Real Madrid vs Manchester City took its time to live up to the hype.
What should have been one of the great spectacles of the Champions League last-16 was in fact a bit of a snooze fest in the first half.
Or should that read ‘Pep Guardiola tactical masterclass’?
That’s how it turned out at any rate as the English champions came from 1-0 down to win 2-1 in the Bernabeu.
They had been the masters of their own downfall, Kyle Walker giving the ball away and allowing Vinicius Junior to break through and square it to Isco.
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Gabriel Jesus then avenged his first-half miss by equalising in the air, though Sergio Ramos was disappointed not to have the goal ruled out for a ‘push’.
That’s rich really, given that the centre-back is no stranger to the dark arts. Water is wet, in other news.
Kevin de Bruyne converted a penalty five minutes later and the frustration of conceding two all-important away goals may have tipped Ramos over the edge.
With just four minutes of regular time remaining, the Spaniard tipped over Jesus when he was the last man and saw himself sent off.
Fans can debate long into the night whether that was a dive from the Brazilian or whether there was enough contact to warrant him going down.
What nobody will disagree on is that Ramos has form for this sort of thing.
In fact, 26 individual pieces of form. Yes, that really is how many times he’s now been sent off in his career.
It’s a staggering enough number on its own, but when you compare him to some of the world’s other best centre-backs, it’s even more alarming.
Virgil van Dijk has been sent off ONCE throughout his playing days so far.
Centre-back partner Raphael Varane also has just the one mark against his name.
Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly has three and Vincent Kompany, already in the twilight of his career, has two.
Ramos has left Zinedine Zidane in an awkward spot just when he needs him most.
Then again, he did the same thing to Santiago Solari last season, many feeling he ‘deliberately’ got sent off so he would only miss the tie against Ajax – in which the Dutch outfit emerged victorious.
He’ll be a huge loss for Los Blancos in the return leg as City now have the upper hand.
UEFA might be doing their best to kick them out of Europe, but Real Madrid certainly aren’t.