Carlo Ancelotti barely celebrated Brahim’s 1-0. While his son Davide stuck out his fists behind him, his father just raised his arms and thought it was time. The first half for Madrid was an afternoon at the fair at the end of September, and in the end the attacker who went out onto the field with a dislocation in his right shoulder was right. The former Milan man had agreed on an hour of play and gave him time.
Arrizabalaga, Alabama (Lucas Vazquez, 40 minutes), Nacho, Rüdiger, Ferland Mendy (Fran Garcia, 76 minutes), Camavinga (Kroos, 76 minutes), Brahim Diaz (Dani Ceballos, 56 minutes), Aurelien Tchouameni, Federico Valverde, Rodrygo and Joselu (Vinicius Junior, min. 57)
Alvaro Valles, Saul Coco, Julian Araujo, Daley Sinkgraven (Sergi Cardona, 45th minute), Curbelo, Munir, Christian Herrera, O. Mfulu (Kirian Rodriguez, 45th minute), Jonathan Viera (Maximo Perrone, 76th minute), Javi Munoz (76th minute) and Sory Kaba (57th minute)
Goals 1-0 min. 47: Brahim Diaz. 2-0 min. 53: Josel.
Referee José Luis Munuera Montero
Yellow cards Saul Coco (min. 78)
Until then, the white team put on quite an exhibition of dummy shooting. He needed 18 shots (eight on goal) to score the first on the day in which he also lined up Rodrygo and Joselu up front. These are the new times of a lead marked by investment austerity in that line.
“The coach’s job is to create chances,” explained Carlo Ancelotti, who was more “concerned” about the “lack of intensity” and the “block defense that was too low” in the second half. These are times of doubt after passing through the Metropolitano and the Italian did not want a drop in tension. “The goal was to go out and press hard. Maybe there the forwards lost freshness in the finish,” he managed to explain.
After a day of little light up front, a front of concern also opened up for the Reggiolo coach in defense. Alaba retired injured due to discomfort in the right adductor that, from the outset, everything indicates that he will be eliminated for Saturday in Girona (this Thursday or Friday they will do tests); and Rüdiger ended up with pain in his right calf, although Carletto assumed that he will be in Montilivi. An urgent presence for Madrid because the fall of Alaba, together with that of Militão, leaves the squad without a net, with only two pure centre-backs: Nacho and the German.
Madrid prepared to survive without Jude Bellingham (author of half of the team’s goals until then; six of 12) in a lineup where Vinicius was still missing (he reappeared in the second half after a month injured). In the end, he did not need the Englishman, although before closing the victory he wasted chances in pairs. Until 1-0, Rodrygo had two clear ones; Joselu, four; Brahim, one; Nacho, another… And the offsides prevented the accounting from showing worse figures. He had to rebound a Brahim attempt to score the first.
The young man, bruised by a foul he received at the Metropolitano, did not hesitate to enlist despite his physical condition. “I have taken advantage of it. The coach gave me the starting job and I scored a goal, so that I have pressure in the next games,” claimed the young man, who had only played 45 minutes this season. Rodrygo, meanwhile, was again kept scoreless for the sixth consecutive game, although he scored the assist for the second. “He will score when he least thinks about the goal,” Ancelotti tried to console him.
The Italian’s relief at 1-0 was similar to that of Joselu at 2-0. A run and four punches to the striker’s grass, for which they had gone. He had needed seven attempts and it had to be a header. Two minutes later, Ancelotti hugged him goodbye. Of course, the undistilled statistics still leave him in a good place: of his six games with Madrid at the Bernabéu, he has scored in five (he only missed the mark against Unión Berlin).
This is how Madrid resolved a match that began by non-stop sending long balls to their attackers, taking advantage of the advanced Canarian defense. “A direct pass is the best option because, with a delivery, you can have one-on-one with the goalkeeper. “I am not a superfan of possession, I am a superfan of goals,” proclaimed the Italian.
This time there was no news of Madrid’s weakness when it came to defending the lateral centers. Ancelotti changed both flanks (Nacho and Mendy for Lucas Vázquez and Fran García), but Las Palmas showed the reason why it had taken 540 minutes to score their first goal in play (last Sunday against Granada). There was also no sign of Kroos and Modric in the eleven after the noise of the derby. The German only appeared in the final stretch and the Croatian had a rest. The following important events in October will define whether the Metropolitano’s slap has altered its status.
From the stands, the girl who was harassed by Atlético radicals on Sunday at the Metropolitano for wearing a Vinicius shirt, invited by the white club, followed everything.
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