MADRID – And so here we are again, wondering if Real Madrid can gather energy and summon magic for the last time. Carlo Ancelotti’s team seemed beaten, even bewildered, against Paris St-Germain. It was two months ago. He looked defeated, exhausted, against Chelsea. This was four weeks ago. He is still standing. In the Champions League, at least, Real Madrid has the air of a team that has forgotten how to lose.
There is an element of self-fulfilling prophecy about Real Madrid in this competition. He wins because that’s what he does. It is infused with a sense of purpose, of absolute faith, as soon as it feels that musicas soon as he glimpses that cup.
It is this, and only that, that will make Manchester City think. Last week’s 4-3 victory at Etihad left Pep Guardiola and his players with two sensations. It was clear from the start that the Premier League champion was more fluid, agile and overall more consistent than Real Madrid, who played more sophisticated and more advanced football, who possessed a clearer vision of who he is, what he wants. to be. It was an evening, in that light, that showed that the city is now where he has spent a decade trying to go.
Yet as the staff gathered the next morning, there was no shortage of regrets, surprises and general satisfaction that the semifinal was still in the balance, the feeling that Real Madrid are no ordinary opponent, ultimately bowing to the City. obvious superiority, but one that keeps coming, reluctant to wither, even if he knew how. This is the effect of the spell Real Madrid can cast: a vague sense of discomfort, a gnawing sensation in the pit of my stomach that these things end one way. Manchester City have the ability and the ability to expose it as a mistake tonight. But then others tried, and failed, and here we are again.