A shocking pair of defensive mistakes from Raphael Varane have sent Real Madrid packing from the last 16 of the Champions League for the second year in a row after a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City on Friday night at the Etihad Stadium.
The French center-back committed a miscue in each half that led to goals for Pep Guardiola’s side, who punched their ticket to the final eight with a 4-2 triumph on aggregate.
Meanwhile, for Real Madrid, it is the second consecutive season in which they have been eliminated in the first knockout round, following last year’s elimination at the hands of Ajax.
Outside of a Karim Benzema header, the Real Madrid attack never found its flow and the failure to bounce back from the second Varane error is likely to be difficult to accept in the months to come. The absence of the suspended Sergio Ramos was also evident, with the captain helplessly looking on from the stands while Real Madrid wilted from their self-inflicted wounds.