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The great escape!!
How Real Madrid managed to leave the Bernabeu with all 3 points is still unfathomable. Well they some how did due to a customary Benzema goal and then save after save from man of the match Courtois. We need to christen him the Miracle Man at this point. He is however the 8th best goalkeeper as per the Yashin Trophy (Equivilant to the Ballon d’or for goalkeepers) final results. That’s right the voters for this esteemed award somehow think there are 7 better goalkeepers out there. Marcelino can feel aggrieved as well to not get anything from this game as his team had an xG of 2.7. The game was covered in detail in the immediate reaction, 3 answers and 3 questions and player ratings articles as well as the Managing Madrid podcast.
Marcelino on his team not taking chances tonight (and it being a theme all season): "I've been a coach for many years and I haven't seen this in my life"— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) December 1, 2021
Athletic's xG tonight was 2.7 (a season high for a Real Madrid opponent)
So why won’t Ancelotti rotate?
An interesting report by Edu Pidal of Onda Cero states that after the draw against Villarreal and loses against Sheriff and Espanyol, there was an important conversation between Ancelotti and a person he trusts in the club, who recommended him to rotate less and play with the best. Now we don’t know if this is authentic or not but the coach has rotated very little since and the team now has 9 wins and 1 draw in the last ten games.
Carlo might be forced to rotate soon however as Casemiro is now on 4 yellow cards with the Madrid derby looming. It might be best if he’s rested against Sociedad. The coach needs to heed the warning signs from the Bilbao game if Los Blancos are to end up with a trophy at the end of the season.
Who is Marvel?
Strange question to ask on a football blog I know but Los Blancos actually have a player named Marvel who’s recently caught the eye of president Florentino Perez after impressing in his first appearances for Real Madrid Castilla. Marvelous Antolin Garzon - known by most as Marvel is a highly rated 18 year old center back who many are hoping will be able to make that transition to the first team in the coming years. He has been impressing all those who have watched him so far this season, with the way in which he handled the step up to Madrid’s Castilla side particularly eye-catching.
Marvel played his first three matches in the third tier of Spanish football for the club’s reserve team in October, showcasing both his footballing ability and composure throughout for Raul’s team.
His best performance came in a 0-0 draw with Barcelona B in the ‘Miniclasico’, after which Madrid president Florentino Perez entered the dressing room to issue his congratulations to Marvel for his superb performance in keeping the Blaugrana at bay.