Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno
Real Madrid managed to get an easy, quiet win in what was Álvaro Arbeloa's return to the starting lineup. Mourinho placed Modric and Essien in the midfield and let Higuaín play upfront with Özil, Di María and Cristiano Ronaldo. Both Argentinians scored Real Madrid's first two goals, and later in the second half Essien and Modric wrapped the game up for los blancos.
It wasn't a hard win for Real Madrid, even though Zaragoza had some very good scoring chances during the second half. The team got a 2-0 win just 25 minutes after the game kicked off and never looked back. Casillas played a really good game (something Real Madrid fans aren't used to this season), and Real Madrid enjoyed its third clean sheet in a row.
Neither one of Real Madrid's players was brilliant, but it's good to get easy wins that allow the players to fully focus on Tuesday's game against Borussia Dortmund (the German side drew 0-0 to Stuttgart). Varane sat on the bench for the first time after the last FIFA break, meaning that backup defender Raúl Albiol played alongside Pepe. Arbeloa returned to the lineup, but he played in the left back position, just where he played in Spain's 2010 World Cup title. Jose Mourinho will surely be thankful of recovering one of his three pure full backs, and that's why he decided to be cautious and put Nacho Fernández on Arbeloa's spot in the 75th minute.
Jose Mourinho is the first coach in Real Madrid's history to reach the 100-win mark in less than three full seasons. In Real's 110 years of history, only four coaches accomplished that number, and that's why Jose Mourinho is a legend as a coach.
Zaragoza played a good second half, but its best player was arguably goalkeeper Roberto. As we stated in our Scouting Report, Roberto is one of the most talented goalkeepers in La Liga. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him in a better team next season, and he would also be a really good signing for Real Madrid. That way, Mourinho would replace Adán and he would also force Casillas to fight for the spot, something that would end up benefiting the team.
Mourinho seems very happy with Modric's recent performances. The Croatian player has improved a lot since his first few games in the club, and he's starting to make an impact in every match. Against Zaragoza, Modric scored his first goal as a madridista, and he did it with his left foot. One minute before that, Essien scored off a brilliant pass by Benzema in one of Real Madrid's counterattacks.
But it was in the first half when Real Madrid got the lead. In the 23rd minute, Higuaín pushed the ball in after Roberto saved Albiol's header in one of Real Madrid's corner-kicks. And two minutes later, Di María's perseverance led him to score his second goal of the season.
This easy win will allow Jose Mourinho and his mean to work closely on the crucial match against Borussia Dortmund. It's true that the team will need to improve if they want to win, but they will be quite rested and ready to do so.
Who was Real Madrid's best player?
Casillas (40 votes)
Albiol (12 votes)
Di María (27 votes)
Other (33 votes)
112 total votes