Champions League: The ‘dead time’ that revived Madrid when City had 73% possession | Sports

There was an attack by Antonio Rüdiger that caused a twist in the plot of the game. Madrid had been contemplating control of City for almost half an hour, which at that time reached overwhelming figures: they had had the ball 73% of the time. Then, while Gundogan waited for a pass, his compatriot hit him from behind and he was left dazed on the grass. His convalescence became a kind of timeout for Madrid, whose players gathered in the band around Ancelotti, while Benzema watched the fallen.

real Madrid


Courtois, Alaba, Camavinga, Dani Carvajal, Rüdiger, Federico Valverde, Modric (Nacho, min. 86), Kroos (Aurelien Tchouameni, min. 84), Benzema, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo (Marco Asensio, min. 81)



Ederson Moraes, Rúben Dias, Manuel Akanji, Walker, Rodrigo, Gündogan, De Bruyne, John Stones, Bernardo Silva, Erling Braut Haaland and Grealish

goals 1-0 min. 35: Vinicius Junior. 1-1 min. 67: DeBruyne.

Referee Artur Manuel Soares Dias

Yellow cards Kroos (min. 47), Ancelotti (min. 68), Gündogan (min. 71), Camavinga (min. 79) and Bernardo Silva (min. 85)

That set provided a pause to the match at a time when a certain despair had begun to emerge in the stands. Shortly before, he had started a long and increasing whistle during a sequence of passes of more than two minutes from Guardiola’s men. Rüdiger’s attack stopped the wobble, which according to Modric they had anticipated and had not bothered them that much either: “We knew that they have possession, but we have been patient, waiting for our opportunity. They, having the ball, didn’t create much, and we suffered and endured there”. It was also Ancelotti’s forecast: “It’s normal for City to have possession, but this doesn’t have to drive us crazy. We have to control the spaces between the lines well”.

During the break, Lucas Vázquez spoke with Carvajal, Kroos indicated lines of movement near the opponent’s goal, and Ancelotti dealt with Camavinga. He reminded her of the entire lane ahead of him on his left wing. For the coach, the Frenchman is a winger only when they defend. By the time the team gets the ball back, he sees it as capable of transforming itself into whatever is necessary. That’s why he always plays. He can officiate inside, or run doubling to the wing. Ancelotti wanted him to gallop.

While Gundogan was attended to, still lying on the grass, the stands also had time to shake off their fright: “How can I not love you, how can I not love you…!”, he intoned. From all that, Camavinga came out packed. He used the first ball he recaptured to launch into a gallop. Madrid was worth it with his stride and that of Fede Valverde to disarm the City framework. The second start of the Frenchman was even more brilliant, supported by a subtle wall with Modric. In a blink he was already sniffing Ederson’s area. Vinicius was also around there, so he gave it to him. A simple plan: wall, run, pass, shot and goal from the Brazilian.

Vinicius, who had just blown up the Copa del Rey final, burst the ball from outside the area and transformed the script. Gundogan had recovered, but City was blown away. Madrid detected that something had broken, something that had creaked a couple of times before, like when Vinicius swiped a ball from Rodri after poor control that seemed simple. The Brazilian put in a pass that crossed brilliantly from one side of the area to the other and was swept away by a defender who launched himself onto the grass when Benzema had his leg in a shooting position.

The effects of the goal led to a rare outburst from the stands when the break was declared: it was celebrated as if it had fallen 2-0, or as if the end had been reached. It hadn’t been that much, but it was true that Madrid had set foot on solid ground after much shaking.

Ancelotti’s talk had unleashed Camavinga, and Camavinga reactivated Madrid. At the break, the coach also worked with the Frenchman, as Modric said: “He has said that we have to have more of the ball, create more. We know that Cama can enter the middle from there and he is fine. That movement has worked out well for us. We play more.”

Real’s surge lasted until another intervention by the Frenchman, this time a bad pass at the start that Rodri intercepted, which started a sequence that ended in De Bruyne’s equalizer. Despite the disappointment, Ancelotti was satisfied: “Very happy with the game. Hopefully it can be repeated around the corner, ”he said. “We won’t have the fans, but we will have our hearts.”

You can follow EL PAÍS Sports on Facebook and Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.