Real Madrid's display against FC Basel wasn't as brilliant as some expected, and yet Carlo Ancelotti's team earned a 0-1 win that clinches the first spot in the Champions League group. From the goalkeepers to the team's attitude going through the midfield, here are three things we learned from Real's 0-1 win.
3 things we learned
- Keylor Navas is ready - Iker Casillas is Real Madrid's starting goalkeeper. We all know that, and so does Carlo Ancelotti. Still, Keylor Navas' fantastic save in the 68th minute proved that the Costa Rican is ready to fill Casillas' shoes if needed. Things happen in football, and it's good to have a reserve goalkeeper able to make those kinds of saves.
- Fullbacks are vital in Ancelotti's offensive system - Real Madrid won the game, but it wasn't very convincing, mainly because of some defensive struggles. Those aren't related to the fullbacks, but the way Real Madrid attack, Carvajal and Marcelo are very difficult to replace. Coentrao is still a bit sluggish after coming back from injury while Arbeloa isn't the player he once was -- he was never brilliant when attacking either --. That's why an injury to either Carvajal or Marcelo could be devastating for Los Blancos. Ancelotti needs to rotate his two starting fullbacks the way he did against Basel, but he should be careful as well, because his team will certainly miss those two players.
- This midfield still needs more time to gel - The Isco-Kroos midfield duo put on a great performance against Eibar, but FC Basel were a tougher challenge for them. That's why they still need some more time to gel, even though the first signs were encouraging. Luckily enough, they do have time to gel as Real Madrid will be facing manageable opposition for a month.