Real Madrid: 5 burning questions before the Champions League semifinal vs. Manchester City

Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Fede Valverde (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid will be facing Premier League leaders Manchester City in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. It will be a rematch of the 2019-20 Round of 16 clash, where Los Blancos lost 4-2 on aggregate against Pep Guardiola’s side.

Having drawn Chelsea in the quarter-finals, Real Madrid won 5-4 on aggregate in what was one of the most dramatic knockout fixtures in recent memory. On the other hand, Manchester City faced Atlético Madrid. A 1-0 win in the first leg for the Cityzens was enough to see them through to the semis as the second leg ended in a goalless draw, although one with its fair share of action and drama. 

With less than two weeks before Los Blancos visit the Etihad Stadium for the first leg of the semi-final, we need to discuss the biggest burning questions leading to the game.

1. Can Real Madrid exact revenge?

Manchester City were a far superior side across both legs in the Round of 16 of the 2019-20 edition of the UEFA Champions League. Real Madrid hosted the Cityzens in the first leg, where they lost 2-1 after giving away the lead. In the second leg, set in a post-lockdown era, Pep’s team won with an identical scoreline as the first leg.

Real Madrid were probably a weaker side back then. But they are a different unit under Carlo Ancelotti. The form of the individual players and their ability to produce a moment of magic out of nowhere is near its best this season, as seen in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg against Chelsea, where Luka Modrić produced one of the greatest assists you’ll ever see to lay it on a plate for Rodrygo, whose first time effort saw Real Madrid equalise the score on aggregate.

Even though Los Blancos have managed to eliminate Paris Saint-Germain and defending champions Chelsea, two of the favourites to win the title this season, Manchester City is undeniably going to be their toughest test yet. They are on another level altogether, and while I never place my bet against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League, the Sky Blues will begin as the favourites to proceed to their second successive Champions League final.

This two-legged tie will be mouth-watering. The last time Carlo Ancelotti faced Pep Guardiola in the Champions League, Real Madrid thrashed Bayern Munich 5-0 on aggregate in the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League semifinals. Let’s hope Carletto can continue this streak against arguably the best manager in the world at the moment.