Ronaldo scores an early goal thanks to a brilliant Isco through-ball, before Benzema ices the game in the second half. Here’s our quick reaction to the game. Still to come: Player ratings, tactical review, and post-game podcast!
Malaga played Real Madrid as tight as you can. They showed that their pressing, hounding, and pragmatic attack makes them a much more difficult opposition than Celta Vigo. They fought till the end and made Real Madrid uncomfortable. Meanwhile, at Barcelona; Eibar did the same — Inui scored two golazos to put the Basque side up by two goals before they conceded four and lost their lead (still, Inui has a place in our hearts, maybe even as much as Tamudo does). There were a lot of moments today that made little-to-no-sense. It was weird as it was uncomfortable, but it was also brilliant and filled with reward.
The bottom line is that it all unfolded in a positive way. This won’t be your typical immediate reaction — it’s more of a shell post to let you celebrate below. We’ll break this down further in the coming day or two. Today’s scheme had holes. The coverage of the wing-backs was wonky — something that Allegri will surely take note of as he analyzes the diamond — and Real Madrid had difficulty finding the same space they did against Celta Vigo with Michel’s suffocating blueprint. Danilo in particular had trouble understanding where to be defensively, and took a few gambles which weren’t timely. Still, we’ll leave it for later, because Real Madrid have just won their 33rd La Liga title, and Zidane has used this squad phenomenally well to get us this far.
Luka Modric was unbelievable. In a system which demanded so much from him on the right flank, he performed better than most traditional right wingers would — even if they were playing there their whole lives. He made key interceptions that, if missed, would have led to really dangerous attacks for Malaga, and as he always does, he pumped serenity into the team whenever needed.