'An earthquake... Enough to make you cry' – Spanish media react to Man City masterclass plus the view from Inter (2023)

Real Madrid's 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Manchester City in Wednesday night's Champions League semi-final second leg prompted an emotional backlash in the Spanish media, as attention turned to "pathetic, cowardly" coach Carlo Ancelotti.

City's masterclass was "enough to make you cry," according to AS, while Josep Pedrerol, presenter of LaSexta TV's 'Chiringuito' sports show said: "Real is losing because of Ancelotti's pathetic and cowardly approach."

There was genuine shock at the one-sided nature of the defeat and calls for a complete overhaul of the club's personnel.

The front-page headline of sports paper Marca could hardly be clearer: "A thrashing, of the kind that really hurts." Marca said that Real had suffered a "90-minute-long nightmare" at the Etihad.

Rival sports paper AS went with a front-page photograph of Karim Benzema with his face in his hands and El Pais chief sports writer José Sámano described the night in Manchester as "an earthquake for Real".

"What I cannot forgive is the impression Real have given in defeat," said Tomás Roncero, chief Real Madrid correspondent for AS.

"Madrid were beaten 4-0 and you have to be thanking [Thibaut] Courtois it wasn't by more."

Guillem Balague, one of the most prominent Spanish football journalists wrote on Twitter that: "Few teams in the history of the game have reached this level."

Asked about his future at Real Madrid, Ancelotti said afterwards there was "no doubt" and that club president Florentino Pérez had signalled his support for the coach.

But Predrag Mijatovic, who won LaLiga and the Champions League during his spell at the club, said: "I believe that we can clearly speak of a cycle that has ended."

Like many other pundits, Mijatovic suggested that Carlo Ancelotti's time was up.

"Tonight has shown that Real Madrid must think about the future, starting with the coach and the players," he said.

"The team wasn't good; the rival was much better. Now we have to make plans for this summer and for the future."

The former Montenegrin forward said Real needed replacement forwards and full-backs, but said Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, both substituted in the second half, should still play a role next season.

View from Italy: Do not hand Man City the Champions League trophy justyet

By Vincenzo D'Angelo and Paolo Tomaselli

In England, many are crowning Manchester City as champions of Europe already after their dismantling of Real Madrid. But in Italy, the view is that the final is far from a foregone conclusion against Inter, a team that has assets that can trouble City.

Vincenzo D’Angelo, La Gazzetta dello Sport

Inter needs a sporting miracle because Manchester City are the strongest team in the world. They have everything: quality, intensity and many players who can step up to be 'MVP' in every game as well as a manager who has changed world football with his ideas. Nevertheless, Inter do not start off beaten and they know anything can happen in a final.

Inter are very solid defensively this season in Europe with eight clean sheets in the Champions League. Only Benfica has scored against them, but the result was already decided by the time they did in the second leg.

Their hopes rely on their midfield: Brozovic and Çalhanoglu will have to do an extraordinary job to be able to stem City's dribbling and then have the quality to turn on the forwards and scare Guardiola. Lautaro Martinez personifies the team. He is a world champion who scores goals but crucially sacrifices himself to work hard for the team.

Inter manager Simone Inzaghi will try to follow his own philosophy: be tidy at the back, stay focused in the face of City's onslaught and, when they have the opportunity to attack, be decisive and accelerate on the flanks, with defenders who can join in attack and also use Edin Dzeko or Romelu Lukaku as an aerial threat.

Inter will have an idea, but the problem is that Manchester City forces you to stay behind the ball.

Paolo Tomaselli, Corriere della Sera

In August nobody at Inter dreamed of the final. They have not had a good season in the league but in the Champions League they have played at their best. The fans know that the route to the final helped Inter, but that does not mean a chance at glory is undeserved. Winning remains a dream, but there is also great enthusiasm that a shock could be pulled off.

Everyone knows that City are favourites, but there are more than three weeks to go and in one game anything can happen. There is no fear, I think the pressure of the result is all on Manchester City.

Simon Inzaghi since his Lazio days has won domestic cups as an underdog. He was also an underdog against Barcelona in October but Inter went through. He is not ultra-defensive, but he is an excellent example of the Italian school and he prepares the best matches this way: very deep defence and organised, fast counterattacks.

To shut themselves in the box 90 minutes is madness but Inter know they will have to suffer to win. Much depends on the choice in attack between Edin Dzeko (always the starter in big games) or Romelu Lukaku, who is more powerful in the counter attack. Dzeko is likely to still play.

Inter's other strengths are the three-man defence that have excelled all season in the Champions League while the wide players, Federico Dimarco and Denzel Dumfries, and the midfield with Nicolo Barella provide very strong insertions up the pitch. Long balls are an option for them with Onana very good at distributing from the back.

Inter are a physical team but also a technical one. It is now in the best condition it has been in all campaign.

Let's see on 10 June.

Guardiola: 'The Treble is there now – we can think about it'

By James Ducker

Pep Guardiola told his players to "visualise" winning the treble after hailing the greatest performance of his seven-year reign as Manchester City manager.

City crushed Real Madrid 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium to reach a second Champions League final in three years after channelling the "pain" of last season's agonising defeat to the Spanish giants.

Inter Milan now stand between them and an elusive first European Cup in Istanbul on June 10, when Guardiola's men could also become only the second English side in history to win the treble.

City will clinch a fifth Premier League title in six seasons if they beat Chelsea on Sunday – assuming Arsenal do not first gift them the trophy by losing at Nottingham Forest the day before – and also face Manchester United in the FA Cup final next month.

And Guardiola has urged his players to seize the chance to become history makers.

"We are there now and the players can think about it, visualise it," he said. "We are three games away. One in each competition. We can do it.

"We need to win one more game in the Premier League, then we have our neighbours in the Cup and a Champions League final against an Italian side.

"The pleasure of being there and playing against Inter Milan is incalculable and we are going to enjoy the occasion."

City's stunning victory over Real – which Guardiola described as "the highest" of his tenure at the club – came 12 months after a dramatic late semi-final collapse at the Bernabeu.

"We still had that pain in our stomach from last year and we brought it all out today… we had the energy after so much pain last year," he said.

"It was so hard and tough last season when we played quite similar to today and I remember Toni Kroos gave an interview saying they could have lost 10-1 or 10-2 [in the first leg] at the Etihad.

"Kroos is one of the best players I have ever seen and trained and when he says that it means we were there and it was really tough losing the way we lost. In that moment, we had to swallow poison but football and sport always gives you another chance.

"When the draw was Madrid, I said 'Yeah, I want it'. I wanted it because I think today everything was there – the energy we had from a year of being criticised as players for not having character when we lost because it was football.

"Today it was there and I'm pleased for the whole organisation – for the chairman, owner, staff and especially all the players because we accepted the defeat and today we were there.

"One year later, we are in the final of the Champions League. Football and life always give you opportunities if you don't give up."

Carlo Ancelotti, the Real coach, admitted his side had been well beaten but expressed no concerns over his future as manager. "No one doubts me, the president has been quite clear two weeks ago, there are no doubts about my staying on," he said.


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