Vinicius Jr. and Karim Benzema win all the arguments for Madrid supporters

Real Madrid’s Brazilian striker Vinicius Junior controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg football match between Manchester City and Real Madrid, at the Etihad Stadium.

Real Madrid’s Brazilian striker Vinicius Junior controls the ball in the course of the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg soccer match between Manchester City and Real Madrid, on the Etihad Stadium.
Image: Getty Images

That isn’t to say that Madrid gained final night time, as a result of they most actually didn’t. 4-3 outcomes when you may have the three is a loss within the scorebook. And it’s that form of biting evaluation that retains you coming again. But Madrid “won” in {that a} one-goal deficit when the second leg is at dwelling, the place white-shirted gremlins have popped as much as chunk PSG and Chelsea, who each outplayed Madrid for many of their two-legged ties, is one thing they’ll really feel snug with. And they “won” as a result of they need to be down three or 4, or 12.

Do you may have that one good friend, irrespective of the subject you’re arguing over, who simply comes up with the simplest, most accessible, hardly well-thought out argument however it’s all the time the trump card? For occasion, in essentially the most annoying debate of our time, LeBron vs. MJ, irrespective of how properly you lay out LeBron’s case (as a result of he’s higher), that good friend would be the one who simply places six fingers up. It’s lazy, it’s uncreative, however it’s additionally mainly irrefutable. You can argue the semantics or nuance nonetheless properly you need, however they’re not going to listen to something previous “six rings.” You may as properly state your properly laid out case to an aardvark. Or take it again to at least one everyone knows. “Because I’m your mother.” Well, yeah, you’re, and also you very properly could also be improper, however what the fuck am I gonna say?

That’s Madrid. Because they obtained six sorts of shit kicked out of them by City yesterday within the first leg in Manchester. City had been up 1-0 inside 90 seconds and 2-0 after 10 minutes. Carlo Ancelotti’s answer to not having his midfield anchor Casemiro by means of harm was to not carry within the power (even when it a bit directionless) of Eduardo Camavinga on the base to throw up something resembling a roadblock. It was to put in Toni Kroos because the deepest midfielder. Even in his pomp, Kroos had the mobility of a shipwreck. So City’s midfield ran wild, over, round, and thru Madrid’s. They may have scored any quantity. One will get the sense that Ancelotti’s ways have by no means actually moved past, “Start sort of around there, and go play.” Meanwhile City appeared like Disco Demolition Night everywhere in the subject. Pep’s plan, and males, had been ruthless, unrelenting, and dynamic for the sport’s opening.

But Ancelotti, and Madrid, can virtually all the time get away with no matter plans they’ve or don’t have, no matter they’re making an attempt, as a result of they’ll say, “We have Vinicius Jr. and Karim Benzema.”

This isn’t an incredible likelihood, it actually isn’t produced out of affected person or intricate build-up, and it’s not exploiting a weak spot or executing a sustained plan. It’s an excellent likelihood that comes out of some harem-scarem motion in midfield with the ball pinging round, and it’s one cross. There’s nonetheless loads to do, and it’s on Benzema’s weaker aspect, and but none of it issues. If there’s a sliver of a gap, Madrid have this card to play.

They continued to get their skulls kicked round, and if somebody had handed Riyad Mahrez a map they’d have been down 3 or 4-1 at halftime. It didn’t take lengthy for City to seek out that third purpose within the second half, and once more it appeared nearly set for them to seek out the RPM that Madrid can’t and head off into the gap.

But Madrid have Vinicius Jr.

We ought to pause right here to additionally embody Guardiola’s response to not Vinicius’s purpose, however his dummy to begin his cost towards the City field, as a result of he clearly knew what was coming:

Ok, yeah, Fernandinho isn’t a proper again and is three days older than water. And yeah, Aymeric Laporte takes, shall we embrace, an summary route again to defend that by no means comes inside 5 yards of Vinicius. But all of that solely issues as a result of it’s Vinicius Jr., who will flip this type of alternative and house right into a purpose each time.

Again, City moved on Madrid like a lion to an antelope, ought to have scored extra, however as soon as once more took a two-goal lead by means of a Bernardo Silva thunderbolt. 4-2 wouldn’t have ended the semifinal as an entire, however it could have been fairly rattling snug. But that is Madrid, so that they’re going to get a name. And they’ve Benzema.

It’s vital to notice that Benzema had missed two penalties just some days earlier than towards Osasuna. So after all he was going to drag the Panenka out, which is actually pulling your nuts out and laying them on the desk. And as a result of it’s Benzema, it’s globe-sized nuts (as some have advised, it’s the form of confidence and swagger one can solely get once they’ve dated Rihanna, and truthful play). This is a Champions League semifinal and your workforce is down two and has been second-best everywhere in the subject, asshole. This simply isn’t proper.

Madrid ought to have misplaced to PSG. They ought to have misplaced to Chelsea. They ought to have been ritually killed by City. And but, there they stand, saying, “Yeah, but we have Benzema and Vinicius.” And there’s nothing you may say again. If you threw out this identical roster in Real Sociedad jerseys and referred to as them Real Sociedad, they most likely would have gone out within the group stage. But there’s simply one thing about “Real Madrid,” and shit simply occurs. It’ll most likely proceed to occur, even when there’s no logical cause that it ought to. It’s essentially the most annoying argument on the planet. 

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