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Open Thread: January 24, 2021.

Another issue of the Daily Merengue!

Deportivo Alavés v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

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.

Real Madrid 4 - 1 Alavés

We have to temper our jubilance, but it was finally a football match worth celebrating and feeling good about for both team and fans.

Tomorrow, Atlético Madrid play Valencia at 3pm. Valencia has been improving of late, going undefeated in their last five, and moving up to 14th in the table. However, Atletico have not lost to Valencia in twelve matches.

Benzena had some notable statements after the game (via Ultra_Suristic):

What are the critics saying?

Emily Wilson gives Los Blancos fairly strong marks, including 9’s for Kroos and Benzema.

From Euan McTear’s perspective:

This was one of the better Real Madrid performances of the season and it came without Zinedine Zidane in the dugout and when they had their backs up against the wall. We have lots of questions to consider, so do so right below.

Juan Ignacio G-Ochoa gives his impressions at Marca:

Karim Benzema didn’t just score one brilliant goal in Vitoria but two. The first ended up in the top corner of Fernando Pacheco’s net, while the second was placed out of the Alaves goalkeeper’s reach after a run from the halfway line. Eden Hazard is here at last this season. The Belgian’s good performance was capped with a goal at the end of the first half. He ran onto Toni Kroos’ pass, took the ball down exquisitely and finished past Pacheco with aplomb. The outside of Luka Modric’s right foot should be christened a world heritage site. The veteran midfielder put in another outstanding display, joining forces with Kroos and supplying Real Madrid’s attackers with ammunition. Kroos gave a lesson in directing the play at Mendizorroza. The match was played at his pace and two of Real Madrid’s goals came from his passes, including an excellent through ball for Hazard to score.

Bettoni post-match interview

The assistant coach had a lot of interesting things to say:

Bettoni via Marca:

“I wanted to get Vinicius on to go a bit more direct with our play,” Bettoni explained afterwards. “Eden has had a difficult season and a half with injuries. We have to be patient with him, though we know that patience is hard to come by at Real Madrid. He’s getting back to his best with every game he plays.” With Zidane watching from home and calling up to discuss substitutes during the match, Bettoni had an interesting experience as team boss for the night. “It was a deserved win,” the assistant coach said. “We had the ball and we had some good moves. We were very serious. I’ve very happy with the team’s performance. For substitutes, I wanted to know what the gaffer was thinking, because he’s the boss. [Zidane] was very happy with the game, with the attitude. He told me to congratulate the players and nothing else special. Now we have to think about the next match and have a bit of a rest.”

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