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Open Thread: April 25, 2021

Our Sunday issue of the Daily Merengue!

Real Madrid v Real Betis - La Liga Santander Photo by Diego Souto/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.

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:

Adding insult to injury

Ceferin preached fire and brimstone against Real Madrid again Saturday, vows to bring his wrath

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:

Fabrizio Romano has an article detailing the English clubs’ quitting the ESL

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