So we've gone from unable to cope against Brighton and Fulham to taking Real Madrid in 2 legs. That's a long jump in a short space of time.
There is never ever ever ever ever a good time to face Real Madrid, and this isn't either. Current La Liga Champions and still in the hunt to retain it, is not bad for a team in apparant transition and turmoil. We may be great in this competition, but Real are the experts, and the masters of how to win it again and again. Zidane has won it 4 times as player and manager alone. We have lost the last 3 games against Real, and the last time we played Real over two legs, we got done 4-0 on aggregate and the home game was over by half time, as Ronaldo ran amok. As I said, there is never a good time to face Real Madrid, and there are several other sides I would rather take on instead.
Unless it's a repeat of the final, you can knock talk of revenge on the head also. The outcome in Kiev is set in stone and nothing will change it, not even shouting Scouse at Ramos, which he won't understand a syllable of. This is just about getting through to the next round, and these are currently the best teams in Europe. There are very few walkovers going once you get to this stage.
Looking past Madrid would be foolish. They’re an experienced side and still have good players. But it is a good time to play them without doubt.
Yes they’re in the hunt for la liga still, but that doesn’t mean too much this season. They’re 6 points behind atletico who are bang average, did you watch them against Chelsea? Chelsea battered them both home and away.
Barca are a mess and even they’re above Madrid. As soon as they came up against decent opposition in PSG look at what happened to them.
All of atletico, Barca and Madrid are in transition right now and they’re not the same sides they were 3-4 seasons ago.
You mention Brighton and Fulham, and we can also name another dozen teams if we wanted, but we are clueless against organised teams with deep defences who park the bus and let us have all the possession.
European games are totally different though. Usually, you come up against teams who want to play football, and that suits us perfectly. That’s when we are at our best. The games are open and there’s more space. We will press teams into mistakes and counter using the channels getting the best out of Trent, robbo, mane and Salah. For madrid, we certainly have the legs on them and were much more aggressive and energetic than what they are.
From the 7 sides we could have faced I would have ranked them in order of easiest games for us as: Porto, Dortmund, Madrid, Chelsea, PSG, Bayern, City.
So to get number 3 on the list and then have then playing the winners of 1 and 4 is a fantastic draw for us.