Real Madrid Femenino defeated Madrid CFF 2-0 away from home after losing the Copa de la Reina Quarter-Finals against the same opponent. Below are my immediate thoughts. Player ratings and post-match podcast to follow.
- David Aznar presented a starting XI that had fans groaning. They were in the same formation (4-2-3-1) and reflected much of the same personnel in the 2-1 defeat to Madrid CFF bar a few key exceptions: Misa in goal, right back Marta Corredera as a left-winger, and Sofia Jakobsson up top. It was the Corredera bit that was especially tiresome for Madridistas. It has been tried before and to generally poor results, though she has scored one of the few times she’s been deployed there. The experiment looked largely ineffective in the first half. She made one good run into the box but looked out of place offering herself in possession and her attempted combinations and final third passing were significantly off the mark.
- Madrid CFF approached things defensively just like they did in their win. Without Priscila Borja, Kerolin Ferraz alternated shadowing Maite Oroz with Geyse Ferreira in a 4-4-1-1 shape. Any Las Blancas pass out to the fullback served as the pressing trigger; the opposition’s wide player would engage in conjunction with one of the front two immediately bursting out to harass the relevant center-back. The objective was to force a ball back to the wing or into midfield, where two combative central midfielders were waiting. It was mostly as effective as it was in the Copa de la Reina, but Real Madrid looked much more focused and Kosovare Asllani was willing to drop extremely deep like she did in the second half on Wednesday.
- Real Madrid’s one consistent source of danger in the Queen’s Cup was their corner kicks — and that proved to be the case again today. A little routine freed Kenti Robles, who floated a cross into the back of the net to make it 1-0, mimicking the Priscila Borja cross/shot that gave Madrid CFF the win last time out.
- Real Madrid continued to struggle to consistently get the ball upfield against the home side’s defensive shape, but it all came together for the All Whites in the 34th minute. Olga Carmona played a beautiful ball over-the-top, testing the center-back partnership of Mônica and former CD Tacón player Osinache Ohale. As she often did for Las Blancas last season, Ohale failed to handle the direct ball and wasn’t backed up well by her teammate, allowing Jakobsson to gain separation and convert on a clinical finish.
- Teresa Abelleira came on for Marta Cardona after the break, moving Corredera to the right in the same 4-2-3-1 formation. It appears as if the decision was made due to injury concerns.
Marta Cardona aparece en la grada cojeando y dialoga intensamente con un miembro del RM— Raúl Morote Gil (@RauulMorote) April 25, 2021
- The lack of any actual wingers playing on the wing seemed to hinder Real’s progression a bit. However, it’s hard to judge the exact effect of that when Aznar’s women could sit on the 2-0 lead and Madrid CFF looked renewed after a huge drop in intensity following Jakobsson’s goal.
- Real got their best chance of the second half early on, when Aurélie Kaci made a surprising foray forward.
- Oscar Fernández made a bevy of substitutions in the 68th minute in a bid to get his side back into the game. One of them was Estela Fernández, who missed an opportunity on a set-piece shortly after coming on. Aside from that, Madrid CFF struggled to create, lacking the cutting edge to fashion something against Real’s determined back four.
- The Corredera experiment finally ended in the 73rd minute; Lorena Navarro replaced her out on the right and was typically bright and hardworking.
- Proceedings concluded with only one main incident in the final ten minutes or so. Estela got another opportunity, forcing Misa into a tremendous save that had those in attendance chanting the young goalkeeper’s name.
- Otherwise, Ivana Andrés and Babett Peter held firm, as did Olga who was tremendous in all parts of her game, capping off a player of the match performance and giving her side the all-crucial three points in the derby.