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Irlandos

APOEL - Real Madrid

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C. Ronaldo the shot, save Chiotis! That close to 2-0

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Ozil! Save Chiotis again. APOEL are breaking down

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2-0 Real, Kaka scores. The wheels are coming off

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Real Madrid substitution:

Granero IN

Sahin OUT

All changes have been made

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APOEL 0-3 Real Madrid FT

Only a miracle in Madrid can save APOEL now.

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I wish I had some sound on this PC to see how the APOEL fans are treating Mesut Ozil.

Mezut Ozil is Kurdish, hence the reason he opted to play for Germany rather than Turkey ;) Nuri Sahin is Turkish of course. Neither player wsa singled out in any way. Ronaldo got booed and jeered more than anyone. The atmosphere was genuinely superb, best I've seen in the Champions League this season in any game in any country.

APOEL defended well for much of the game but were out classed and offered very little going forward. One thing I will say though, I personally believe Jovanovic made a HUGE tactical error today. Up until the 72nd minute Real Madrid had only really missed one huge opportunity (Benzema open goal), apart from that they had 2 other decent chances. However on the 72nd minute, at 0-0, the APOEL manager took off a holding midfielder (Helion Pinto) and brought on a striker (Solari). I'm sorry but you do not do that against a team that is dominating possession. APOEL were flooding the midfield and containing them well so why move to an open 4-4-2? Within 2 mins Real Madrid scored.

This didn't surprise me because Poursaitidis (the right back) was really struggling in the first half and wasn't being offered that much protection by Bidis (right midfield) but he was at least present while Pinto was helping out a lot. Once Pinto came off the midfield 5 became a 4, meaning that Bidis had to tuck in more leaving yet more space down the left wing and in turn leaving Poursaitidis even more exposed. It wasn't a surprise therefore that their first 2 goals came from the left wing. The 3rd goal came after Ronaldo ran 25 yards with the ball right through the heart of the midfield without being challenged. Had Pinto been there I guarantee you he'd have at least tried to tackle him.

I guess Jovanovic was thinking, "if we're going to qualify we have to win at home", the way the game was going though I'd say his change cost APOEL the game. And i'm not saying this in retrospect, I said it immediately when I saw Solari replace Pinto. Jovanovic has been amazing for APOEL. Anyone that has read my blog will know how much I rate him and APOEL, but tonight that tactical change cost APOEL the game in my opinion

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