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Open Thread: January 9, 2022

Our Sunday issue of the daily merengue

Real Madrid CF v Valencia CF - 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.

Normal Service Resumes in La Liga.

With the return of Vinicius, Benzema and KCM, Los Blancos put on a clinic in the second half especially and broke down the Valencian wall that held steady in the first half. The whites now lead Sevilla by 8 points, though the Andalusians have 2 games in hand. The game was covered extensively in the immediate reaction, 3 answers and 3 questions and player ratings articles as well as the managing madrid podcast.

..........And now El Clasico!!!

Coach Ancelotti confirmed that as far as he knows all his players are vaccinated and barring Mariano and Bale, all would travel to Saudi Arabia for the Supercup. Barcelona meanwhile had further injury concerns against Granada when Eric Garcia hobbled off the pitch and appears to have a hamstring issue. Along with Frenkie De Jong and Ronald Araujo who underwent surgery on Friday for his hand injury, the defender is likely to miss the trip to the middle east.

Good news for the Catalans however is that Memphis Depay is back and Ansu Fati should return for the Supercup as well.

300 Goals and Counting for Benzema.

Benzema becomes the fourth player to eclipse the 300-goal mark as a Madridista. Before him, came Di Stéfano (308), Raúl (323) and Cristiano Ronaldo (451). The next milestone in the Frenchman’s sights will be to write himself into the history books as the club’s third-highest all-time goalscorer. He now sits just 7 goals away from equalling Di Stéfano’s tally. Elite company indeed.

ICYMI: Retro Analysis: How Zidane’s Wounded Madrid Humbled Klopp’s Heavy-metal Liverpool.

In this article, Mehedi Hassan Pranggon dives into a data-viz analysis on one of the best games of 2021. Give it a read.

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