Real Madrid miss their famous home advantage in Europe

Their last three losses came within a year of each other as Real Madrid seem to have lost they edge they always had at the Santiago Bernabéu in Europe.

Ziyech y Tadic celebran el segundo gol del Ajax al Real Madrid en el partido de vuelta de octavos de final de la Champions 2018-2019.

There was a time when the Santiago Bernabéu was an impregnable fortress in Europe. Juanito captured it perfectly when he said "90 minutes at the Bernabéu are too long." Not long after, Jorge Valdano coined the phrase 'The Theatre of Fear'. Back then, beating Real Madrid on their home turf was beyond even the best teams in the world.

That aura has been diluted on recent Bernabéu nights in Europe. Last season, CSKA and Ajax inflicted two of the worst defeats in their European history with 0-3 and 1-4 beatings respectively. The last three losses at the Bernabéu came in an 11 month stretch from April 11 2018 to March 5 2019. The space between their three previous defeats came five and a half years apart - from 21 October 2009 (2-3 against Milan) to 10 March 2015 (3-4 against Schalke). On the plus side, between the quarter-finals in 2013 and prior to that Schalke defeat, they managed 11 consecutive wins at home in the Champions League.

Last defeats in the Champions League at home for Real Madrid

Season Date Opponent Result Round
05-06 21-feb.-06 Arsenal 0-1 last 16 (1st leg)
07-08 5-mar.-08 Roma 1-2 last 16 (2nd leg)
08-09 5-nov.-08 Juventus 0-2 group (game 4)
08-09 25-feb.-09 Liverpool 0-1 last 16 (1st leg)
09-10 21-oct.-09 Milan 2-3 group (game 3)
10-11 27-apr.-11 Barcelona 0-2 Semis (1st leg)
14-15 10-mar.-15 Schalke 3-4 last 16 (2nd leg)
17-18 11-apr.-18 Juventus 1-3 quarter-final (2nd leg)
18-19 12-dec.-18 CSKA 0-3 group (game 6)
18-19 5-mar.-19 Ajax 1-4 last 16 (2nd leg)

Zidane trying to reverse the trend at the Bernabéu

Zidane couldn't restore the Bernabéu fortress status either. They lost to Juve in the quarter-finals two years ago and Bayern in the semi-finals. Despite Real Madrid holding a healthy advantage from the first leg, Juve were leading 3-0 before a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty swung it for the home side. The Germans were one goal away from a final in Kiev too.

Against Brugges on Tuesday night, another streak is under threat, as Real Madrid have not lost three in Europe since 1981. They lost to Ajax last season and PSG this season with the Belgian side visiting the capital for the second game of the group stage. With Zidane at the helm, they have always won directly after a loss and will be hoping to do so again on Tuesday for fear of falling way off the pace in Group A