Spanish clubs “Real” and “Atletico” will play on Tuesday in the first semifinal match of the Champions League. Madrid derby in the main European Cup tournament will be held for the fifth time in three years, and “Real” in these matches has not lost to fellow countrymen even once.
The draw brought two Spanish teams in one of the semifinals, so either Real Madrid or Atletico will play in the Champions League final for the second consecutive year. Last season, “Atletico” was, as never before, close to the title of the strongest club in Europe, but lost to “Real” in the penalty shootout. Two years earlier, Real Madrid beat Diego Simeone in the Champions League final in extra time, and Sergio Ramos equalized the score on the third added to the second half of the minute.
Ramos scored in last year’s final in Milan, Italy, so that the defense leader and captain of “Real” remains an evil genius, “Atletico”. Team Zinedine Zidane is the favorite of the upcoming series, given the successful game in recent years in the Champions League matches with “Atletico”. In addition, in the quarterfinals with the “Bavaria” “Real” withstood the pressure from the champions of Germany and one of the favorites of the tournament, having twice defeated the famous rival – 2:1, 4:2.
Finally, he began to score Cristiano Ronaldo, who could not distinguish himself during the six matches of the Champions League, and scored two goals at Bayern Munich. Ronaldo in the current tournament scored seven goals, which is the best indicator among players who continue to speak in the Champions League. From the leading on this indicator Lionel Messi of “Barcelona” Ronaldo falls behind on four goals, and for the elimination of the backlog, the Portuguese have two or three matches.
In four playoff games Real scored 12 goals, but in each game he missed, so Atletico will have a chance to win in a two-match series, but for this it is necessary to score in the upcoming guest match.
In 2015, “Atletico” also met with “Real” – in the ¼ finals of the Champions League, but he started the series in his field. As a result, the “mattresses” failed to score, and the “Real” success was brought by the only goal at the home stadium of the “Santiago Bernabeu” Mexican Javier Hernandez.
In the championship of Spain, two clubs from Madrid solve various problems. “Real” struggles with “Barcelona” for the championship – with equal points for three rounds to the finish line, the capital’s team has an extra match on a visit with “Celta”. “Atletico” takes third place, ahead of “Seville”. The third line in the championship of Spain allows you to perform in the group round of the Champions League, the fourth team will go to the qualification of the main European Cup.
Their last matches and the “Real”, and “Atletico” held on Saturday. Zidane in the home game with the “Valencia” released all the strongest players – with the exception of injured Pepe and Gareth Bale, but the “Real” held a difficult meeting, scoring the winning goal by the defender Marcelo only in the 86th minute. The first goal on the account of Cristiano Ronaldo in the middle of the first half – the Portuguese scored in the current championship for the 20th time, second only to Messi (33) and Luis Suarez (26) from Barcelona.
“Atletico” played away against “Las Palmas” and, in fact, made a tourist voyage to the Canary Islands, defeating the opponent with a score of 5: 0. In the “Atletico” was missing the disqualified Diego Godin, who was replaced in the center of defense by Luke Hernandez, as well as injured Yannick Carrasco. The outcome of the match was decided by the 18th minute, when Kevin Gameiro (twice) and Saul Nigies scored three goals against the hosts, while in the second half Thomas Substance and Fernando Torres.
Simeone was left without right-wing defenders
A great disappointment for Simeone was the injury of the Uruguayan defender Jose Jiménez, who was hit by the elbowed dudes of Kevin-Prince Boateng. Jimenez was forced to play on the right flank, replacing the long-dead players of this role Juanfran and Shime Vrsalco.
April 8, “Real” in the home match already met with “Atletico” – in the match of the 31st round of the national championship, and the guests reached a draw with a score of 1: 1, when in the 85th minute, equalized Antoine Grizmann, while the “Real” “Defender Pepe distinguished himself. However, in the first round of “Real” on a visit, “Atletico” struck a devastating defeat – 3: 0, when a hat-trick marked Cristiano Ronaldo.
On the eve of the game, Simeone said that “Real” from the very first minute will come out to attack, although the Argentine did not guess what Zidane would release instead of Bale – Isko, Marco Asensio or Hames Rodriguez. Simeone added that he already knows who will play on the right flank of the defense, but he did not name the surname. “In any case, he has never played on the edge before, but football is a team game, where everyone must act for the benefit of the team,” the Argentinean expert said.
Zidane, in turn, does not consider his team a favorite.
“In the semifinals of the Champions League there are no favorites”
– noted the Frenchman. Zidane said that it would be important not to miss, but rivals scored in Real Madrid in the last nine matches, including four in the Champions League play-offs . “It’s hard to avoid, because the enemy also knows how to play football,” the coach of Real Madrid philosophically remarked.
Match “Real” – “Atletico” will be held at the stadium “Santiago Bernabeu” in Madrid, the beginning – 21:45 Moscow time. The main arbiter is Martin Atkinson from England. The return meeting is scheduled for May 10 at the home arena “Atletico”.
On Wednesday, the first match will take place in another semifinal pair – between Monaco from France and the Italian Juventus.