4 Takeways From Real Madrid’s 2-2 Draw Against Bayern Munich
A friend will always say "Football is like biscuit, it can crack anywhere".
Well, the thrilling encounter between two European giants Real Madrid and Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabéu leaves more to desire.
On the night, Cristiano Ronaldo went missing while the much maligned Karim Benzema and Keylor Navas made the headlines.
Here are four takeaways from the game
1) Real Madrid Was Awful
Real Madrid was very poor across the tie, but following Benzema’s second goal early in the second half, Madrid played out probably the worst football they have produced under Zinedine Zidane.
For much of the closing quarter, it felt like Los Blancos were willing their opponents to knock them out of the Champions League and the Germans had plenty of chances to do just that.
It all came down to the wastefulness of Bayern that Real managed to make progress.
In that regard, one can be thankful that the team had such a poor performance out of their system without suffering for it.
However, it’s concerning that since the big win against Juventus, Madrid has lost some of their fear factor.
2) Benzema And Navas Became The Cornerstones
Keylor Navas made eight saves against Bayern, a knockout round record and further proving that hair style has an impact on form.
No different than when he makes a mistake, the reaction to Navas’ performance tonight will be over the top, however, the Costa Rican deserves plenty of praise.
Although it doesn’t change the fact that Navas has had a poor season for his standard (like the rest of his teammates), it does silence those who don’t believe he is Real Madrid quality or he is solely responsible for Real Madrid’s poor defensive record.
Much of the same goes to Karim Benzema. There is no doubt Karim has had a poor season, but no different to Navas.
He stood up big in one of Madrid’s biggest games of the season and reeled back a lot of the reactionary takes claiming he isn’t Real Madrid standard.
3) Kovacic Can’t Be Your Defensive Midfielder
Mateo Kovacic positional awareness is terrible at this stage and he left his position to press Bayern way too often, with the German side effortlessly creating so many chances.
Kovacic’s physicality and skills with the ball on his feet can be very useful if he doesn’t play that deep, though, so he remains a very useful player and one Real Madrid should trust for the future.
Real will need to be more solid defensively if they face Liverpool. Assuming Roma don’t achieve another miraculous comeback, Real Madrid will play against Liverpool in Kyiv.
Salah, Firmino and Mane are no joke and Los Blancos will need more from their midfielders and fullbacks if they want to succeed against Klopp’s team.
4) Madrid's Hat-trick Finals
A lot is going to be said about the manner Real Madrid reached the final and how poor this side has looked for much of the season.
What shouldn’t be lost in the analysis of this game is that Real Madrid has reached another Champions League Final; the third time in succession, the fourth in five years and the seventh since the inception of competition (a record).
It is quite an incredible achievement and the fact that, after how poorly Los Blancos have played and how abysmal the league title defense has been, this team could still finish the season with a trophy in hand.
Whatever Real Madrid is doing, whether it be individual brilliance or the dark arts of a Darth Zidane, it is working and the club deserves praise for being able to grind out results against big teams.