Marcelo’s historic record: 24 trophies for Real Madrid
After clinching the LaLiga title against Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabéu, the club captain now boasts 24 trophies on his silverware list and the Brazilian is the most decorated player in the club’s history.
Manchester City vs Real Madrid: Line-ups
Real Can Strike Back
Carlo Ancelotti’s side quickly dusted off their shooting boots to hit Espanyol for four without reply and confirm their status as La Liga champions with four games to spare at the weekend, and a domestic and European double would certainly send a reminder to the footballing world of their long-standing continental dominance.
While Los Blancos overturned a one goal deficit to dump Paris Saint-Germain out of the tournament in this season’s last-16 stage, the capital outfit have never made it through to the final when losing the first leg of a semi-final, and history cannot repeat itself if a 14th European crown is to remain on the agenda.
It has been less than a month since an English team last came up trumps on the Bernabeu turf, although Chelsea’s thrilling 3-2 win proved inconsequential in the end, and not since December 2018 have Real Madrid failed to score at home in the Champions League – a streak which is unlikely to end even against the most resilient of City backlines.
Man City will bring a four-game winning streak in all competitions to Real’s headquarters – during which time they have struck a remarkable 16 goals at a rate of four per game – and they have also let in just one goal in their last nine games on the road, but that may not count for much against Benzema and co.
City’s first-leg victory over Real represented their third consecutive win against the 13-time European champions – only two sides in Ajax and Bayern Munich have ever won four in a row against them – and the second leg sure does have a lot to live up to after the wonderful spectacle both sides served up in M11.
Sitting back and holding what they have will no doubt only end one way for a Man City side whose best form of defence is to attack, especially with Benzema and Vinicius Junior capable of plucking goals out of nowhere for the Spanish champions. Guardiola’s side could have easily made the net ripple on several more occasions at the Etihad, and while the presence of Casemiro is a humongous boost for the hosts – whose European nous cannot be questioned – City can strike back a couple of times themselves to progress to their second final in as many seasons.