase from their minds. Quite eerily, Real won the game against the Blues and PSG by scoring at the closing stages of games and that too more than once. This aspect of regularly pulling off coups will give splitting headaches to the City before the second Semis even if the last match involving the two went in their favour. 

The Benzema Factor 

The presence of Karim Benzema is reason enough to scare the daylights out of any side. The Real striker has been in perilous form this season as he has already scored two hat tricks against PSG and Chelsea in the round of 16 and first leg Quarters respectively. Even in the first Semis against City, Benzema scored twice in crucial moments to bridge the goal deficit. This season, the Frenchman has scored 42 goals and provided 13 assists from 42 outings for Real so far. Clearly, the signs are ominous for the City with Benzema in full flow. Hence, the Benzema factor offers Madrid a distinct advantage over the Man City, and Guardiola needs to employ some pathbreaking strategies to contain the “rampaging lion” of the Real. 

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