Europe made this team great and Europe, in the absence of anyone knowing, is ending it. Swept by the Ajax, then beaten by the PSG, the Bruges were expected with some hope. And the Bruges, to begin with, ended with the celebrated solidity. Goodbye, intensity. The Belgians arrived as the commissioners of Brussels arrive, to diagnose the evils and with adjustment measures. There were few rotations to receive them, which spoke of the importance of the party. The usual in Madrid, the eternal, with Lucas where Bale and Modric restored in their inevitability. In Bruges, a little known explosive trident that appeared right away. After a game start of Madrid, Vanaken, the middle with more class, puts a long and outer ball that goes beyond the side and back of Varane: Tau centers and Dennis finishes it. It had been a general error of the white defense, stuck in a little convincing bilge of spaces. It was going to be the first of many.
If that was the defense, Madrid’s attack was predictable. Conducted by Kroos, fundamentally Hazard and Benzema were sought doing a bit what they did in the Metropolitan. The speed was not devilish. And in the bands they didn’t help. Nacho did not, of course, and neither did Carvajal and Lucas, paralyzed by some public screams. Less still did the interiors. Kroos was better than Modric, but neither one overflowed enough nor pressed effectively. The 4-3-3 was showing its bored nature of gruyere and the centrals suffered with long balls. The midfielders did not close those who were hanging like arrows and Madrid, as a whole, seemed about to break, to break in half. The long balls of the Bruges made it creak like an old wooden bridge, like an old ship. That’s what the Madrid midfielders sounded like, suffering wood.
Not that they didn’t try. Carvajal wanted to remedy the lack of opening with a good pass that Modric finished off, Kroos continued to kick from outside, there were centers, corner kicks, a routine similar to that of the Metropolitan. It was a greater insistence, but nervous, worried because the Bruges troubled with their speed. After a corner, Mignolet stopped Varane with a header, and then Courtois a chance for Tau. That is, Madrid could not launch a siege because it did not control the game. Two touches were enough to break it and what was expensive also became imprecise. Casemiro failed and then Modric, and Dennis, with the ball at his feet went straight to mark the second. There were whistles to Courtois, reproaching him not to do the miracle.
Already with the sirens playing and the beat in the temples, Madrid was launching centers and had in Kroos its biggest offensive argument: distant shots and some arrival. Benzema’s celebrated back game was shifting responsibility for the goal further and further. This is how they came to rest time. On the way back, Zidane surprised by changing Nacho for Marcelo and Courtois for Areola. Physical problems.
Madrid returned insisting on the bands with more force. The emptiness in the center was still noticeable, but on the sides it was more tense, more vibrant, with constant increases in Carvajal and its many random centers. The Bruges arrived less, was more tied. Only a mistake by Casemiro returned the floodlights to Dennis, who went straight for the third, stopped by Areola. That stop and the following applause may be important: apart from the fact that the Bernabéu likes Areola, it likes the instinctive and sparking goalkeepers. And Areola is falling into the hole that Keylor left.
Madrid was attacking now, old Bernabeu was plugged in. It was a complete siege that lasted a quarter of an hour and that had to summon Ramos in the attack: Benzema’s pass and shot of the central one in play, not to stopped ball. But there wasn’t much else later. Hazard is not well and the best minutes of Benzema (completely auxiliary) disappeared. Carvajal was undone on the basis of centers like a bottle of champagne not very expensive and Marcelo only internalized the game more. In minute ‘67, Zidane took Lucas for Vinicius.
Madrid had already lowered its pressure and Bruges wasted time in every detail. They noticed the legendary temperature of the stadium. In Madrid there were gaps, huge errors behind, and a fatigue that foreshadowed conformism. There Vinicius had an effect, which trying to get the second yellow from Vormer. In that foul, taken by Kroos, came Casemiro’s goal, another header. In what was left there were only Vinicius spasms, which asked for the site again. Then Madrid tried but there was a lot of disorder and few forces. Europe gave glory to this Madrid, and Europe is warning of its end. Europe tells Madrid that it has to take action. Structural reforms.
With information from: https://www.theguardian.com