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The agony of a draw at Real Madrid City
Los Blancos fell short today of getting the critical three points needed to stay up top in the title race. Real Betis dropped deep and hit Real Madrid on the counter. On the attack, passes were read and cut off. Real Madrid struggled greatly with ball progression and the possession game, which are typically the team’s bread and butter. There was little penetration behind the wall set up outside the 18 yard box.
Giving credit where it’s due: Manuel Pellegrini did well in his preparations to know that RM does much better against sides who play high lines and who allow open space to run into. His defense keyed in on Rodrygo Goes, shutting him down fairly effectively. This was a discerning move given Rodrygo’s ability to create openings and make key passes around the box. Real Madrid did have good chances with Marcello directly in front of goal, with Hazard finding himself with space on the dribble in the box, and also with Vinicius getting good looks with options available in the box to make a creative play happen. Alas, the composure in finishing that our attackers had made great strides with this season gave way to chances used woefully.
Zidane’s post-match conference suggests that he was expecting the battle for control of the match to be difficult with this squad, and something special would be needed from the attack:
Zidane: "We lost two points tonight, that’s clear. We were very good in defence, but it’s true that we struggled in attack. We had a tough time getting into the match. We were missing something tonight, we weren’t as sharp up front."#RealMadridRealBetis pic.twitter.com/EptzgluwJU— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) April 24, 2021
Adding insult to injury
Ceferin preached fire and brimstone against Real Madrid again Saturday, vows to bring his wrath
️| Ceferin (UEFA president): "Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus will receive the HARSHEST punishments. They're flat-Earthers who still believe the Super League exists. They're the teams who are most under threat of EXPULSION from next season's #UCL." @draper_rob #rmalive— Madrid Zone (@theMadridZone) April 24, 2021
He is apparently claiming that he will be forgiving towards clubs who submitted quickly and that his position is strengthened through his relationship with British prime minister Boris Johnson:
↪️| Ceferin stated that they will be treated more leniently because they realised their mistake first and withdrew. Adding that his relationship with prime minister Boris Johnson is now stronger than ever following a series of conversations over a 48 hour period.@draper_rob— Madrid Xtra. (@MadridXtra) April 24, 2021