In a nice primer to Real Madrid’s match vs RB Leipzig tonight (at the senior level), Alvaro Arbeloa’s Juvenil A side took on Leipzig’s youth team in the UEFA Youth League this afternoon and beat them 3 - 2.
While the scoreline was close, it should be noted the Arbeloa’s side were quite dominant in this game. Deploying a 4-3-3 with maestro Manuel Angel pulling strings in midfield alongside Chema and Nico Paz (yes, that talented Nico Paz who trained with the first team this week), Juvenil A controlled the ball, escaped Leipzig’s high press with confidence, and created waves and waves of chances. The two goals conceded (one from a corner where Chema lost his man at the far post; the other a penalty after a clumsy touch and challenge from Jacobo in the box), only made this slightly uncomfortable because Juvenil A didn’t convert more of the chances they generated. Jacobo, who conceded the penalty, also was sent off for some foolish antics in the 85 minute.
But that’s football. While Real Madrid can be proud of this performance which cements them at the top of their group, they can certainly improve on their finishing and defending.
Man of the hour Nico Paz scored Real’s first two goals. The first was the equalizer, and the second — just minutes after the first — put Real Madrid ahead:
34’ GOAAAAAAAAAL NICO PAZ !!!!!— Real Madrid Fabrica (@FabricaMadrid) October 25, 2022
Assist from Pol Fortuny.
Leipzig 1-1 Juvenil A !! pic.twitter.com/Kq8kLas2cK
37’ GOAAAAAAAAAAL NICO PAZ !!!! 4 goals in 4 games in the Youth League this season.— Real Madrid Fabrica (@FabricaMadrid) October 25, 2022
Assist from Manuel Ángel. A very good work from Álvaro Ginés.
Leipzig 1-2 Juvenil A !!! pic.twitter.com/0qNNjCQVnp
In the second half, Pol Fortuny, who also set up Paz’s first goal, found Jacobo to make it 3 - 1:
55’ GOAAAAAAAAAAL JACOBO RAMÓN !!!!!— Real Madrid Fabrica (@FabricaMadrid) October 25, 2022
Assist from Pol Fortuny.
Leipzig 1-3 Juvenil A !!! pic.twitter.com/CqAK8rWgiW
Arbeloa’s side are fun to watch, and they are especially composed in the build-up phase. They knock it around with purpose and directness, and their press is quite cohesive.
Alongside Paz, Manuel Angel was brilliant in midfield:
Manuel Angel looks special. Has everything on the ball to be a playmaker. Has that Modric low center-of-gravity / shoulder drop. Dribbles well. Constantly moving, incisive passer. Love what I see.— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) October 25, 2022
Like the way Arbeloa has this team set up in the build-up phase. Very confident.
With the win, Real Madrid Juvenil A sit top of Group F with a whopping +15 goal differential, which is the most of the entire tournament.