Real Madrid invokes the ‘Champions mode’ of the Bernabéu

Real Madrid invokes the ‘Champions mode’ of the Bernabéu

The champion wants to take advantage driven by the magic of his fiefdom in Europe against a Chelsea that seeks to return to London alive


Real Madrid and Chelsea open this Wednesday (9:00 p.m.) their Champions League quarterfinal tie with the first leg at the Santiago Bernabéu, where Carlo Ancelotti’s men will seek to invoke the ‘Champions mode’ and the magic that has already led them in flying to the final last year, with the aim of going to London as close as possible to the pass against a rival that clings to Europe to alleviate a discreet season with three coaches and far from the best in the Premier.

After practically giving Barça a free hand to the league title with the last defeat (2-3) against Villarreal, the Madrid team once again takes refuge in the Champions League, a dangerous and complicated ‘garden’, but one that has given them many flowers in recent years. The last one, a month ago, when he certified his place in these quarters with a recital at Anfield against Liverpool and a serious match on the second leg.

Also with the trick of the Copa del Rey, a competition in which they reached the final by eliminating the Catalans with an exhibition at the Spotify Camp Nou (0-4), the Champions League is once again that ace up the sleeve for Carlo Ancelotti’s men, eager to dance again to the sound of the chords of the symbolic hymn.

And after beating an irregular rival from the powerful Premier League, another English team, double continental champion, faces off against them for the third season in a row in playoffs and does not seem to be too solid despite a squad of quite a few. level and very reinforced in winter with a checkbook.

The ‘blues’ closed the path to the ‘king’ with authority in the 2020-2021 semifinals, but they could not beat him in the quarterfinals last season, despite the fact that they put fear into the Bernabéu where, after the 1-3 In the first leg, they led 0-3 with ten minutes to go before finally falling into extra time.

For this reason, unlike against Villarreal, when motivation was conspicuous by its absence, the madridistas will have to ‘plug in’ so as not to receive a scare from a Chelsea where a legend like Frank Lampard has taken the reins and, above all, to generate what as soon as possible the special atmosphere of the Bernabéu on European nights.

After last year’s comebacks, this will be the first tie with the first chapter at home, a first leg that they will face without significant casualties, beyond Mendy’s. The question for Ancelotti is to see if he repeats the eleven that worked for him in the Cup, with a once again toned Vinicius, Benzema, who has scored five goals for the English team in the last two matches and who arrives with a fine ‘nose’ (19 goals in the last 20 games), and Rodrygo Goes up, and with Camavinga on the left-handed side.

The other option is for the Frenchman to become the midfielder to counteract the powerful physical rival in that area and relieve Modric and Kroos a little more, who rested on Saturday and are shaping up to be headlines. This would cause Nacho or Alaba to be the winger and Valverde, with the focus after his attack on Alex Baena, fight with Rodrygo for a place.


The Chelsea that will jump to the Bernabéu this Wednesday bears little resemblance to the one that managed to come back, only momentarily, to Real Madrid last year, with a 0-3 in 75 minutes, although then at that time it had not been as reliable as the year of his second European crown and with the problems after the departure of Roman Abramovich.

Now without Thomas Tuchel, but with the return of Lampard after the disaster of Graham Potter, the ‘blues’ see this tie as an oasis and a long-awaited turning point in their disastrous campaign. And it is that Chelsea, who left Dortmund out without major problems in the round of 16, still does not raise his head in the Premier, linking four games without winning, which leaves him far from the access positions to the Champions League.

The double champion accuses his lack of goal, since, in the Premier, he has only celebrated 29 goals in 30 games, his worst record since the 1923-1924 academic year. Also, his performance away from Stamford Bridge is very poor, with only one win in his last 13 away games.

However, their squad full of stars such as Enzo Fernández, Joao Félix, Sterling, Havertz or Mudryk and the recovery of Kanté, who ‘devoured’ the midfield on the last visit, and Mount is the main argument they cling to to dream of the semifinals.



REAL MADRID: Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Camavinga; Modric, Kroos, Valverde; Rodrygo, Benzema and Vinicius.

CHELSEA: Kepa; James, Fofana, Koulibaly, Cucurella; Kovacic, Kanté Enzo Fernández; Sterling, Havertz and Joao Felix.

–REFEREE: François Letexier (FRA).

–Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

–TIME: 9:00 p.m./Movistar Champions League.