Mission Impossible Real; City does not lose in Etihad!

Tonight, Real Madrid has a difficult task to overcome the barrier of Manchester City and advance to the final of the Champions League.

Herman Albright said that having a high morale may not solve all problems, but it is enough to cause a lot of trouble on its own.

Probably, a similar concept came to Jack Grealish’s mind on the eve of the second leg of the Champions League semi-final, when he said, “We feel invincible in Etihad” in order to create fear in the hearts of the opposing players.

The purpose of bringing up such a phrase may seem a bit clichéd or to incite City fans to turn this stadium into a noisy hell for the opposing team on Wednesday night. However, even the statistics support the comments of this English player who had a serious fight with Danny Carvajal in the first leg.

Pep Guardiola’s men have turned their home stadium into an impenetrable fortress and have tasted defeat only once at Etihad this season. In other matches, they managed to win 26 times and draw with the opponent once. Therefore, it seems that Real has an impossible mission to reach the Istanbul final.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side will step into the Etihad Stadium with a similar line-up to the first leg, but it is likely that their midfield will be stronger than what we saw at the Santiago Bernabeu to be used as a weapon in attack.

But they will never forget the second half of the game they played at home. This program allowed them to hold back the strong opposition team for a long time with an interesting tactical change: Toni Kroos and Luka Modric went to the left side and Eduardo Camavinga moved to the middle of the field to stand up to the opposition with his high physical ability.

They are undoubtedly the legend of European football and now they have to show this fact well against Manchester City. This English team has played 28 games in its stadium this season and had only one draw and one defeat. The results that follow a clear message for Real: you don’t necessarily have to win… you can fight for a draw and take the game to penalty kicks. Obviously, Grealish’s statements were not unreasonable and unrealistic.

In addition, to conquer this stadium, Real must try to defeat a great coach in his favorite competition, which is the Champions League. City have scored 95 goals at home so far, more than an average of three goals per game, and Erling Haaland has been directly involved in 37% of those goals.

The Norwegian star has scored 52 goals for City this season and 35 of them have been scored at the Etihad Stadium, which means 68% of his goals have been at home.

The last time Pep Guardiola lost at home was on November 12 ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar when they lost 2-1 to Brentford.

The weakness of this team, which Real can use well, is the defensive vulnerability of this team, which has been seen many times in home matches. City has managed to keep a clean sheet in 13 games and conceded 21 goals.

The strange thing is that City have not lost in the Champions League since 2018 at the Etihad Stadium. They have 23 wins and two draws during this period. Statistics that make this impossible mission even more impossible for Real.


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