Knock-out curse threatens Pellegrini and Perez
After running down the blamestorming tick list of referees, a grand Spanish FA conspiracy, UEFA, Barcelona, the Anglo-Saxon media and referees again, the Madridista press had to resort to old-fashioned means to excuse Tuesday nightÃ¢ÂÂs loss at Lyon - and thatÃ¢ÂÂs the side being completely pants.
And Manuel Pellegrini, of course.
Marca were begging for the knock-out round curse to be lifted from Real Madrid against the unfancied Frenchies, but things didn't quite go to plan in the Stade Gerland with Team Florentino putting in a performance as inept Ã¢ÂÂ if not more so Ã¢ÂÂ than the one that tickled ribs around the world against Liverpool this time last year.
LA LIGA LOCA, Tue Feb 16: Madrid prepare for their annual knockout round
ItÃ¢ÂÂs a very disappointed Marca who have have come down hardest on CR9 and his gormless gang, with WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs headline blasting Ã¢ÂÂ1-0 and thank-you,Ã¢ÂÂ noting that it could easily have been a three or four-goal thrashing for Madrid against a garlic-guzzling side who were expected to last as long as a choc-ice given to Maniche.
"Oh, what's the point?"
While 67 percent of their readers blame the Real Madrid footballers for the Champions League chump-fest, MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs editorial is bashing PellegriniÃ¢ÂÂs bouffanted bonce with a big old shovel, calling the loss Ã¢ÂÂanother Pellegri-nadaÃ¢ÂÂ - playing on the Spanish word for Ã¢ÂÂnowtÃ¢ÂÂ.
Ã¢ÂÂLast night, far from taking a step forward, it was a step back,Ã¢ÂÂ scoffed the paper. Ã¢ÂÂA big one.Ã¢ÂÂ
And thatÃ¢ÂÂs the vibe for WednesdayÃ¢ÂÂs AS, with editor Alfredo RelaÃÂ±o complaining that Ã¢ÂÂaside from Ronaldo, we still canÃ¢ÂÂt see a true team.Ã¢ÂÂ
Even the maddest Madridista of them all, TomÃÂ¡s Roncero, is in a football funk at what could be six years of knock-out shame for his side and complains that the performance was sÃ¢ÂÂbad from Pellegrini, bad from the stars, bad everything.Ã¢ÂÂ
Pellegrini: Looking well, isn't he?
The papers in the Kingdom of Catalunya have avoided laughing too hard at their capital city rivalsÃ¢ÂÂ expense, what with BarÃÂ§a still to face their opening tie against Stuttgart next week with no guarantee of victory due to injuries and somewhat indifferent form.
Ã¢ÂÂStuttgart are a similar rival to Lyon,Ã¢ÂÂ warns Joan Vehils in Sport. Ã¢ÂÂThey have nothing to lose and everything to gain.Ã¢ÂÂ
However, Mundo Deportivo canÃ¢ÂÂt help themselves with a bit of a poke at Florentino PerezÃ¢ÂÂ well-insulated ribs after MadridÃ¢ÂÂs third goalless defeat in three trips to Lyon.
Ã¢ÂÂPellegriniÃ¢ÂÂs team was a disaster due to their poor play and gave an awful image,Ã¢ÂÂ tuts Josep M Artells, noting that the Madrid presidentÃ¢ÂÂs dream of winning the Champions League trophy in the Bernabeu was not exactly going to plan.
Ã¢ÂÂA shock in the return leg would be a nightmare,Ã¢ÂÂ chuckles the columnist.
The second leg tie against Lyon on March 10 is going to be a tremendously nervy occasion for Madrid, a side that really does have a Copa del Rey-sized complex around Champions League knockouts.
After blowing hundreds of millions in the summer, failure to move into the quarter-finals would be extremely bad for Florentino PÃÂ©rez Ã¢ÂÂ but even worse for his manager, who can expect his belongings to be stuffed into a box before the next sunrise.
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