Real Madrid won a difficult matchup 3-1 at the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany. After starting the La Liga season rather poorly, Real has turned it around for the time-being as they need to start structuring a win streak together.
The First Half
Going into this match, considering a shaky start, of course casted doubts amongst fans and media personalities. Many questions were raised about whether Real could actually win at Signal Iduna given a poor track record in Dortmund. And also considering how well BVB have started their Bundesliga season and have dominated recent matches.
The most notable event to occur in the early part of the first half was a missed handball penalty by Sergio Ramos. The argument can be made, and was made by Ramos himself, that it was incidental and therefore it is acceptable that the missed penalty would not have been a red card as well. Regardless of where any fan stands, this play is going to be a topic of discussion going forward. Many will argue the penalty cost BVB the all-important first goal of the match, which may have changed the whole flow of the match. Others will argue it’s a mistake on the ref’s part and there was nothing really Ramos could do from a bounce off Navas. It’s also worth bringing up the fact that Aubameyang, who would likely take the penalty kick, may have missed the penalty kick which would still result in a 0-0 score. Decide for yourself.
Before Bale's goal, should Dortmund have gotten a penalty for this Sergio Ramos handball? https://t.co/m4Rif18SkJ— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) September 26, 2017
Shortly after the handball incident, adding to the controversy further, came the first goal of the match. Gareth Bale continues his “comeback tour” this time with an absolutely beautiful strike that beat Roman Bürki. It seems that Bale is determined to prove himself this season coming off injury and he’s looking to silence his own team’s fans. If that is indeed his intent then it’s certainly working so far. It should be noted that Carvajal made a great, clean pass that set the strike up in the first place. Dani finally looks like he’s getting back to true form after this match after being pretty shaky as well to start the season. Bale even took the time to thank and applaud Carvajal’s pass that led to the brilliant finish by the Welshman.
Gareth Bale GOAL - Dortmund 0-1 Real Madrid 26.09.2017 pic.twitter.com/MOVGxSUpdV— I love football (@taraskorytko1) September 26, 2017
This would be the only goal of the half for either side and seemed that Dortmund’s tactics were a bit flawed to start the match, we’ll address this later.
The Second Half
Right after the half just started came Ronaldo’s time to shine on the big stage again. Having yet to score a goal in his La Liga matches since being back clearly doesn’t matter to Cristiano when it comes to the Champions League. An excellent pass from guess who, yes Bale, led to Ronaldo’s first of two goals in the second half of play. Comeback tour confirmed.
This goal put Real in the driver’s seat for the time-being before they really had some close calls further into the half. So long as Ronaldo continues stepping and scoring up in the Champions League determines just how far this squad will go towards another championship, regardless of their performances in La Liga it seems.
Then came the moment that had Real Madrid and their supporters a bit on their heels, Aubameyang’s goal just five minutes later. It seems he scores whenever he wants to. The goal gave some life and some hope to BVB to try and come back and tie this match. And where better to be able to do it than your own home field where you’re undefeated so far. Real even started to change their gameplan and started to look like the hinges might come off a bit and they might just bottle their lead. However, this would not end up being the case at all.
Real Madrid held quite firmly to their lead and even decided to extend their lead again once again by CR7. This would certainly put the final stamp of victory on the match for Real with just 10 minutes left in the match.
Quite a good match for Real overall, the defense looked like a great improvement. Nacho was absolutely brilliant from his end and kept the flow of Real’s attack going. There was a few hiccups where it looked like they might not come away with a lead or a win, but they made sure that didn’t happen. If they can start taking the momentum from these Champions League matches into their La Liga matches in an effort to catch up to Barca’s lead. This was a solid performance by the defending champions, in a stadium where they never win, against a team that’s been on an incredible run.
Man of the Match and Man on a Mission: Gareth Bale
This was an absolute no-brainer. A goal and an assist for Bale continues his impressive performances early this season. There was a scare when he was subbed off that he may have re-injured himself, but it’s likely only a leg cramp. It’s time for the dissenters of Gareth to wise up and start supporting him. On second thought, it may be wiser to keep booing him and continue to fuel his incentive to prove them wrong.
Dortmund don’t appear to be the dominant team they are in the Bundesliga
Dortmund have now lost 3-1 to both Tottenham and Real Madrid, Kane and Ronaldo scoring twice respectively. Dortmund will play both clubs again but they may just bottle the Champions League if they can’t figure it out. As good as Bürki is, and he was pretty good despite three goals, the thin backline of BVB is going to cost them in the long-run. For whatever reason they decided to play high line against Real, big mistake. Real is notorious for having a great counter-attack which ended up scoring 3 against BVB, bad choice by Peter Bosz.
Tottenham-Real Madrid is going to be a fun match
Harry Kane scored a hat trick against Apoel Nicasio today in their Champions League match. Arguably the best English goalscorer since Alan Shearer, Kane is going to be a lot for the Madrid backfield to handle, so they best prepare for October 17th. Should be a fun matchup and the Spurs should not be taken lightly at all despite their history in the Champions League. As hyped up as Pulisic, Yarmolenko, and Aubameyang were for this match, it’ll be much more realistic when Real have to face Eriksen, Alli, and Kane. A great duel between Kane and Ronaldo should excite all football fans and it’ll be even more exciting if Real can continue this great trend of Champions League victories.