It didn't cost Real Madrid the game by any means, but their second half was not nearly as jubilant as their first. After finishing the first 45 minutes 5-0 up thanks the BBC machine (supported by Carvajal and Isco), they came out of the gates in the second half without Gareth Bale who was withdrawn with a calf injury. Then, Benzema was substituted for Kovacic as the former received a knock - ironically from James. Just like that, 66% of the BBC disappeared, and somewhere among all this Sporting Gijon scored a goal to spoil Keylor Navas' shutout.
Here are three things we noted.
- BBC comes good once again. They've now scored as many goals as the entire Barcelona team this season, and, if you were keeping track (like me), it was hard to keep up with the stats.
4 goals, 1 assist. 17 mins. And, I don't feel like doing this anymore.— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) January 17, 2016
I loved how dynamic the front three were in this game - not just with the ball, but also the way they pressured defenders without the ball. Not going to read into the two injuries as it induces a headache just thinking about losing two key players, but let's hope it's nothing serious.
- Dani Carvajal adds such an incredible dimension to the attack. His overlapping runs are so deadly, and Gijon had an incredibly difficult time coping with Bale and Carvajal on the right. They were never able to really cover Carvajal's runs in behind the defense and his one-touch low crosses. Really, today was BBCC - the last letter standing for Carvajal.
- Beautiful return to the starting line-up for Raphael Varane. He was solid, and completely marked Halilovic out of the game. His player dashboard shows two successful tackles, three successful clearances, three balls won, two interceptions, and 58/59 passes completed. Bravo.