In recent years, there have been teams that have somehow found a way to get into the Champions League semi-finals almost single-handedly thanks to luck. For example, Shalke 2011, Chelsea 2012, and Juventus 2015. This year, without a doubt, Real Madrid joins that list of undeserving teams to go far in Champions League.
Aside from PSG, their rivals in the group stage had no business in the Champions League. Shakhtar Donetsk and Malmö were never threats to either Real Madrid or PSG. It was evident as soon as Madrid started thrashing them every game. Yet the only real challenger, PSG, gave them problems. In two games, Madrid won 1-0 at home and tied 0-0 in Paris.
Like every year, Real Madrid gets very “lucky” in the draws. It seems like every draw of every year they always get one of the easiest teams remaining (or in this case, they take luck into their hands).
This year was no exception for the Madrid side. Each round, they get one of the easiest opponents. A struggling AS Roma side that barely qualified over Bayer Leverkusen in the group stage and eigth place Wolfsburg from Germany. As if they didn’t have it easy as it is, they had a difficult time defeating Wolfsburg and had to come back at home to defeat them. Lastly, in the semi-finals, they get a Manchester City team who is far from their best level, with a manager who knows he’s been replaced for next season, and a group of players that know that the season is practically lost.
It was almost unfair to ask Manchester City to even challenge Madrid for their ticket to the final. During their two games, it was eminent that Madrid was vastly superior. Even then, Madrid only won the fixture 1-0, with a questionable Bale goal that frankly looks like an own goal. No matter who scored the goal, overall, Madrid was dominant, but again, it was Manchester City, not Bayern or Atletico.
When all is said and done, Real will have 90 minutes to prove that they deserve to be in the final. The rematch of the 2014 final that left Atletico in tears. The final will be the time for Madrid to quiet the haters and prove that they can beat one of Europe’s elite.
Whether they win the title or not, the truth cannot be hidden. Real Madrid is very fortunate to be in the final of the most prestigious club tournament in the world. Fortunate because they have yet to be tested by a true contender. Should Madrid win the title, it will be another undeserving Champions League winner.