Four things we learnt as Manchester City cruise to the Champions League final after Real Madrid demolition
Manchester City booked their place in the UEFA Champions League final with their 4-0 dismantling of current holders Real Madrid. Two goals from Bernardo Silva, a header from Manuel Akanji and a last minute goal from Julian Alvarez sealed the win for Pep Guardiola’s side in front of the home fans.
The Manchester side will face Simone Inzaghi’s Inter Milan in the final, as they hope to bring the Champions League trophy to the blue side of Manchester for the first time in their history. Inter Milan will be looking to win the trophy for the first time since 2010, where they did the treble under Jose Mourinho.
Manchester City dominance
Man City are proving time and time again that they are the most dominant team in world football, as they completely disassembled Real Madrid at the Etihad. Their relentless pressing and possession-based style of football was incredibly effective at nullifying the visitors’ threats, and the scoreline certainly did not flatter them in this sense.
The real battle came in the midfield, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri dictating play with great effect. Their seamless coordination and understanding of each other’s strengths and roles were evident throughout the match. Together, they formed a cohesive unit that controlled possession, pressed aggressively, and disrupted Real Madrid’s attempts to establish a rhythm.
With the treble now officially on the cards for Man City, they are sure to be doing everything in their power to replicate what their rivals did so many years ago. Under the guidance of Guardiola, alongside their evident hunger for success, they have put themselves in pole position to emulate the historical achievement that Sir Alex Ferguson achieved with their rivals in the famous 1998/99 season.
Pep Guardiola is a footballing genius
Guardiola is a footballing genius and we have seen this time and time again. The Spaniard has guided his team into their second ever Champions League final, with his eyes glued to the prize after their defeat to fellow English side, Chelsea, the first time around.
Guardiola instructed his players to press relentlessly against Real Madrid‘s midfield and force errors in the final third, whilst limiting their time on the ball in the process. The pressure that Man City built in the early stages of the game set the pace for the rest of the tie, and ultimately, led to their win.
Tactically, Guardiola’s meticulous planning was evident throughout the match. City’s high press disrupted Real Madrid’s build-up play, forcing them into making mistakes and giving away possession. Guardiola’s emphasis on pressing and maintaining possession allowed City to dictate the rhythm of the game and stifle Real Madrid’s attempts to regain control.
Although a stunning performance from Guardiola’s Man City, the game showed that Real Madrid were not prepared for the way the home side would play. This lack of preparation from the visitor’s contributed heavily to their defeat as they only began to find the pace of the game in the latter stages of the second half.
Another glaring issue for Real Madrid was their midfield, which failed to impose control and dictate the pace of the game. City’s energetic midfielders outplayed their counterparts, constantly pressing and winning the ball back quickly. Under the guidance of manager Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid‘s midfield lacked cohesion and struggled to establish a foothold in the match, allowing City to dominate possession and launch wave after wave of attacks.
Following a relatively underwhelming season for Real Madrid, after losing the La Liga title to FC Barcelona and now the Champions League title to either Man City and Inter Milan, it is increasingly likely that Ancelotti will leave Real Madrid.
Following reports that the Italian has been offered a role in the international scene, as Brazil manager, it is seemingly more-than-likely that Ancelotti will be departing as Real Madrid manager.