What a game we had last night, this game had it all, like everything you'd want to see in a match. It was definitely a game two high class teams who possed all the qualities to win the tie and one may even brag they had the most opportunities, but what good are opportunities you fail to seize, well one thing is for sure, you'll pay a costly price.
Right from the first leg this game was alive and open for anyone even though the scoreline and the xG were speaking in mancity favor. The final whistle proved that all those stats could be worthless and mean nothing if you don't get that goal.
Speaking of stats and performance, man city wete obviously the best team for the most part of the game. From the most part of the 180 minutes man city had the chance to bury this game.
So what was different in the two legs of play? Well there was just one clear difference to me.
**The obvious difference was the absence and presence of a standing four in the Madrid team.**
Just think of the first leg and you'll see all what madrid missed in tbe absence of a true holding midfielder. First off, what was Anceloti thinking in the first leg to play Kroos as the holding midfielder, he probably must have hoped that they would get the upper hand on transition with Kroos, Modric and Valverde coupled with the potent front three.
Nope, it didn't go according to plan. Man city are the type that loose the ball carelessly, Kroos was okay there but his lack of athleticism was too obvious and he was not the sharpest when it came to defensive duties. So man city ran riot through the middle in the fist leg. It only took some individual shows of brilliance from madridistas and a bit of luck to survive that onslaught in the first leg.
You can't talk of the second leg without talking about casemiro, he might have not been the hero but he was definitely in the game. His presence alone made man city think of other ways to attack Madrid so they inevitably went to the flanks. Casemiro was a block in that middle of the park. This freed the more attack minded Kroos and Modric to do more of their jobs.
Out went Casemiro and in came Camavinga. Another holding midfielder, on to disrupt the play of man city through the middle and he did that well and more too, with his driving runs. The young raw talent did his job well.
Anceloti was definitely bold to take out the Trio of Casemiro, Modric and Kroos in this crucial game but it paid off, man city couldn't cope with the energy in the middle of the park in the form of Camavinga and Valverde.
I'm glad this game went as it went, I was all smiles at the end of the game. It was definitely a good show om display by both teams. I hope the final comes better.