Madrid receive the Atalanta with the challenge of overcoming two years of stagnation in the round of 16 of the Champions League, with the Italian team’s scoring power as a great danger, the memory of two home defeats in their last two European qualifiers and the need to regain strength at home, where they only won three of their last nine appointments.
Impotence marked the last two games of the Real Madrid in his stadium in the round of 16 of the Champions League. Beaten by the Ajax and feeling inferior to him Manchester City. They were matches that extended a negative dynamic in the most prestigious competition, just three wins in their last nine home games. The victories that gave him the group leadership this edition, against Inter de Milan Y Borussia Mönchengladbach, showed the way forward.
The works of the Santiago Bernabeu they began with a loss of power of the king of Europe in his temple. He had barely won three games –Rome (3-0), Viktoria pilsen (2-1) and Galatasaray (6-0) -, of their last ten at home and all of them in the group stage of two editions.
The data was devastating for a team that wants to reign in Europe. Until the visit a year ago from Manchester City, Zinedine Zidane, the technician of the three ‘Champions‘consecutive, he had only lost one home game in a competition he had taken the measure to. On the way to those three historical conquests, only the Juventus was able to defeat him in the Bernabeu (1-3). And he did it in a second leg of a quarter-final on track in Turin with three goals ahead that caused the intensity to drop.
The ‘Bernabéu factor’ was key in the first stage of Zidane on the Madrid bench. In the second, he lowered his influence. Since his goodbye after the conquest of the thirteenth European Cup in Kiev, Real Madrid stopped imposing respect at home. Julen
Lopetegui won the two that he had time to direct, before Rome Y Viktoria, but the Madrid defeat against him CSKA
Moscow With which the group stage closed (0-3), in a game that did not play anything but that served as a warning to what was to come, gave way to a collapse in the second round that Real Madrid did not remember.
Goleada against Ajax
The second-worst win conceded with unprecedented defensive weakness in European competition at the Bernabeu, signed it before him Ajax throwing away the advantage of the first leg. That 1-4 sentenced Santiago
Solari, who lost his two games directed in ‘Champions’. The Real Madrid they played everything to a card in their fetish competition and the season turned into a failure at the beginning of March, with no options to conquer any big title.
TO Zidane It has been difficult for him to regain strength at home after his return to the bench. Three wins, two draws and two losses. In the last edition the modest Witches and the PSG they tied at the Bernabéu with the same score in the group stage (2-2). He finished second in the group and the draw produced a dreaded cross, the Manchester City of Pep
Guardiola. The altitude test did not pass it (1-2).
And with that fragility began the present edition of the ‘Champions‘. Suffering a tumble from a team full of casualties like him Shakhtar
Donetsk, who endorsed him three goals in the first half (2-3). It is the last chapter of Madrid’s weakness. Already in the stadium Alfredo di Stéfano, where he lost that match but rearmed himself before Inter and the Mönchengladbach.