After two consecutive losses, Real Madrid managed to get their first victory in 2015 to keep their advantage over FC Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid, who play against each other tonight, on the league table. Although RCD Espanyol did not put up a great fight against Los Blancos, some interesting conclussions can be drawn from Real Madrid's performance.
Four takeaways from the 3-0 victory against Espanyol
- Ancelotti’s men have not forgotten how to win - Real Madrid featured in the Bernabéu for the first time in 2015 and, after offering the World Cup Champions trophy to their fans, proved they have got back to work. Focused and intense as Ancelotti requested in the pre-match press conference, our players managed to decide the game before the thirtieth minute and were able to save some energy for the decisive Copa del Rey derby against Atlético on Thursday.
- Bale’s performance was outstanding - In my opinion, Bale was the best Real Madrid player in those first thirty minutes. He appeared everywhere along the attacking line, constantly dismantling Espanyol’s defence for his partners to take advantage of open space, and was crucial in both Real Madrid’s goals: his long ball to Ronaldo pretty much created the first one, and his magnificent free kick shot produced the second one, which no goalkeeper in the world would have been able to block. Having scored twelve goals in nineteen games so far this season, he should get more love from the fans and respect from the press.
- Isco Alarcón keeps performing at a high level - The malagueño is one of the most beloved players by the Bernabéu, mostly thanks to his fantastic performance in last season’s early games, that later dropped from mid-October to March. Unlike then, Isco keeps displaying fantastic football game after game, showing not only his fantastic technique but also a degree of deployment that nobody could have expected from him when he was signed. Ancelotti will be in trouble to choose his lineup once Modric is recovered from his injury.
- Los Blancos are ready to beat Atlético on Thursday - Although the Copa del Rey is the least important trophy they take part in, Los Blancos are tired of suffering against their neighbours and want to show they still rule the Spanish Capital by making it into the quarterfinals. Sergio Ramos has reportedly done his duty as a vice-captain to set his partners’ minds for such a difficult challenge. If they are able to get an early goal like yesterday, a big part of the job will be done.