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Initial Reactions: Bayern Munich 1 - 0 Real Madrid

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5 things we saw..

Martin Rose/Getty Images

I tried so hard to enjoy this game, but found it nearly impossible. Even with keeping in mind that this is pre-season and we're witnessing reserve players fight it out on the pitch, the match was mundane for the most part. I mean, how can a Real - Bayern clash be mundane?

And as the prestigious Audi Cup slips away, here are some things to note.

  1. A very nice performance from Dani Carvajal tonight. It's quite clear that the addition of Danilo was conducive, even if all it does is light a fire in Dani to prove he should be a starter. Some nice flair to Dani's game that we haven't seen in some time.
  2. The man of the match was Isco. He outshone every one of the six players in a non-defensive position. Almost every key offensive moment came from his silky-smooth touches.



    The problem was that Real Madrid didn't have a 2nd Isco. With Bale, Ronaldo, and James out, there was little help beyond Casemiro and Kroos who were getting completely outrun in midfield. While defensively the team was sound and compact, the transition to offense was nearly non-existent, and the team didn't provide enough outlets off-the-ball.
  3. I like the way Benitez had Real Madrid lined-up defensively. It requires a separate article on its own, but the positioning was world-class. Both defensive lines were shifting as a unit. The problems in defense came down to individual lapses rather than team breakdowns, per say. Marcelo's gambling continues to be a problem, and for all the good that Ramos does, he doesn't always read the game properly which leads to an open man in the area often. Back to the point about Marcelo, that first half take-down which resulted in a Bayern free-kick right outside the area would have been disastrous had it been an important game. Nacho had good moments, but like Marcelo, he's a gambler.
  4. Out of the trio of Asensio-Cherysev-Vázquez, Asensio stood out. He's more polished than the other two, and much furhtur ahead in development. I thought Vázquez grew as the game went on, but he is not good enough to have a prominent role in the team.
  5. Really good game from Keylor Navas, he dealt quite well with Bayern's tests.