Another great result for Real Madrid as they get another home win and now just 2 points behind Atlético for second in the league. Some tough times ahead with the schedule facing the club in the coming weeks, but they’re as prepared as they will be with another win.
They were also able to take advantage of dropped points by the two clubs ahead of them in the standings, which makes this weekend even more progressive.
Tactically, Santi Solari went with the usual 4-3-3 formation against Alaves.
Odriozola was in for the suspended Carvajal tonight. As the immediate reaction mentioned, Alvaro did get a good amount of touches on the ball tonight. He played rather well again, and he has really been a surprise for the club this season when he’s played. He got an assist tonight as well, though defensively he does leave a bit to desire still.
The first goal belonged to none other than Karim Benzema again, his 10th of the LaLiga season and he continues his scoring streak. Whatever it was that has hindering Benzema earlier in the season where he couldn’t get any luck in scoring seems to have worn off over these last two weeks.
He looks like a dangerous goalscoring threat as he did in his prime, hopefully this can continue and we have the Benzema of old back.
Absolutely fabulous link-up play between Vinicius and Reguilón, two of Real’s biggest surprises this season both at such a young age. It’s astonishing honestly just how well the two of them have played and they’ve been involved with team significantly in their rookie seasons.
Vinicius especially had another great game where he had a ton of touches and was able to generate some good chances. Finally, all of his hard work as of late paid off in dividends by getting his goal.
Vinicius again was crucial in the buildup to his own goal this time around that extended Real’s lead to 2-0 late in the match. It’s another great run and that nice chip pass out wide to Asensio, who sent it right back and the ball took that bounce to an open Vinicius who put it home.
It was then Mariano’s time to get his goal in the first minute of extra time. A diving header reminiscent of Superman himself, a great way for Mariano to make his come back from injury.
This was the aforementioned assist that Odriozola created tonight. Just a great run from Odriozola and the fabulous cross to the head of the flying Mariano. This really has been Alvaro’s strength, his lightning fast pace and his crossing are really impressive.
There were certainly a lot of positives tonight that Real can take away from this win besides just three points. They were clearly the better team, they dominated possession and generated multiple chances despite Alaves doing rather well defensively.
Real also played well defensively. They limited Alaves’ chances, though they did have one right in front of Courtois that fortuitously went wide. The pace of Jony did give the defense some problems and he had some chances, but the clean sheet was obviously kept.
Vinicius had himself another bright performance. Ceballos and Modric worked very well together tonight as well, essential in getting the flow going in the midfield.
As the earlier immediate reaction mentioned, there was a lot to be desired still from Bale, He wasn’t particularly bad, but he just was not involved nearly enough as he should be and not taking enough touches to the ball.
He woke up a bit after switching to his off-wing, but an overall lackluster night from him. This was his first start back from injury so there is some slack to be cut, but they are going to need him going forward. If they can get Bale going alongside the streaking Benzema and Vinicius with this schedule coming up, it’s going to be very fun to watch.
All in all, a solid performance from Real and on a weekend where their two biggest rivals did not win. This week, however, hell awaits. They have the 1st leg of an El Clasico Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday and a Derbi Madrileño over the weekend. Needless to say, it’s going to be tough going forward.
Two legs of El Clasico, two legs against Ajax, and a match against Atlético all in the span of a month. It won’t be easy, but the way Real are playing as of late is convincing. We’ll find out just how for real they are as these matches are played. But, for now, we can enjoy a weekend win that was a great performance overall by the team.