Real Madrid have been able to reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League after beating Atletico Madrid 1-0 with the late goal coming from Chicharito!
The starting lineup was changed quite a bit as Carlo Ancelotti had to deal with three injuries (Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, and Luka Modric) and a suspension to Marcelo. He still made a very surprising move as Sergio Ramos was placed in midfield for the match. The starting lineup consisted of:
Iker Casillas [C], Daniel Carvajal, Pepe, Raphael Varane, Fabio Coentrao, Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos, Isco, James Rodriguez, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Chicharito
Real Madrid –
Atletico Madrid –
7-Game Curse Ends:
Ever since Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid in the Final of the UEFA Champions League last season, they have played again seven times in the competitions this season and Real Madrid were simply not able to come out with a win! Now, when it mattered most, Los Merengues were able to show up and show that they are capable of beating their city rivals on the big stage. Even with all their noticeable injuries, it didn’t slow them down and they came out with a very well-deserved win!
Since Carlo Ancelotti became in charge of Real Madrid, this is the second time that he has decided to play Sergio Ramos in defensive midfield. The first time, it was against Barcelona and his tactics backfired miserably but, against Atletico Madrid this time, it was the correct decision! Ancelotti could have easily put Asier Illarramendi, Lucas Silva, or Sami Khedira in that position but decided to use Ramos and it was the right choice. The Spaniard played with heart and pure determination to show that he is capable of playing wherever the manager needs him to be!
Fabio Coentrao got a rare start against Atletico Madrid due to Marcelo being suspended and he did his job quite well! The Portuguese left-back was given a job and executed it well overall. He may not have been the best player on the pitch during the game but he was always available whenever it was needed. He covered his space brilliantly and went forward to help out whenever it was needed. It should be considered a good night for Coentrao.
Chicharito was given the chance to shine with the absence of Karim Benzema and he did brilliantly well! The Mexican was clearly up for the game from the opening minute until the end and was always doing everything in his power to get the ball into the back of the net. Javier Hernandez (Chicharito) was the man of the match by far and his resilience and determination is one of the key factors behind Real Madrid being able to come out with the win at the end. A perfect ending to that chapter with his goal in the 88th minute.
Cristiano Ronaldo got the assist for Chicharito’s goal but his game overall could have been a lot better. The Portuguese wasn’t really himself fully and didn’t fight for the ball as much as we usually would see from him. Ronaldo was extremely helpful in the build-up plays and was able to cause chaos for the Atletico Madrid defenders at some times but we all know that he is certainly capable of a lot more. It wasn’t his worst game in a Real Madrid shirt but, at the same time, it wasn’t his best.
The Semi-Final Awaits:
After Real Madrid’s win against Atletico Madrid, they are now in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League! On the 24th of April, it will be know who their opponent will be out of the following other three teams that have been able to make it into this round:
- Bayern Munich (Beat Porto 7-4 on aggregate)
- Barcelona (Beat PSG 5-1 on aggregate)
- Juventus (Beat Monaco 1-0 on aggregate)
My Personal Player Ratings:
Iker Casillas – 8/10
Daniel Carvajal – 7.5/10
Pepe – 8/10
Raphael Varane – 8.5/10
Fabio Coentrao – 7.5/10
Toni Kroos – 8/10
Sergio Ramos – 9/10
Isco – 7/10
James Rodriguez – 7.5/10
Cristiano Ronaldo – 7.5/10
Chicharito – 9.5/10