On the eve of the great battle between Real Madrid and Man City in the semi-final first leg of the UEFA Champions League 2022/23, Erling Haaland showed his ability to overwhelm the reigning Golden Ball.
The semi-final first leg of the Champions League 2022/23 between Real Madrid and Man City will take place at 2pm on May 10 (Hanoi time). This is the 10th time coach Pep Guardiola has reached the semi-finals of Europe’s most prestigious cup tournament. In the previous 9 semi-finals, the Spaniard was eliminated 6 times. Pep’s challenger is Carlo Ancelotti, who holds a record four Champions League titles as a coach.
Real Madrid has the home field advantage and the voice of history, and Man City is showing great form. The representative of England has won all of the last 5 matches (Leeds, West Ham, Fulham, Arsenal and Sheffield) with an impressive goal difference – goals conceded.
In the opposite direction, coach Ancelotti’s team showed a flurry of performance in La Liga when almost ran out of chances to defend the championship. In the final of the Spanish King’s Cup on May 7, “Los Blancos” also struggled to beat Osasuna 2-1.
Despite the huge difference in the number of Champions League wins (14 vs. 0), the head-to-head record between the two teams in this arena is very balanced. Real Madrid and Man City together have 3 wins and 2 draws. The La Liga representative scored a total of 13 goals but also let the opponent concede 12 times.
The statistics of Real Madrid and Man City in the Champions League this season also have many similarities. Up to the semi-finals, Pep’s team was the team that scored the most goals (26 goals). The defending champion also followed closely when only scoring 1 goal less. The biggest difference lies in the defense when Real Madrid relies more on the saving skills of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
The focus of the great war is the competition between the two top strikers in the world at the moment. After a period of decline due to injury, Karim Benzema proved inferior to Erling Haaland in the ability to score goals.
In the domestic arena, the Norwegian striker shows a terrible performance. The former Dortmund star has just set the record for the most goals (35 goals) in a Premier League season. Meanwhile, despite still racing Pichichi with Lewandowski, Benzema’s goal-scoring performance is still not comparable to juniors born in 2000.
In the Champions League, Haaland also made an absolute impression when leading the scoring list with 12 goals. Man City’s rookie is likely to win the top scorer award for the second time when opponents still have the opportunity to improve their performance such as Vinicius Junior (6 goals), Rodrygo (5 goals), Giroud (5 goals) have all been lost. away.
Meanwhile, Benzema is no longer showing the fearsome form in the Champions League last season, where the French striker scored 15 goals to win the top scorer title.
The fact that Benzema is inferior to Haaland in scoring ability also comes from a separate playing style. The French star is a wide active striker who touches the ball a lot and contributes regularly to the game.
The heat map of the active area of these two strikers also shows that. While Haaland was mainly present in the penalty area to finish off opponents, Benzema often drifted to the left to coordinate with Vinicius.
Real Madrid is likely to play with central defender Antonio Rudiger – David Alaba in the context of Eder Militao’s suspension. The loss of the downline leader is a big loss for the defending champion’s uncertain defense.
Modric’s ability to start from the beginning is also open when the Croatian midfielder has just returned from injury and only played for the last few minutes in the match against Osasuna on May 7. On the side of Man City, Aymeric Laporte is ready to fill the position of Nathan Ake, the left-sided midfielder has just suffered an injury. Walker can also be deployed from the start to curb Vinicius’s pace.