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Four takeaways from Real Madrid's 2-4 victory against Celta de Vigo

Ancelotti's substitutions were a bit different than usual in a game where Chicharito excelled and Illarramendi underperformed.

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

  1. Real Madrid's defensive robustness did not show up in the first half. Just like it happened a few weeks ago when they faced Rayo Vallecano, Los Blancos had a hard time to play against a hard-pressing team. Instead of reducing the tempo of the game and controlling the possession to make Celta's efforts useless, our players tried to take advantage of the open spaces as fast as possible, and this resulted in a crazy first half that no one controlled. After the break, Real Madrid's defenders and midfielders took a more compact stance, and Celta had barely no chance to score.

  2. Javier Chicharito Hernández keeps proving he deserves a spot in the roster. Not only he is a player that always puts everything he has in him on the field, but also one that delivers. Chicharito has always been known as a poacher, a player with an extraordinary killer instinct, and he proved it once again yesterday by scoring a couple of crucial goals for Los Blancos. As Ancelotti stated in the post-match press conference, if he keeps playing like this, it will be very hard to leave him out of the lineup.

  3. Illarramendi seems to have a foot out of Real Madrid. Asier Illarramendi was, perhaps, the most disappointing Real Madrid player last night. His performance was intrascendental, almost invisible during the first half, when players of his kind were needed for Real Madrid to gain control of the game. Besides, although Casillas should have been able to block the shot, Illarramendi is the man to blame for Nolito's goal. Seeing how he played last night, one can understand why Ancelotti chose Sergio Ramos for a central midfielder spot against Atlético.

  4. Ancelotti's substitutions were a bit different this time. After Chicharito scored the decisive 2-4 goal, Ancelotti made his substitutions in order to close the game. He would have normally let more midfielders come in but yesterday he decided to let Pepe in first, setting up a five-man defensive line, and even Arbeloa afterwards, so Real Madrid finished the game with six defenders on the field. This may have been a tactical experiment or just a new proof of Ancelotti's lack of trust in the current state of Lucas Silva.

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