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 fans at the Santiago Bernabéu'
The Real Madrid fans’ choreography at the Santiago Bernabéu (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images) /

4. Will we witness the ‘Magic of Bernabéu’ one last time in the Champions League?

The Santiago Bernabéu was stunned on September 28, 2021, when UEFA Champions League debutants FC Sheriff Tiraspol beat Real Madrid 2-1 in their own den.

The campaign, if you consider Real Madrid’s fortunes on their turf, has been a mixed bag. What started disappointedly has changed into something magical over the last month and a half. Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea have visited the Bernabéu during that period for the return legs, and they have been victims of the ‘Magic of Bernabéu’.

PSG saw a 17-minute hat-trick from Karim Benzema turn the tie on its head. Leading 2-0 on aggregate in the 60th minute of the second leg of the Round of 16, it seemed like Les Parisiens were on course to book their place in the Champions League quarterfinals. But a Gianluigi Donnarumma blunder gave Los Blancos the lifeline they needed to mount a comeback. And they did exactly that. At the end of the 90 in the second leg, Real Madrid beat PSG 3-2 on aggregate.

In the quarter-final against Chelsea, Los Merengues took a healthy 3-1 lead at the Stamford Bridge in the first leg. But the Blues were absolutely ruthless in the return leg at the Bernabéu, scoring three goals without reply. The aggregate score was 4-3 with just over 10 minutes to go. Real Madrid seemed destined to be knocked out by Chelsea in the Champions League for the second successive season.

But that’s exactly when Rodrygo scored a goal. The game was forced into extra time, and it took Benzema just six minutes to score Madrid’s second of the night, putting Los Blancos ahead on aggregate.

As Real Madrid are set to play the second leg against Manchester City at home, one can only wonder if we will get to witness another one of those memorable Champions League nights at the Bernabéu, this time to clinch a place in the final.