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Eduardo Camavinga’s excellent performance against Manchester City caused Pep Guardiola problems

The Frenchman caused problems for City at left-back, getting the assist for Vinicius’ goal.

The Frenchman caused problems for City at left-back, getting the assist for Vinicius’ goal.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti had a plan against Pep Guardiola and Manchester City in the Champions League semi-final game that ended 1-1: if you want the ball, just as you have done against us in the past, then you can have it. But I’m going to run at you with Vinicius and Camvinga. The Catalan coach took the bait and had the hook in his mouth once Madrid found their groove.

Madrid’s first goal came directly from this set-up, with Camvinga using space where City didn’t expect to find him to play a one-two with Modric before setting up Vinicius for a wonderful goal. With the starting XI from the game, with Camavinga as a full-back helping out Modric, Kroos and Valverde, Ancelotti can still fell as though the midfield battle is there to be won.

Camavinga marked Silva excellently well during the game.
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Camavinga marked Silva excellently well during the game.JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELADiarioAS

Camavinga was Madrid’s 4th midfielder

De Bruyne’s golazo is the first that this lineup (with Benzema, Rodrygo and Vinicius up front) that Madrid have conceded after putting 4 past Barça and 4 past Chelsea over 2 legs: it is an overall score of 9-1, indicating that the game against City at the Etihad will indeed by ‘a final’.

The difference in depth that Camavinga gives to the team can be seen in Carvajal’s game, too. The Frenchman made 28 passes to the midfielders and strikers, compared to 15 from the right-back. The coming and going of Camavinga unsettled the away side as they were unsure whether to follow him or not.

City fouled Camavinga more times than any other Madrid player

The first player to experience the confusion was Bernardo Silva, who let his frustration be known in the first half with a dangerous tackle that went unpunished: the only way City found to stop the positioning of Camavinga from affecting their game was by fouling him. In total they committed 4 fouls on the left-back, the most suffered by any Madrid player, one more than Vinicius.

Camavinga finished the game with the same energy levels he showed in minute one. He was the driving force behind Madrid’s search for a late second and played a part in the team’s last-gasp chances to sneak a win. Guardiola, it seems, has some homework to do.