Former Socceroos Mark Bosnich and Craig Forster had a field day at halftime this morning, as Real Madrid went into the dressing room trailing PSG in their last-16 Champions League second leg game 1-0 down on the night (2-0 down on aggregate).
“It always comes a time with teams where younger teams coming through the next generation kind of put the nail in the coffin for certain teams and that’s exactly what PSG looked like they were doing to Real Madrid in that first half,” Bosnich said.
“That’s true, that’s my impression also actually,” Forster agreed. “Because when they [Real Madrid] were winning all of their Champions Leagues not too long ago they had Ronaldo, which was your Mbappe of the day.”
“They had someone who everyone was frightened about… and now you’ve got this guy who you just cannot stop and after 10 minutes of trying to press it’s clear that Real Madrid don’t have any more of that in them… maybe just the first 10 in the second half.”
He continued: “PSG demonstrated their quality across all aspects – they were able to keep the ball and they were able to counter-attack and the thing about Real Madrid is they are not better in either of those aspects.”
“When they [PSG] played against Manchester City, City were better with the ball than PSG and then they could stop the counter attack. Real Madrid don’t have as strong a counter attack and they’re not as good with the ball.”Craig Forster
“To me in the first leg… they made a 200 million euro offer for Mbappe, well he already was at 400 million when he destroyed them in the first leg, after this first half [of the second leg] then there is no cheque that they can write,” he continued.
The game changed in the second half after a catastrophic error from PSG’s keeper, which saw Madrid equalise (on the night). Madrid then scored two more goals and won the round of 16 match 3-1, with Benzema and Modric having blinders.
In the most difficult moment for Real Madrid, this talented boy appeared… 36 years old and he seems like 26. Mentality. Quality. Pure class. ⭐️🇭🇷 #RealMadrid #UCL— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 9, 2022
Born in Zagreb on September 9, 1985.
Luka Modrić. 🎩 pic.twitter.com/Zbi0pVwtxj
Even at the end of the game, though the Australian soccer pundits began singing Benzema and Modric’s praises, the Stan commentary team still said if they were English teams or Bayern Munich they’d be happy with the result today, suggesting that even though PSG are mentally weaker than Madrid, and don’t have the same winners mentality, they are the scarier team to face.
Bosnich at least remarked on how “football can turn so easily” and Forster emphasised the words of commentator Martin Tyler, saying: “it’s a game played just as much in the head as in the feet… you rarely see a greater example of that [after the error that led to the first goal].”
They also finally gave Real Madrid some credit, saying: “Amazing from Real Madrid because even from then [after the equaliser] it’s still difficult, some magnificent play… Modric …those two passes, as you said again PSG have just absolutely blown it… credit to Madrid that was an extraordinary comeback.”
To the pundit’s credit, everything they said was basically accurate. Real Madrid are an aging side, PSG are so talented it’s terrifying, and it’s absolutely remarkable what just happened. But pundits will always play the percentages (although I’ll admit I would have liked to have seen a little more acknowledgement of how much the game showed their halftime comments wrong at the end of the match) and this time they were made to look a little silly.
And that’s what’s so great about football.