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Immediate Reaction: Real Madrid Femenino 2 - 0 Eibar

Cardona and Lorena do the job.

Real Madrid v Eibar - Primera Iberdrola Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Real Madrid Femenino secured a 2-0 victory at home over Eibar to go second place in the Primera Iberdrola table. Below are my immediate thoughts. Player ratings and post-match podcast to follow.

  • After getting a look at Olga Carmona in her natural role as a left-winger, David Aznar went back to the preferred 4-2-3-1 formula of late: right back Marta Corredera in attack and Olga at left back. The only other change saw the rarely rested Aurélie Kaci make way for Teresa Abelleira, creating an extremely secure base for controlling the game. Both Maite and Tere were impressive in distribution and in recovering loose balls, allowing Real Madrid to dominate possession and establish a calm, forgiving tempo.
  • This was aided by Eibar’s lack of intensity, which was as high as could be in the reverse fixture that saw them seriously challenge Las Blancas. The visitors were tired, seeing a drop off in form in the latter half of the season, and lacked key players like Thembi Kgatlana, who were just as key for leading the press as they were for their goals. Thus, Eibar mainly defended in a 4-4-2 mid-block that quickly receded much deeper as Maite and Teresa worked Madrid up the pitch.
  • Eibar did press in a few moments, namely when Misa got on the ball, and it was on one of those sequences that Real scored their first goal. Teresa made a great movement to receive behind lines of pressure and played the key progressive pass that got her side going in a breakaway situation. Though Corredera’s ground cross was intercepted, luck was on the All Whites’ side and the deflection fell straight to Marta Cardona, who made no mistake 1v1 with the goalkeeper.
  • Real Madrid generally lacked chances outside of that in the first half, struggling to dissect Eibar’s compact shape and experiencing inefficiency down their left with Corredera in such an advanced position. Nevertheless, Aznar’s women gave very little away on the other end and saw out a comfortable forty-nine minutes before heading into the tunnel.
  • Eibar came out with a little bit more fire in the second half. They didn’t necessarily change their pressing trigger (Misa receiving) but were tighter and more aggressive in duels, especially in midfield. The easy control of the earlier period was absent and Aznar reacted much quicker than usual, bringing off Teresa for Kaci and Olga for Jessica Martínez, pushing Sofia out to the left and moving Corredera down a slot.
  • The entrance of Jessica gave Madrid a proper target in the box and she was the target of an increased volume of lofted deliveries, getting her head on two set-pieces.
  • But the lack of control remained and Eibar appeared to be growing in influence as the clock creeped forward to full-time.
  • Aznar made his third change in the 82nd minute, bringing on Lorena Navarro for Sofia. This had the intended effect, as she tapped home the second goal after Cardona led a single-handed counter-attack. The rebound off of the crossbar was unfortunate, though the quality preceding that event was absolutely undeniable.
  • Thaisa came on for Asllani in the 87th minute to see out the final minutes. Eibar attempted a final push, creating some danger in the area, but Madrid held on to secure an invaluable three points, moving ahead of the previously second-placed Levante, who could only manage a draw vs. underdogs Santa Teresa.

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