Real Madrid produced another big scoreline at the Bernabéu, defeating Real Mallorca 6-1 in their second game back at their home stadium. There were rotations, there were beautiful moments and, above all, there was Eduardo Camavinga. So, let’s get into the three questions we had answered and three new ones we now have.
1. How would Camavinga do in the Casemiro role?
Wow, just wow. Eduardo Camavinga is the real deal. Given his first start and occupying the Casemiro role in the very centre of the 4-3-3, the Frenchman played as if the Bernabéu was his back garden and as if he’d just invited some friends around to play football. With his ball. His first touch, his dribbling, his passing. It was all crisp. There was even one terrible Nacho pass towards Camavinga in the centre of the pitch in the first half, that could have set Real Mallorca off on a counter attack. But, no. Camavinga just stuck out his pincer of a leg and collected it, already thinking about where to pass it next. He was given a huge ovation as he was substituted off for the first time and he more than deserved it. The Bernabéu already loves him.
2. How would Asensio respond?
Out of seemingly nowhere, reports of Marco Asensio’s supposed discontent emerged on Tuesday, with Carlo Ancelotti even asked about the player in his pre-match press conference and stating that he’d welcome an extra motivated Asensio. Just a day later, the Italian started Asensio against his boyhood club and he responded with the first hat-trick of his career. From his deeper and more central role in the midfield, he seemed more comfortable than some of his recent performances out wide. But, and it’s also the case with Camavinga, we do have to remember that this was only Real Mallorca, who seemed to sacrifice the midfield until Iddrisu Baba came on. Let’s see if Asensio can keep this up in the next few games. Because when he’s plugged in and playing like this, it’s truly impressive. There is a reason he was trusted with the No.11, after all.
3. Lucas Vázquez or someone else at right-back?
We mentioned it after the Valencia game, that Lucas Vázquez had a really disappointing performance after coming on for the injured Dani Carvajal. With the starting right-back now out for a few games with his injury, who would take his place? Would it be Lucas Vázquez? Or would Ancelotti improvise and play someone slightly out of position? Well, it was the latter. Nacho was the chosen one, meaning the veteran has now played at centre-back, left-back and right-back this campaign. Nacho did well and brought some solidity to the right flank, winning his duel with Lago Junior in a way that Álvaro Odriozola couldn’t when he’d tried to fill in at right-back on that infamous night on the island back in 2019.
1. How many more times will Kubo play at the Bernabéu?
Even though he has been on Real Madrid’s books for over two years and even though he has faced Los Blancos four times across his various loan spells, Takefusa Kubo had never played at the Bernabéu. Until tonight. He played a part in the Real Mallorca goal, but was largely quiet before his half time substitution, at which point he even received a round of applause when the change was announced by the speaker. When will he next get a chance to play at the Bernabéu? And will it be wearing the white of Real Madrid? Maybe he’ll play many matches at this stadium with the Spanish club. Maybe, if he never gets to stay and is transferred abroad next, this might even have been his last time on this pitch.
2. Can Real Madrid beat their goals scored record?
Real Madrid’s record for goals scored in a single LaLiga season is the 121 goals netted in the Jose Mourinho 2011/12 campaign. Right now, they’re on pace to beat that record. With 21 goals netted across the first six matchdays, that’s 3.5 per game and means they’re on course to have 133 by the end of the campaign. It’s still early, but this version of Ancelotti-ball produces goals. Could they hit or surpass 121?
3. Has Ancelotti still got it?
Zinedine Zidane is gone, but there is still footballing quality in the technical area. That trapping of the ball in the 49th minute from Ancelotti… Wow. He was the only person not named Camavinga to receive an old school “olé” from the Bernabéu crowd tonight.