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Three takeaways from Real Madrid’s 0-1 win against Galatasaray

Featuring Rodrygo, Real’s defensive line and Toni Kroos.

Galatasaray vs Real Madrid: UEFA Champions League Photo by Metin Pala/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Real Madrid managed to beat Galatasaray 0-1 and while the overall performance of the team wasn’t all that great, Zidane’s men got the job done and collected the three points they needed. Rodrygo featured in the starting XI and deserves to be mentioned in these three takeaways from the game.

  1. Rodrygo should not play with Castilla. This was only Rodrygo’s first start for the club and his second official match. It was shocking to see him in the starting lineup in such a crucial game for Madrid and while Rodrygo wasn’t brilliant by any means, he showed composure and contributed enough to earn a spot in the rotation. In fact, Rodrygo should probably be ahead of both Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius in Zidane’s depth chart. It will be interesting to see how Zidane handles the situation once Bale and Vazquez recover from their injuries, but Rodrygo is just too good and mature for Castilla.
  2. Real Madrid’s defensive line is still underperforming. Carvajal, Varane, Ramos and Marcelo need to play better, simply put. Last night, they got saved by Courtois, who completed his best performance ever since he joined the club. Courtois has received criticism all season long but the truth is that Madrid concede way too many clear chances which leave the Belgian keeper exposed. The same happened last night and luckily enough for Madrid, Courtois was there. The defenders need to pick it up.
  3. Toni Kroos has been Real Madrid’s MVP so far this season. I was one of the first to question his contract extension after Kroos’ past two seasons in the club. However, the German midfielder has bounced back and has arguably been the team’s best player almost every time he’s been on the pitch. Credit where credit is due, Kroos is the leader of this team right now.

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