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Open Thread: March 8, 2021

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Another issue of the Daily Merengue!

Atletico de Madrid v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Denis Doyle/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 your favourite mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail, Ezek Ix or yours truly.

DUEL OF THE NEIGHBORS ENDS IN A DRAW

The much anticipated face off against current La Liga leaders Los Rojiblancos ended in a draw and therefore, the point difference between the two sides remains as is... for the time being. Honestly, when someone googles “Tale of two halves”, this has got to be one of the first things to appear in the results. Zidane himself seems to agree. Of course, what would a match of this magnitude be without the seemingly obligatory controversial referee call; Following a corner kick, the ball hit Felipe’s hand, slightly changing course and possibly missing Casemiro’s leg because of it. After VAR review, the potential penalty was not called. When questioned, Zidane -expectedly- refused to comment on the decision, simultaneously acknowledging the difficulty of an official’s job. At the very least, this ought to supress the narrative that officials and the VAR constantly favour Real Madrid...or so we wish. While this was far from both an ideal result and performance for the Royal Whites, the second half performance (and what about that beautiful goal!) should somewhat lift Madridistas’ spirits.

As usual, the Managing Madrid crew posted the Immediate Reaction for the match, as well as the Player Ratings. What did you think of the match?

Selection headaches ahead?

With Rodrygo (though far from convincing in the derby) and Fede Valverde back from their respective injuries, the wingers -given a 4-3-3 formation- are no longer picked by default. For the past few weeks, Vinicius Jr and Marco Asensio started almost automatically, with Eden Hazard re-injured and Lucas Vazquez covering for the usually injured Dani Carvajal, but now coach Zinedine Zidane will have most of his available wide forwards at his disposal and will be the judge of who deserves to start. The presence of multiple players available for given positions allows for some competition, which in turn might hopefully light a fire in some players’ bellies (I know who you’re looking at). But hey, let’s not jinx this any further...We should know how his works by now! Anyway, who would you like to see start more often?

Have a nice day and may the madridisimo be with you!