How to beat Real Madrid – according to Guillem Balague

Robert Toole

Sky Sports’ Guillem Balague has spoken to Shortlist Magazine about how City can overcome Real Madrid when they face each other next week in the Champions League. The Spanish football expert focused on four areas he thinks City need to exploit if they are to be successful.

Diagonal Balls

Madrid have difficulties defending against diagonal balls in the box. Goalkeeper Iker Casillas isn’t the best at dealing with aerial balls.

Filling the Flanks

Left-back is a weak position for Madrid. If Marcelo plays, he’ll go on runs but often leave openings for the likes of David Silva. Alvaro Arbeloa, who often plays left-back, doesn’t attack well, so City can afford to play a more attacking right-back.

Stopping Alonso

Xabi Alonso dictates how his team play. If City have a midfielder paying close attention to Alonso they will cut out most of the service to Ronaldo.

Lighting Short Fuses

City might not want to resort to what Jose Mourinho calls ‘the other side of football’ – tricks the referee doesn’t see; little kicks, fouls to slow the game down, winding up players – but Levante have successfully used these tactics against Madrid.

With all due respect, Guillem, City are not Levante but thanks for the advice. What’s certain is that whoever comes out on top will have to be at their best.

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