Manchester City vs Real Madrid with Antonio Rudiger and Erling Haaland

Always close: Antonio Rüdiger (right) didn’t let Erling Haaland off the hook in the first leg.
Bild: Picture-Alliance

In the first leg of the semifinals, Real defender Antonio Rüdiger surprised Erling Haaland as an effective guard. Before the decisive duel in Manchester, coach Carlo Ancelotti has a luxury problem.

EKeeping expectations low makes life easier. High expectations often end in disappointment. That’s how it can happen when you’re denied a Christmas present you’ve been waiting for, not just as a child, when a politician gets fewer votes than you thought. In football, too, life is more carefree with low expectations. This is how Real Madrid felt before the first leg in the semi-finals of the Champions League against Manchester City (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and on DAZN).

“We were just wondering if City would win with a three or four goal difference,” admitted radio reporters on Cadena SER’s night program after the 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu. Pep Guardiola’s side were favorites in the semi-finals last year, only to be eliminated shortly before the end thanks to a comeback from Madrid. This time City also has Erling Haaland on the team and is considered to be a superior team.


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