champions league takeaways conservative real madrid get the ...

2022-8-20
champions league takeaways conservative real madrid get the ...:Here's what to know after Tuesday's
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champions league takeaways conservative real madrid get the ... Introduction

champions league takeaways conservative real madrid get the ... Here's what to know after Tuesday's action

champions league takeaways conservative real madrid get the ...

champions league takeaways conservative real madrid get the ... Champions League takeaways: Conservative Real Madrid get the job done; Dortmund still alive against Man City

champions league takeaways conservative real madrid get the ...

Manchester City and Real Madrid both put one foot into the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday with first leg wins in their quarterfinal matchups. City got a late goal from Phil Foden to beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at the Etihad, while Real tore apart Liverpool's defense to take a 3-1 win to Anfield ahead of next week's second leg. 

Here are three takeaways from the action. And don't forget, you can see more UCL action, including Wednesday's big PSG vs. Bayern Munich match, on Paramount+.

Real play conservatively and it pays off 

This Real Madrid-Liverpool tie felt like it would come down to whose thin defense steps up in the absence of superstars. Both teams were without their usual center back pairing, with Sergio Ramos and Raphale Varane both out for Los Blancos, with news of the latter having just tested positive for COVID-19 coming only hours before game time. Virgil van Dijk's big knee injury sees him still on the road to recovery.

Well, the answer was clearly Real Madrid. While Liverpool's defense was horrific overall, Real's looked sharp by design. That is because Zinedine Zidane provided assistance with Casemiro sitting in deeper and Ferland Mendy also staying back, as Jurgen Klopp's team managed just one shot on goal. 

Take a look at the image below, where Casemiro is just a few yards in front of the backline while the Reds are in possession in the final third, which shows you just how much cover he provided at times. 

Casemiro sat just ahead of the backline to provide cover. CBS Sports

So how much help were they? While Mendy was solid, it was Casemiro who shine brightly with eight tackles, two interceptions, 17 duels and recovering the ball a game-high 10 times.

Expect a similar look in the second leg for Zinedine Zidane.

Craving even more coverage of the world's game? Listen below and subscribe to ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.

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