One game, two teams
One game, two teams
ancelotti has no doubts about the names of the squad that will come out for the Decimofourta assault against Liverpool in Paris. The unknown that remains in the air is when he will launch them into battle. If Madrid has made anything clear in this Champions League, it is that matches last 90 minutes. Or 120. And how important are the players who start as those who come off the bench? Ancelotti spins it. “The question I have is whether the players who start the game or the players who finish the game are more important ,” he said on the eve of the game against Betis. “You have to see what happens during the match. Not all those who start will finish. It’s hard to think that it ends with the same eleven”, he admitted after the match when I asked him in the flash interview if he was clear about the eleven of the final. As events unfold, the five-change rule allows Carletto to turn the game around with a team with fresh air. This is being the Champions of comebacks and substitutes. The Madridista replacements have scored five goals in this edition of the top continental competition.
Only at Villarreal and City have the players on the bench had such an impact. Rodrygo, with four goals, is the golden substitute. Without being a starter, the Brazilian scored the winning goal against Inter in the first game of the group stage, he also scored in the quarter-final second leg against Chelsea when the Blues had turned the tie around and was the author of the lightning double that forced extra time in the semi-final against Manchester City. Asensio, in the last game of the league against Inter, is the other Real Madrid substitute who has scored. Beyond the forceful and eloquent goalscoring data, other players have been decisive coming off the bench in the three crossover qualifiers. Camavinga was the engine of the team, the one who pulled the car in the critical moments of the three second legs . Earlier, in the first match of the league, he was the author of an exquisite first-touch assist for Rodrygo to score in Milan. Both against Chelsea and against City, Ancelotti completely dissolved the Holy Trinity that Casemiro, Modric and Kroos formed in midfield with his changes. He was right. The entry of the aforementioned Camavinga and Rodrygo, as well as those of Marcelo, Asensio, Lucas Vázquez or Ceballos boosted the team. Even a player with lesser prominence, like Vallejo, had a crucial role in the closing minutes against City to seal a spot in the final.