European ‘black’ Madrid nights


Real Madrid suffered this Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium one of its toughest and bitter defeats in recent years in the Champions League, falling 4-0 against Manchester City and staying out of the final. We review other ‘black’ nights in Europe for the Madrid team.

1. The 5-0 at San Siro. One of the most remembered took place on April 19, 1989. At that time, Milan was already looming as a rival with great potential, supported by the board of Arrigo Sacchi and his three Dutchmen (Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard). Real Madrid from the ‘Quinta del Buitre’ had to win at the San Siro after the 1-1 win at the Bernabéu, but they were overwhelmed at the San Siro by the ‘rossoneri’ with a ‘hand’ in an hour and with Carlo Ancelotti opening the scoring.

2. Bayern’s penalties. It was not a defeat in a game but an elimination at home and in an almost dramatic way against the Bavarian team in the semifinals of the 2011-2012 season. José Mourinho’s Real Madrid was preparing to win the League against Pep Guardiola’s Barça and after losing 2-1 in Munich at the last breath they needed to come back at the Bernabéu. Before the quarter of an hour, two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo gave wings, but Robben made it 2-1 and finally, after a hectic match, they had to decide on penalties. There, three specialists such as Cristiano, Kaká and Sergio Ramos failed.

3. The failed ‘drift’ at Anfield. Real Madrid had lost the first leg of the round of 16 in 2008-2009 against Liverpool 0-1, but its then president, Vicente Boluda, who held the position after the departure of Ramón Calderón, assured before the return that they were going to ” ‘squirt'” to the ‘reds’ and to win 0-3. The English team thrashed him soundly 4-0.

4. The Semifinal Classic. The 10-11 season was marked by the merry-go-round of Clásicos in several weeks, two of them in the Champions League semifinals. The first game was at the Bernabéu and FC Barcelona took it 0-2, with a double from a stellar Leo Messi and against a Real Madrid that had been left with 10 due to the expulsion of Pep. After the crash, came Mourinho’s famous press conference and his “why”.

5. The Spartak surprise. Real Madrid suffered a ‘black’ night in front of their fans in the 90-91 Champions League quarterfinals. The Madrid team, which had progressed to this round after sweeping Odense (10-1) and Swarovski Tirol (11-3), was preparing to reach the semifinals after a goalless draw against Russian Spartak and Butragueño scoring the 1-0 in the 9th minute. However, they ended up losing surprisingly 1-3 against a team with Karpin, Radchenko, author of two goals, or Mostovoi.

6. Debacle in Hamburg. The Madrid team dreamed of ending 14 years of waiting and reaching the final of the European Cup in the 79-90. He still had to eliminate Hamburg, beaten 2-0 in the first leg at the Bernabéu with a brace from Santillana, but the return was torture for Vujadin Boskov’s men. The German team equalized the tie in the 16th minute, and although Cunningham gave hope with the 2-1 score, the locals went 4-1 at half-time and ended up winning 5-1.

7. The walk of Ajax. The Bernabéu experienced one of its most recent ‘black’ nights in March 2019. After beating young Ajax 2-1 in Amsterdam in the first leg of the round of 16, the then European champion was preparing to go to the quarterfinals without too many scares. Nothing is further from reality. The ‘ajacied’ were exhibited with a 4-1 win in a disastrous match for the locals and in which Vinicius was also injured.

8. Lewandowski’s ‘poker’. After losing on penalties against Bayern in 2012, Real Madrid managed to return to the semifinals the following season, meeting another German team, Borussia Dortmund. The first leg was at Signal Iduna Park and there his options went away when he fell to a severe 4-1, with poker by Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, three of them between minutes 55 and 66.

9. PSG in UEFA. Outside of the European Cup, the Madrid team also has nights of bad memory in the UEFA Cup, for example in the 92-93 season. In the quarterfinals, they had to face French PSG, a team with figures like Weah, Ginola or Lama, and the one they won at the Bernabéu 3-1. In the Parque de los Príncipes, the Parisian team went up 3-0, but the Real Madrid character appeared and Zamorano scored the goal that forced extra time in the 93rd minute. However, before that, in the 97th minute, Kombouaré unleashed the euphoria with the 4-1

10. Odense storm the Bernabéu. It was not a tough defeat, but it was surely very surprising and difficult to accept due to the entity of the rival, whom years before he had overwhelmed in the European Cup. Odense put up more of a battle this time, but lost 2-3 at their stadium, so everything hinted at a win at the Madrid fiefdom. But on Constitution Day in 1994, the Danish team entered the ‘black’ history of Real Madrid by winning 0-2 with two goals in the final stretch of the match, the final one in the 94th minute.