Expectations were sky high. Two giants of European football playing in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
What could possibly go wrong?
Real Madrid froze. The anticipated titanic match between “galácticos” became a mismatch. Real relied on their world class goalkeeper, Courtois, to prevent a rout. His brilliance kept the scoreline down to a mere 4-0 defeat. It could have been 6 or 7. A ‘victim’ of Courtois’s genius was goal scoring machine Haarland. He left empty handed.
Manchester City’s excellence in depth is illustrated by their three substitute players. They were Mahrez, Foden and Alvarez. Their ‘market value’ is about £170 million, with Foden being the most valuable. All three would walk into top European teams but here they were used as ‘impact’ players. And the impact? Foden’s exquisite through pass to Alvarez, who pounced and scored. Alvarez had been on the pitch for a minute.
The bookies must have been shell-shocked. They quoted Manchester City as 1-21 odds on. This error of judgement must have been costly. We feel their pain.
1 The bookies priced this as a likely Manchester win but out of three matches they thought Real would win one (two thirds/ one third)