Valladolid Vs. Real Madrid, La Liga 2012: Press Review - The newspapers play on the name of Real Madrid's play-maker.

Denis Doyle

Post-game reaction is uniform and unvarying: Well Done Mesut Özil!

I have yet to find a headline of a single match-report that did not heavily feature our German playmaker's performance and his two extremely fine goals - one that involved dribbling past 3 players and then exchanging passes with Karim Benzema before scoring, and the second off a free kick.

The Guardian is a typical example: "Özil rescues Real Madrid." Inside, the match report notes the team's propensity of falling behind away from home and that against Valladolid it happened twice, with only Mesut Özil's second goal getting the Whites ahead in the 72nd minute.


Back in Spain his name has provided some amusement for the Spanish press headline writers. Specifically: the umlaut on top of the Ö in Özil.

To provide examples, As write about our "very own Wizard of Oz," under a headline reading: "Mesut Özil's magic subdues Valladolid." In Spanish, rather more cheekily, Mágico Özil.

Not to be outdone, Marca have pulled out an old favourite: Un Geniö - which has essentially the same meaning. Their English rendering of the headline on their mirror site is: "Özil's Genius."

Özil himself said after the game he was "happy the team got the three points because we worked very hard."

Along a similar theme, we have Aitor Karanka's post-match comments via Real Madrid's own website which praised the playmaker for not only his second half performance but also the first half by pointing out his work-rate:

He played well, but not only with the ball and scoring the goals, he also did what he needed to. We know very well how well he can play and he showed that throughout the match. The work that he did without the ball during the match was spectacular. Today we saw the Mesut Özil that we all know and that we all like to see.


Our assistant coach did not seem especially disturbed by Real Madrid's defensive mistakes, commenting:

We made mistakes at set pieces, but you have bear in mind that they were momentary lapses that are correctable and more than anything we can come away confident in the team’s comeback ability, having twice made up for the two mistakes. We fought back in a tough and important match.


Other themes in the match reports include Mourinho's successful management of the game by essentially rearranging his entire line-up from back to front after the half-time break (with Özil on the wing, CR7 through the centre, Callejon as a converted wing-back, di Maria ahead of him, and Xabi Alonso screening a two-man defence) has received some attention. Other reports have pointed out the team's great weakness on the road: conceding from set-pieces.

And Marca notes that yet another legal goal (this time for Sergio Ramos) was incorrectly ruled offside. This is the second away game in a row where a good goal was disallowed and it is the third time this season it has happened on the road. Sergio Ramos's slightly sarcastic post match comments were on that topic:

It's long past time time we got some help from the referee.



There is also the happy news for all Madridistas that Pepe, our central defender, holds the record now for least number of league matches played to 100 league victories, beating out Busquets record of 126 matches by one match.

Congratulations Pepe.

Meanwhile, at Real Betis this evening, Argentina and FC Barcelona forward Lionel Messi broke Bayern Munich and West Germany striker Gerd Mueller's record for goals scored in a calendar year. Lionel Messi managed 86 goals in 67 games, breaking Gerd Mueller's over-all count in a calendar year of 85 (scored in 60 games).

We at Managing Madrid would like to extend our warmest congratulations.

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