Below is my immediate reaction. Player ratings and post-match podcast to follow over the next few days.
- David Aznar went with a back three for the third time in a row, deploying Caroline Møller Hansen and Athenea del Castillo ahead of Lorena Navarro, Claudia Zornoza, and Claudia Florentino in midfield. Florentino was more advanced today than in her prior two games, often floating ahead of Zornoza and Lorena. It was definitely odd to watch and I remain unsure as to why she can’t simply play in a double pivot with the other Claudia, but it was better than what we’ve seen in the past, where Florentino has had a more crucial role linking play on the flanks and has struggled mightily.
- Of course, Florentino’s and Madrid’s comfort on the night was heavily aided by Breidablik, who were all out of sorts defensively. Their first line was set at a mid-high stance but their back four was far too deep, creating plenty of vertical space for Las Blancas to traverse. To make matters worse, Breidablik applied no pressure from the front, giving Ivana Andrés, Rocío Gálvez, and Babett Peter all the time they needed to pick a pass between the lines.
- Møller was the option Madrid found time and time again. After a very rough start to the new season, she’s slowly grown accustomed to her surroundings and put in a good cameo vs. Kharkiv before scoring vs. Eibar. Against Breidablik, she was excellent dropping off to receive, carrying the ball, and making runs into the box. She scored the opener with a sharp movement off-the-shoulder against a hapless defense.
De esta manera @CarolineMoller7 anota su segundo gol de la temporada. Sensacional asistencia de @KentiRobles para dejarla sola ante la portera. #HalaMadrid | #RealMadridBreidablik pic.twitter.com/FUfu3hk9ym— Misa Malena Ortiz (@Misa_CF) October 13, 2021
- Møller then showed fine poacher instincts to clean things up for her second, capping off some magical work from Athenea del Castillo.
Segundo gol del partido; y doblete de @CarolineMoller7 ⚽️⚽️— Misa Malena Ortiz (@Misa_CF) October 13, 2021
La danesa aprovechó el rechace en el palo del tiro de Lorena tras una jugada espectacular de Athenea. #HalaMadrid | #RealMadridBreidbalik pic.twitter.com/DPGVjQX2Tx
- Møller’s full package was on show when she netted her hat-trick.
- David Aznar brought off Olga Carmona for Claudia Florentino at half-time, moving LWB Lucía Rodríguez (who has slowly begun to show inklings of the strong carrying and progression work that made her stand out at Real Sociedad) into midfield. Olga instantly made an impact.
- Aznar pulled out two more changes in the 53rd minute, subbing on Marta Corredera for Claudia Zornoza (sending Ivana into a double pivot with Lucía) and Kenti Robles for Nahikari García (Athenea moved to RWB).
- Canterana Paula Partido came on for the fantastic Møller in the 73rd minute, rounding out Aznar’s suite of adjustments.
- The second half was a breeze for Madrid. Breidablik did have some moments going forward as the home side got a bit lackadaiscal, but the All-White could’ve and should’ve scored more. Nahikari García had a whole host of gilt-edged opportunities all to herself.
- Nahikari almost found her way through at the death but her effort was agonizingly cleared off the line, although Lorena Navarro was there to get her deserved goal.
- Real Madrid dominated on the day and this should finally give them the confidence to start playing somewhere near their real level — injuries or not.