Thanks to a very early Éder Militão header, Real Madrid won 1-0 and took all three points away from their short trip to take on Getafe. Even though there was only one goal, there were many talking points and they’re discussed here in this latest ‘Three answers and three questions’ article.
1. Would this be an uncomfortable “trip to the dentist”?
There’s a cliché in Spanish football whenever a big team has a difficult away game against an uncomfortable opponent, as these matches are described as “trips to the dentist”. This Getafe game ticked all the boxes to merit this description, as Getafe are strong at home, they beat Los Blancos in this game last season and they’re also a physical side who most players don’t enjoy going up against. But, Éder Militão’s early goal made this far more comfortable than expected. With an early lead, Real Madrid were able to control the game and they weren’t tested too much by this dentist, as Getafe were actually quite toothless themselves in attack.
2. Would Real Madrid miss Benzema?
Making this trip to Getafe without Karim Benzema was certainly a challenge for Real Madrid. Even if the Frenchman hasn’t been at his best of late, you usually still need a finisher of his calibre for these kinds of “trips to the dentist”. But, Real Madrid didn’t actually need Benzema here. As mentioned above, this was a more comfortable win than expected. So, Los Blancos have three more points in the bank and will have Benzema even fresher in this vital Clásico week.
3. Would Juanmi Latasa get on the pitch?
In the build-up to this match, Juanmi Latasa spoke to MARCA about this particularly special fixture and the Real Madrid academy graduate, who is on loan at Getafe, confirmed that he wouldn’t celebrate were he to score for his current side against the club where he spent the past six years. But, to have the chance of scoring he had to get on the pitch first and that hasn’t been happening much so far this season. The 21-year-old did come on, but only in the 86th minute, when he only had time to make four touches. There are high hopes for Latasa, but the loanee isn’t making an impact at Getafe yet. Patience might be required there.
1. Can Lunin kick on from here after his first clean sheet?
After mentioning Andriy Lunin’s poor stats in the past couple ‘Three answers and three questions’ pieces, it’s only fair to give the Ukrainian goalkeeper some praise after he secured his first clean sheet at Real Madrid at the eighth attempt. Thibaut Courtois won’t be risked for the midweek trip to face Shakhtar Donetsk, more than anything to avoid the travelling making his back issue any worse, so Lunin will have another opportunity between the posts on Tuesday.
2. Who’s keeping track of Vinícius’ nutmegs at FBref?
After this latest spectacle from Vinícius, who terrorised the Getafe defenders all night long, I took a look at his nutmeg stats, because it feels like he is nutmegging at least one defender every game. But, it was surprising to see that FBref has only registered two nutmegs for Vinícius from his 12 appearances. There was one against Almería in the first matchday and one in the away game at Celtic, but no more. “Number of times a player dribbled the ball through an opposing player’s legs,” if how FBref defines a nutmeg, but the Brazilian only has two. That’s fewer than Rodrygo, who has four, and Luka Modrić, who has three. That’s weird.
3. What has happened to Hazard?
The ‘why is Eden Hazard not playing?’ conversation has been had a million times already and yes, it’s a bit boring. But, Hazard’s current absence is curious, since it comes at a time when Karim Benzema hasn’t been playing much and it comes after the Belgian was widely praised for his performance away at Celtic. He then started the following game against Real Mallorca, but was taken off after an hour and hasn’t played a single minute in the five matches since then. It’s certainly a strange one.