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Open Thread: December 23, 2021

Our Thursday issue of the Daily Merengue!

Athletic Club v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Ion Alcoba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

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, Ezek Ix or NeRObutBlanco.

Real Madrid climb atop La Liga by 8 points

The Royal Whites pulled off an impressive victory against a tough Athletic Club, considering it was done missing eleven first teamers and starting only six regulars — which would be plausible reasons to be off their game. This makes Real Madrid undefeated over 15 matches. It’s not always easy to fight through adversity; Real Madrid shows us all how it’s done.

Mister Ancelotti summed it up well:

Kiyan, Om, et al. discuss practically everything about the match in the Managing Madrid Podcast.

The San Mames crowd applauds Benzema

Bilbao may enjoy aggressive football that at times resembles a street-fight and our players always come away with some bruises, but the club and fans showed a lot of class with this.

Meanwhile, Karim Benzema knocked in a pair of key goals for the club.

King Karim has been among the world’s best goal scorers in the year 2021:

Here’s his message to the Madridistas:

Peter Federico took a positive step with Real Madrid

Euan McTear saw promising signs as well:

There was disappointment from some Real Madrid fans that Peter González wasn’t given an opportunity to show what he can do in the final moments of the Cádiz draw on Sunday. Now, with even more players missing for this midweek match, the 19-year-old was back in the squad and more likely to be given a chance off the bench. And he was. In the 86th minute he was introduced to take over the right flank from Eden Hazard and he did a lot in the few minutes available to him. He had a shot and a key pass too in just eight total minutes and, while we must keep in mind that he had acres of space to work with because Athletic had sent everybody forward, this was an eye-catching outing for the teenager.

Hazard proved he still has something

Eden Hazard has just played heavy minutes in two consecutive games. It’s nothing like vintage Hazard, of course, but some Spanish football sources are giving him solid reviews, including the Real Madrid boss.


Eden Hazard is another player who enjoyed his night at San Mames, showing supporters that he is still capable of producing moments of attacking football.


What do you make of Hazard’s performances?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    He is showing that he is on the way back to being the Eden Hazard of three years ago. I still believe he can be great.
    (37 votes)
  • 27%
    Hazard’s recent play has been encouraging and slowly he is building up to being a weapon for Ancelotti this season.
    (117 votes)
  • 11%
    I was surprised that he was able to physically make it through these matches, given his recent record.
    (47 votes)
  • 13%
    Hazard is finished. He can’t dribble past anyone. He slows up attacks. He contributes nothing to the team.
    (57 votes)
  • 39%
    Too small of a sample size to judge. He’s played decently in two matches, but I expect a lot more from such a player.
    (169 votes)
427 votes total Vote Now

Sergio Ramos given a red in his second start at PSG

Ramos is one of the greatest Real Madrid players of all time — and one of the game’s greatest defenders from this point of view, but his being shown a red card will also bring back a few memories.

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