clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

James Rodríguez excellent game against Atlético de Madrid

Although Real Madrid displayed a negative performance, there is room for hope after watching last night's game. James will be a great asset throughout the season.

Denis Doyle

There are a handful of reasons that would explain why Atlético de Madrid has won the Spanish Supercup but, in my opinion, it was a balanced confrontation decided by small details. However, it is true that Atlético seemed a much more mature squad than Real Madrid, who never fulfilled the expectations posed on them.

While Toni Kroos was amazing in the UEFA Supercup game against Sevilla, James Rodríguez is now the man everybody speak about. He scored Real Madrid's first goal in Bernabéu last Tuesday and was the only man able to break Atlético's tight defense last night.

Like he did in the Supercup first leg, Ancelotti chose a 4-3-3 formation with Alonso, Modric and Kroos in the midfield. James took Ronaldo's spot in the left wing, and his commitment was to occupy wide-open positions, just like Bale would do in the right wing. As in the first leg, this approach did not work and we were never able to get close to Moyà's goal in the first fifteen minutes.

Although he is, by nature, a winger, James didn't have the freedom he is used to have so, at some point, he took it. He started appearing in central positions and even in the right wing, where he helped to outnumber Atlético's defenders in that area, and the goal opportunities just started to appear. Real Madrid's gameplay was flowing, and James was the catalyst.

Those thirty minutes until the break may be a good argument to explain why signing James was a good idea. His mobility was amazing, and Atlético's defensive system was not prepared to face it. They could never predict where he would appear and what he would do, and that resulted in all of Real Madrid goal occassions in the first half: three shots by James himself, and a key pass to Bale who failed to score in front of Moyà.

He is not still fully fit and he may be a defensive liability, but he proved yesterday that his talent is tremendous. In fact, a fresh Isco was not able to match his performance in the last minutes of the game which, taking into account how the malagueño changed the game against Atlético back in March, only speaks well about James. He will be decisive this season.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Managing Madrid Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Real Madrid news from Managing Madrid