The atmosphere at the Santiago Bernabeu was electric during the ninety minute game on the February 15 which included 27 shots, four goals and a decisive win for Real Madrid over Napoli.
Napoli got the first chance after only eight minutes when Lorenzo Insigne powered in a 40-yard thunderbolt strike that sent the visiting Naples fans into rapture.
Real had to fight their way from behind to win the game 3-1.
This was definitely a match for the ages, but will that resilience will be a sign of things to come and will Real Madrid be able to live up to the expectations and take the cup for a consecutive year?
Real Coach Zidane
It is a well-known fact that Zinedine Zidane likes to take the lead early in away games.
When he spoke to the media, he made it clear that his squad will need better preparation and concentration on away games if they want to get an early advantage Getting an early lead is extremely important on the road and is a great way to subdue the crowd.
This also pushes the other team to work harder and deal with an extra amount if pressure.
Zidane believes that this year’s cup will be very competitive and will take a match by match approach for every game.
Having a star-filled squad, he said that picking up the first 11 is not as easy as it seems as everyone will be in top form and motivated.
A look back at the Napoli game
Madrid seem to be in one of their best forms lately and despite Napoli being on an 18 game unbeaten streak, this was not enough to secure them a point.
Before the game began, Sarri described Madrid as the “Best team in the world”, a statement Zidane seems to concur with too.
In as much as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are fighting it out to reach 100 Champion League goals, few realise that Karim Benzema comes closely behind for third, while currently fifth overall.
Benzema can overtake Thierry Henry after bagging his 51st goal. Sceptics feel that Zidane is biased towards his fellow Frenchmen and Alvaro Morata should start more.
Nevertheless, let’s not forget that it was Benzema’s goal that provided the leveller against Napoli only ten minutes after they were down on the score sheet.
Despite being out on injury for three months Bale seems to have returned in good physical shape.
Just the fact that he is back in training is good news for the team.
He did not play in the Napoli game but might be available for the return leg.
Toni Kroos is one of the most experienced players in the squad. Injuries on Casemiro and Luka Modric earlier in the season saw him overused and for a while he looked jaded in some of his recent games.
His 18 day break played off as he created the second goal with a great pass.
Will Real Madrid be able to repeat their exploits of last year and put their hands on the cup?
Well, according to bookmaker predictions, it seems the title odds are highly in their favour.
Check out the Betway Info page by TBO to place a bet if you want to get involved.
To have made 20 shots against the Italian giants away from home was very impressive, which shows the team have great resilience when playing away from home.
On the field, Madrid seems to have maintained their ambitious spirit and a disciplined concentration that allows them to secure wins even after trailing early in the game.