He Manchester City confirmed that the moment has arrived. A real Madrid splendid in the last five years knelt before the british in a game that should be read as a turning point for both. The whites will say goodbye to an excellent generation as it deserves and Guardiola’s City will go to Istanbul to try to inaugurate a triumphant saga in Europe. Pep has been knitting this team with patience and brilliance for seven years, seven seasons in which this Madrid, that of Ancelotti and Zidane, was crowned four times in the Champions League. The final win measures the real distance between them. Between the present and the past.
Bernardo Silva finds the fissure
The match started as expected. Madrid surfing the local tsunami. Guardiola was looking for the KO, but Carletto sat down to play chess (with black). The aggressiveness of Pep’s men accrued Madrid dangerously in their area. In the 12th minute Grealish served a dribbling cross, but Courtois avoided Haaland’s sung goal. Madrid clung to the Belgian, who in 20 made a prodigious save, one of those that are worth titles. Another Haaland header that he deflected with his fingertips. Madrid expected City to slow down its gallop, but the English struck again and again on the side of Camavinga, where they located a fissure due to the lack of forcefulness of the eventual side. Until a filtered pass left Bernardo Silva alone against Courtois. The 23rd minute was running and Madrid had given 25 passes. Poetic justice.
After half an hour Madrid stretched. A pass to the back caused Vinicius’s first face-to-face with Walker, seconds later Benzema almost crowned a service from Rodrygo, and at minute 34 Kroos silenced the Etihad with a whiplash that ran into the crossbar. Madrid had arrived at the game. However, another white defensive error allowed Bernardo to score the second at the worst moment, when the whites began to grow. Ancelotti said, “if they are going to mark us, let them do it soon.” Sooner or later, he had 55 minutes to solve the most difficult challenge.
Out Modric and Kroos
With the arrival of the second half, the wind turned. Madrid, who made no substitutions, took the ball and City began to lose their place. Until guardiola He scolded De Bruyne for his indolence and the Belgian turned around facing the coach. Alaba made Ederson work on a free kick in an initial stretch in which Madrid was more recognizable and the clock was the main rival. The game was down to a goal, the one Ancelotti longed for, the one Guardiola feared. A goal that Modric would not score, who left his place to Rudiger in a substitution of great significant weight. The Ballon d’Or gave way to the defensive specialist. The German’s departure pushed Alaba to the side and unleashed Camavinga, who went to the middle to weigh his physical exuberance. Actually Carletto gave the French the stripes of the Croatian.
Madrid pushed and pushed a City that trusted everything to a counter. Conquered the advantage Guardiola worked to preserve the income. If the change of Modric for Rudiger was a symptom, that of Asensio for Kroos was the verification of the generational change. If Madrid wanted to reach the final in Istanbul, it would be thanks to the roar of the young, not the trade of the veterans. Courtois and the crossbar avoided the third in a shot from an ill-fated Haaland, but Militao ended up scoring painfully in his own goal from a poorly defended cross. Julián Álvarez rounded off the win. Fate kept a crude epilogue to the white reign.
The epilogue of a dynasty
Years will go by and it will be said that there were more complete teams with faster forwards and stronger defenses. But no one was able to understand football like this Real Madrid. A team that always competed, in any context and against all rivals. He suffered when the game required it and he enjoyed every second he had the ball. While the others played to win, they won by playing. Thus they forged a legend and built a winning dynasty who raised five Champions Leagues while Modric and Kroos tamed the ball, Benzema whispered goals and Courtois collected miracles in goal.
But time passes inexorably for everyone and Madrid has grown up. He has aged at the rate that Manchester City matured, a huge team assembled at the stroke of a checkbook and forged with care by Guardiola. City and Real Madrid have staged the changing of the guard in European football. Glory to City, honor to Madrid.