Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another CL Fail

Real Madrid, probably the greatest club in the history of soccer/football/fútbol/calcio, suffered one of its biggest defeats in the Champions League yesterday, falling 4-0 to Liverpool at Anfield Park and succumbing to a 5-0 aggregate defeat in the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League. This marks the 5th straight year Real has been beaten in the Round of 16, but this was definitely the most crushing defeat of them all. Until the Round of 16 legs rolled around, Real was on a roll, winning 10 games in a row in La Liga until their 1-1 draw last weekend in the Madrid derby against Atlético. Yet, they completely phoned it in against Liverpool in the 2nd leg, one where a couple of goals would have changed the tone of the match. Casillas saved enough shots to know that the score would have been 8-0.

What this signifies is that Real Madrid really needs to shake up their roster in the offseason. Too many players aren't cutting it on the world stage, and Real is a team that expects nothing but the best results on the world stage. Almost everyone on the team yesterday looked lost, save for Lass and Casillas. Shaping up the defensive core is the first step, getting another quality defensive midfielder to be the quarterback, and a playmaking attack midfielder or striker who can make things happen up front. Needless to say, I'm very disappointed in my team and their 2nd round exit, but what they need to do now is focus on doing everything in their power to get the La Liga crown for the 3rd straight year. They're currently 6 points down to archrival Barcelona, and a year without silverware could mean the end for many players and administrators at the Bernabeu.

My team will survive, but it's clear that something's not clicking on the European stage for Real Madrid. It's time to work out those kinks, because I'm never happy with 2nd round exits from the Champions League, much less a performance like the one they phoned in yesterday. They shouldn't be happy either.

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