‘We Lost Control’ Admits Casemiro
Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro admits that his side ‘lost control’ during their 2-1 home defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League round of 16 first leg tie, giving them a mountain to climb in Manchester in three weeks.
Madrid took a second half lead through Isco, but the tie quickly slipped away from them in the second half when two goals in three minutes from Casemiro’s international teammate Gabriel Jesus and a penalty from Kevin de Bruyne gave City the upper hand.
Sergio Ramos was later sent off for a professional foul on Gabriel Jesus in the final minutes, meaning he will miss the second leg through suspension. It was the 27th red card of Ramos’ career.
Madrid midfielder Casemiro will also be suspended for the second leg after picking up a yellow card for a foul on Ilkay Gundogan. The Brazilian was candid in his assessment of what went wrong for Madrid on the night.
“The explanation is clear,” he told television station Movistar. “We did very well for 75 minutes and then we had no intensity at all, we lost control of the game, we leaned back and they are a great rival, they attacked twice and scored.”
Madrid have a pivotal El Clasico match against Barcelona in La Liga this weekend. A match on which you can bet with a Draftkings welcoming offer. Casemiro insists minds did not wander in the final stages of the City game, when the tie got away from them.
“There is no excuse. At the weekend we have a tough game against Barcelona. We need to think about that.” However, the 28-year old insists that the tie is not over yet and that Madrid will be upbeat ahead of the second leg in three weeks’ time.
“‘If there is one team that can turn this around, it is Real Madrid. But I think it’s important that we played 75 minutes very well, against a great side, and for 15 minutes we didn’t do what we had to do. And they came back to win. It’s not over yet, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
City boss Pep Guardiola pointed to the influence of Casemiro and Madrid’s midfield when dissecting his approach to the game, which saw Gabriel Jesus deployed in a wider position than usual.
“We played with a false 9 because of way Real Madrid defends. They are so aggressive though the middle and when that happens you have make the pitch wide. Ramos, Varane, Casemiro, they wins these balls, incredible.
“So we wanted to give diagonals as much as possible and play the ball to the wings.” Real Madrid need to win by two goals at the Etihad in three weeks’ time to progress. Real Madrid play Barcelona at the Bernabeu on Sunday evening.