At some point between the first and second goals, I half-jokingly tweeted that if there was ever a Real Madrid match to miss, it was this one. The club was already guaranteed first place, and although Malmo had a small window to qualify for the Europa League, it was clear after a quarter of an hour that they have no business getting a result tonight. Plus, the match was sleep-inducing.
But despite the low-stakes, Real Madrid managed to put my tweet to shame - going on a complete rampage that will haunt Malmo forever.
"Grandpa, is it true that you played in the Bernabeu once? What was it like? That's so cool!"
"No, we never left Sweden. We shall never speak of this again".
Here's three quick notes..
- Real Madrid's defensive shape was back to being rock solid. This was the same defense we witnessed pre-PSG in the Bernabeu, the one that wouldn't leak a drop of water even. It's unfortunate that this kind of shape was non-existent in Sevilla and the Clasico, but it is at least refreshing to see that the team hasn't collapsed completely. The schedule post-clasico has been kind to Real, enabling them to smash some teams, rack up the goals, and regain their confidence heading into the winter break.
- Great games from the ex-Porto men, Danilo and Pepe. This was one of Danilo's better matches, and he really needed it. Against Barcelona, he wasn't a footballer, but he is steadily making steps to regain his Porto form. Some nice tackles and passing from him tonight. What can you say about Pepe? He's a monster. Below is his player dashboard from tonight - two tackles, two interceptions, and just two misplaced passes.
- Everything is relative. Ronaldo was / is struggling, yet, has scored 11 goals in 6 matches, as well as 50+ goals in 2015. Even still, some fans have said he should have had six goals tonight. It's probably true, but these are the unfair standards placed on his shoulders. Great performance from Cristiano tonight, but we need to see these kinds of performances against bigger opponents. The club at this point needs these goals to lead to silverware.