Real Madrid had a nightmarein the first leg of their Champions League semi-final as they were defeated 4-1 by Borussia Dortmund.
Jose Mourinho's side were played off the park, and conceded all of their goals to just one man - Robert Lewandowski.
Although the odds are firmly, and obviously, stacked against them I feel that Madrid have a fair, if not equal, chance of going through in tomorrows second leg fixture against Dortmund.
1: Home support
Home fans are extremely important and they really can have an immediate effect on the players involved. If we take, for example, Galatasary or Shakhtar Donetsk fans we can see to what extent they can influence the game. most away teams are intimidated by the respective and incessant boos and cheering. Looking at Dortmund's Champions League run this season, they have only won at home scoring 14 goals this term whereas away they have dropped eight points proving they are susceptible to below par performances when separated from the Dortmund faithful.
Madrid have just been through hell at the Westfalenstadion and will be relishing tthe idea of playing in-front of their home fans where the atmosphere is one that will suit them as it seems that Dortmund rely on their home support to urge them on to victory. Madrid have been very good at home this season in the league only drawing two and winning fourteen.
2. Crucial away goal
The away goals rule should not be in place as it does not give everyone a level playing field as some teams are better away than at home. Despite this Real Madrid claimed theirs courtesy of Ronaldo's strike just before half term. It is of paramount importance that Madrid take advantage of this and go looking for more goals. An early goal for Madrid could change everything as the momentum of the game would change and everyone knows how potent Madrid are with momentum.
Madrid have only failed to score in four games this term and so a goal should be expected of them and who are we to say that Madrid shouldn't get two or maybe three more to seal the game, after all, they do average 2.58 goals a game.
3. Upping the performance
Dortmund were victors in the first leg and were worthy ones as well as they played an outstanding 90 minutes with similarly sublime individual performances. Lewandowski played out of his skin and undoubtedly put in the best performance of his life to score four goals against "los Galácticos". The question is, is it humanly possible to put in a performance to equal the former? I think Dortmund would do very well to play half as well as they did in the first leg and their lagging behind Bayern in the domestic league highlights their inconsistency to perform at the highest levels.
Whereas Real Madrid have been the dominating force in European football for over a decade now and know how to perform when it really matters. All Madrid have to do, in theory, is secure a 3-0 home win against supposedly inferior opposition. I know I'm making it sound easier than it looks but Real Madrid have one of the best squads in the world full of attacking talent who know how to win.
4. Know your enemy
Not to take anything away from Dortmund Madrid simply weren't prepared for the bombardment they were about to receive. Not even Dortmund would have known what was going to come as there were two closely fought contests in the group stages but nothing compared to the 4-1 drubbing of Madrid. Madrid will, this time, be anticipating Dortmund to be at their throats from the first minute and Mourinho, possibly the best tactician in the world, will have devised a plan to overcome his opponents.
Lewandowski dominated the first leg and although Dortmund have a lot of other very good players, if Madrid were able to take him out the game Dortmund's threat would be a lot less potent and easily manageable for the Madrid defence. Lewandowski will have to find his own space this time as there is no way Madrid defenders will give him an inch of space when on the ball.
5. The special ones
Mourinho is the self-elected 'chosen one' and has every right to be; he is vying for a third Champions League winners medal with three different clubs. Since 2002 he has not gone a full calendar year without winning a trophy and has, throughout his 13 year managerial career, a 67 percent win ratio - two percent higher than Ferguson. Mourinho will be embarrassed by the away defeat and will be looking to put things right and has been known "to make the impossible happen".
Cristiano Ronaldo is the other 'special one' who is dubbed the best player in the world right now and his ability to terrorise defences is second to none, including Messi. His goalscoring record for Madrid is unbelievable - he averages 1.09 goals a game for Madrid. With these statistics it is more than likely that this man will score a goal if not more.
What will happen? Add you comments below.
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