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.
Super Cup’s semi-finals draw.
The draw for the Spanish Super Cup’s semi-finals happens today. Los Blancos will face either Real Sociedad or Athletic Bilbao for the same-finals, which will take place on Wednesday, January 13th and Thursday, January 14th. The final will take place on Sunday, January 17th.
Updates about the team ahead of Eibar.
Hazard, Odegaard, Jovic and Mariano finally returned to training with the rest of the group. According to AS, Hazard plans to play against Eibar on Sunday and he might even start the game.
AS called Benzema “Magnifique” - the French has been very important in Zidane’s second time as coach, scoring 29% of Real Madrid’s goals. For the purposes of comparison Cristiano in Zidane’s first stint had 28% of the goals, although Real Madrid was scoring at a much higher rate back then.
Marca highlighted that Kroos and Modric are leading Real Madrid and their experience is invaluable. For the journal, Modric is playing at the same level as when he won the Ballon d’Or. This season, the Croatian has created 29 chances, with 90% passing accuracy and recorded an impressive 29 dribbles. The German has created 38 chances, 2 of which were goals, and he has over 93% passing accuracy.
Marca’s piece about Marcelo
Marca published a piece about Marcelo titled “Marcelo does not deserve this ending”. The journal discussed the defensive liability Marcelo brings to the pitch whenever he has played recently: he was present in 4 of the 5 defeats this year. After remembering the great moments, the journal argues that the turning point of Marcelo’s career was the Champion League final in Kiev, as the following season Marcelo started to have problems. First, it was Reguilon when Solari was coach and after Zidane returned, it’s been Mendy. These two players, the journal argues, may never reached the level of Marcelo on his best form, but the problem is it seems that Marcelo may never either.
Results from the other mid week games.
Barca’s narrow 2-1 win over Real Sociedad helps Real Madrid in terms of locking down that second spot on the La Liga table for now. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool record a huge 2-1 win over Spurs courtesy of a 90th min header from Roberto Firmino. Liverpool now stand alone atop the Premier League standings. Arsenal continued their poor form drawing 1-1 to Southampton at home and leaving them in 15th place while Everton recorded a huge win beating Leicester 2-0 away to climb to 5th in the standings.
In the Serie A, Milan failed to capitalize on Juventus dropping points by drawing 2-2 against Genoa. They still are in first place in the standing although Inter winning 1-0 against Napoli has cut their lead down to 1 point. The aforementioned Juventus meanwhile drew 1-1 to an impressive Atalanta with Cristiano Ronaldo missing a penalty which could have sealed all 3 points for the Turin side.
Leverkusen remain in the lead in the Bundesliga table after trashing Koln 4-0. This is despite both Bayern and Leipzig recording wins against Wolfsburg (2-1) and Hoffenheim (1-0) respectively.