clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Immediate Reaction: Real Valladolid 1 - 4 Real Madrid

New, comments

Real Madrid up the tempo after a poor start; Casemiro receives the first red card of his career

Real Valladolid CF v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real Valladolid lose 1 - 4 to Real Madrid (Anuar; Varane, Benzema x 2, Modric). Here’s our quick reaction. Still to come: Player ratings, post-game podcast, and tactical review.


It was post-apocalyptic — at least that’s what it felt like for Madridistas. In a stadium not far from Madrid, against a team owned by a Real Madrid legend, this should’ve been really fun — and it was, in it’s own weird way — but tonight’s match came on the back of one of the worst defeats in Real Madrid history, and a season that ended far too prematurely.

There is a lot surrounding this team off the pitch, so you’d be forgiven for not having been invested as much as you’d normally be for a La Liga game. Still, as our heads were distracted by drama and resignation, this game was hard to ignore given its eventful nature. Valladolid were frenetic from the start. They had a goal disallowed for offside (with the hilarious scenes of an empty VAR room on the screen, and later clarified by Cadena Ser that the wrong feed was shown on camera), and then another disallowed before finally scoring a third through a horrendous defensive sequence from Real Madrid where they gave too much space on the cross, let a man get to the far-post behind Alvaro Odriozola, and had neither Raphael Varane or Nacho in a good position to cover the cut-back to a wide-open Anuar (who, pardon the dad joke, didn’t have his goal anular this time):

It was a really discouraging performance from Real Madrid up until that point. Even if you expected little given how the season has unfolded, you had hoped for a better reaction. During the opening half-hour, Valladolid were the better team. Solari’s men had a lot of trouble defending the flanks in transition, where Sergio had his men provide lots of coverage, and it was unclear who from Real Madrid was helping Reguilon on the left side (shades of last year’s asymmetric diamond). The combined heat maps for Reguilon and Odriozola show the coverage that was needed:

Combined head maps for Reguilon and Odriozla as of the 76th minute. Via WhoScored.com

In the 34th minute, Real Madrid had a good turn of play, where Raphael Varane equalized from a set-piece scramble. That was a huge turning point for Solari’s men, as they seemed to pick up the tempo and improved their defending.

Valladolid did try to re-start the second half with the same high-octane play as they did in the first, and they did conjure a big chance in the 47th minute, but Real Madrid got a penalty shortly after when Odriozola was taken down in the box. Karim Benzema converted, and then scored Real Madrid’s third too from a corner:

Luka Modric put this game to bed for good late after a really nice pass-and-move sequence with some flair at the end:

En route, Casemiro received the first red card of his career in the 80th minute after getting a very harsh second yellow card. Of all ways to receive your first red, it would be in this very strange way, in a very strange game:

We’ll break this down more in the coming hours.