Tuesday night was definitely not one for Real Madrid, as the team suffered a major defeat at home against Schalke, 4-3. And while the Spaniards still do move up to the quarterfinals, the media isn’t all that happy with their performance.
Local newspaper Marca described the match with the headline “What horror!”, pointing out that the team were nearly eliminated into contention despite initially getting a 2-0 lead in the first leg of the round-of-16 matches. According to the newspaper, it was Cristiano Ronaldo’s two goals in the match that helped Real Madrid clinch the semi-finals slot through a 5-4 aggregate lead.
Sports newspaper AS, meanwhile, posted a video on their site showing angry fans shouting at the players as they left the stadium. AS columnist Juanma Trueba compared the team’s near elimination to the odds of someone being killed by a piano. “Cristiano avoided a catastrophe. His goals were decisive on a night of progressive degeneration, from the bad to the ridiculous,” Trueba lamented.
The local media wasn’t the only one that took notice. While talking about Schalke’s victory, German tabloid Bild noted Real Madrid’s lackluster performance. The paper wrote “Schalke sensed the miracle. But Real have Cristiano Ronaldo [and nothing else].” It added that Sami Khedras and Toni Kroos, two of the players that contributed to Real’s successful Germany Internationals, delivered poorly in Tuesday’s game.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has acknowledged the team’s performance during the game at the Bernabeu. He also denied rumors that he feared that his stint with the Spanish team might end after the result of the match. Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno backed him up amid the furor.
“We have a coach with enormous experience, “He has many, many years at the top level, and we are convinced he will find a solution. The team has not shown the level it can show, but in the coming games that will come,” Butragueno said in an interview with canal Plus.