• The chronicle Varane raises the sword of the white 'harakiri' in the Etihad

All the catastrophic forecasts for Real Madrid to jump to the Etihad without their captain were confirmed very soon. The statistics gurus warned of a comeback was synonymous with chimera with that result of the first leg and with the absence of the iconic Sergio Ramos . In the first minutes, his teammates at the rear insisted on showing that without him the mission would be impossible. The well-orchestrated pressure of the celestial team put on the nerves to the defense of Zidane , of sainete in the action of 1-0. In the forced tiquitaca to try to get out with the ball, Courtois ended up giving back to Varane , who was made at night before the burden ofGabriel Jesus . Sterling's goal sent the whites to poison (fuchsias yesterday). Weighed down on the team, without linking two passes, suffocated by the thrust of its rival ... The task was put in Aramaic, Madrid closer to destruction in those moments than to a moderately worthy elimination. The league success traveled in the suitcase to England as a balm in the face of the foreseeable defeat. Even so, falling in the European Cup for Madrid, be it today with Zidane or in '96 with Arsenio, is always a disappointment. The dressing room knew it, accompanied by the always optimistic Florentino Pérez . He did believe.

And he traveled to England with faith more or less intact despite what he saw in recent training. Things that morning turned out to be regular, a little clueless a team that came from the alirón and the well-deserved mini-vacations. Hazard , as it turned out tonight, was far from his best, a point so that due to injuries he has barely been able to shine in the last year. The Belgian, his powerful version, is one of the hopes for next season , where Zidane will have to refine his plan to be competitive in the Champions League. Neither in the group stage nor in the only tie he has played did he give a sense of solvency in the tournament that he dominated not so long ago. He could not win either of his two games with PSG (a win in Paris and a draw at home) and against City he was never comfortable, not at the Bernabéu, in that far-off pre-pandemic match in February, or in the empty field of Manchester.

But at the Etihad, despite his defensive tremors, he managed to stay alive in the crossroads well into the second half. Benzema's header (1-1), a great pass from Rodrygo, put fear into the body of Guardiola's boys , somewhat dislocated during a stretch of the game. Madrid was suddenly one goal away from forcing extra time, a threat to the rival of an always dangerous shield in the Champions League even without their long-awaited Portuguese scorer, sweating with Juventus. The fan, in a swimsuit, then thought of the infallibility of Zidane in the European Cup, champion of all the editions he has played as a coach or assistant, four out of four , a record that each year that passes will seem like a greater madness. However, the strange coronachampions had to arrive for the French to break the spell. Also personified the defeat in one of his trusted men.

Varane's gifts were too much of a burden. Without Ramos and with Casemiro falón , the defensive storm was perfect. It was not understood either that Vinicius nor heated. In the second part, the ZZ team completely got rid of it. Neither attitude (three fouls all night) nor football; thus it was difficult to avoid vacations. “95% of what my players did this year was spectacular. The note is very good, "he valued. Varane was decided afterwards, to show his face: « The defeat is mine, because of my mistakes. It is inexplicable .

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  • Real Madrid
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  • Thibaut Courtois
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