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Open Thread: December 16, 2020.

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Another issue of the Daily Merengue!

Hola Madridistas!

The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail or Oscnar.

The fourth consecutive win!

In one of the most crucial weeks of the season, Los Blancos achieved a well-deserved 4th consecutive win. Kroos was considered the Man of the Match. After this result, Real Madrid have 26 points and are level on points with Atletico and Real Sociedad, although Atletico have a couple of games in hand and play against Elche tonight. In another high profile clash tonight, Barcelona take on league leaders Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou. The win over Bilbao was covered in the immediate reaction, player ratings, 3 answers and 3 questions articles and the Managing Madrid podcast.

Zidane’s and Benzema’s comments about the game.

Zidane liked the result, even though he recognized in the press-conference that the team didn’t have a brilliant game and experienced difficulties. Benzema said that they defended and attacked as a team, but Athletic Bilbao also played well, as they made it difficult to break the defensive block. Benzema noted that patience was important in this game.

About Benzema, Zidane once more praised the French striker, saying “he has always shown that he is not a pure 9, that’s what I like about him”. The coach was also asked if Benzema was the best French Striker in history to which he replied “For me Benzema is the best French striker in history and he shows, more than 500 games for Madrid, his goals, his record speaks for itself. For me he’s the best, very clear.”

Will Zidane rest players in the next game?

Before the game, Marca reported that it took some time, but Zidane finally found his core group of players. After they started playing every game, Real returned to winning. The coach’s intention was to rest some players, but Marca predicted correctly that - Zidane won’t make wild changes. Let’s see how this will play out, as the schedule continues to be busy: Real Madrid will face Eibar on Sunday and Granada on Wednesday. Due to Christmas, Los Blancos will have 1 week between Granada and the following game against Elche.

The Copa Del Rey returns and other results from Europe.

Last years edition of the Copa Del Rey has not been completed with the first ever all Basque final between Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao yet to be played. It has been scheduled for 4th, April 2021. However the first round of the 2020/21 Copa del Rey kicked off on Tuesday evening with nine games taking place across Spain. There were no major upsets with Osasuna, Real Valladolid and Sevilla recording comfortable wins. Madrid, Barca and 2019-20 Copa finalists Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao have byes to the third round due to their participation in the expanded Supercopa.

In the premier league Chelsea lost further ground at the top of the standings suffering a shock 1-2 loss to Wolves and dropping to 5th place. Manchester City also dropped points in a 1-1 draw with West Brom.

Karim Benzema vs Thierry Henry

Zidane says Karim Benzema is the best French striker of all time. Kiyan Sobhani, Om Arvind, and Matt Wiltse discuss that claim on the post-game show (vs Athletic). Full episode: https://www.patreon.com/posts/athletic-post-vs-45088663

Posted by Managing Madrid on Wednesday, December 16, 2020