Koundé and Rüdiger erase Mbappé and Haaland from the map to remove complexes from Spanish football – La Provincia

Since LaLiga lost the Cristiano Ronaldo – Leo Messi pairing, the feeling that nothing will be the same again has haunted the Spanish teams. Both in its domestic future and in Europe. The outside looks better. That is why Mbappé’s future arrival at Real Madrid is presented as that of a messiah who comes to revalue the Spanish championship. However, in the first round of the Champions League quarterfinals, the gaul remained annulled for Barça’s defensive framework, with Koundé at the helm; and the same thing happened to Haaland, the other big star.

Rüdiger, Haaland’s worst nightmare

As he Manchester City – Real MadridAs the PSG – Barca They are two confrontations that put the prestige of Spanish football at stake. Each one on their own terms, but above all for the Mbappé – Haaland pairing that is called to control this sport in the coming years or decades. Excess exposure should not affect two young players (25 and 23 years old, respectively), but on which the tactical analysis is extreme.

None of them had their day in the first round of the Champions League quarterfinals. Although both Ancelotti and Real Madrid will have to win at the Etihad, where they have never done so, after the 3-3 at the Bernabéu. For your partFC Barcelona has to manage the advantage (2-3) with which it left the Parc des Princes. The two results cannot be understood without the role of defenses.

Rüdiger showed that he is Haaland’s worst enemy. As happened last season, it was a shadow of the Norwegian, who did not get rid of his mark. He hugged him, chased him and canceled him, like in the first leg of the semi-finals of the last edition. The German did not compete in the return leg and Militao took his place. Ancelotti paid dearly for the alternation, because Manchester City devoured Real Madrid as a prelude to their first Champions League.

Antonio Rüdiger and Fede Valverde celebrate Real Madrid’s third goal against Manchester City. / Juanjo Martín/EFE

The Norwegian recovers De Bruyne for the return

When the German defender performs at the highest level – he has been doing so all season – he is unbeatable. He is the absolute commander of a Madrid defense that was damaged by the breakage of Militao’s crusader at the beginning of the season. Alaba’s same breakage in December has complicated the work of Carletto, who will not be able to count on Tchouaméni for England’s outcome. He will resort to Nacho, his “pessimistic” defense, who will have to put himself at his worst to give his best in a gray season.

Haaland’s course is the same color, despite having 30 goals in all competitions. The Norwegian, also the object of Real Madrid’s desire, has not been able to score a goal in the three matches that he has had so far with the white team wearing the City shirt. What’s more, his presence at the Bernabéu was limited to nine passes in 90 minutes. Harmless interventions for the lack of effective connection with peers. Erling once again missed Kevin de Bruyne, a substitute due to an illness, and that he will be fully prepared for the return.

Haaland could only make one shot inside the area and Rüdiger won three of the four duels he played. The German center back barely committed a foul on the Norwegian, but he was not dribbled all night. All in all, Real Madrid conceded three goals, all from outside the area, the first time this has happened in the Champions League since advanced statistics have records. Therefore, canceling Haaland is insufficient to end Manchester City, as Foden, among others, demonstrated.

Toni Kroos, Real Madrid player, disputes a ball with Erling Haaland, from Manchester City, at the Bernabéu. / Europa Press

Xavi’s defensive framework against Mbappé

The arrival of Mbappé to LaLiga beyond the value it will have for Real Madrid and the media attention threatens to increase inequalities compared to the rest. There is no doubt about the differential character that the Frenchman has shown in all types of contexts. Yet he has been unable to take their ambitions to the limit with a PSG that depends, for good and bad, in excess of a figure now on the exit ramp. He does it surrounded by turbulence and a conflictive relationship with Luis Enrique, although the Asturian denies it.

Xavi proposed an offensive framework beyond the Frenchman’s individuality. Through Koundé, Araújo and Sergi Roberto, the Barça coach He established an aid system from which a central defender who disdained playing as a full-back emerged victorious.. Despite a weak start to the season, Koundé is in the best moment of the season when his team needs him most. This was reflected in the direct confrontation with his teammate, which gives him a plus.

Unlike the situation experienced with Haaland and Manchester City, Mbappé was Barça’s executor in the 2020/2021 season, when he scored a hat trick at the Camp Nou. The decision-making capacity of the two forwards puts FC Barcelona and Real Madrid on alert for the second leg of the quarterfinals. However, the ability of the three Spanish teams to compete – Atlético also enters this equation, which beat Dortmund (2-1) – in the quarterfinals highlights LaLiga in Europe once again.

Kylian Mbappé, PSG footballer, during a promotional event with Hublot held yesterday. / VALENTÍN FLAURAUD / EFE

2024-04-12 05:37:38
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