Real Madrid have kept the pressure on LaLiga leaders Barcelona by beating Cádiz 2-1 on Thursday night to maintain their unbeaten run at home going. Two goals from Éder Militão and Toni Kroos were enough to seal the three points for Los Blancos, their first victory in LaLiga since October 22nd following a run of back-to-back games without a win.
These three stats help to understand what happened.
8: Goals from set pieces in LaLiga this season, the highest in the division
When Éder Militão headed in Real Madrid’s opening goal, it was his second in the space of four days and also Real Madrid’s seventh goal from a set piece in LaLiga this season. That was a figure only matched by the team Militão scored against on Monday, Rayo Vallecano, and more than the other 18 teams in Primera División.
When Toni Kroos stepped up to volley in, it was pushing the limits of what counts as a set piece goal but should be enough to qualify given that Cádiz were yet to clear, and he took Real Madrid clear at the top with an eighth set piece goal of the season.
Both were characteristic of each player. Every headed goal scored by Real Madrid in LaLiga this season has come off of Militão’s forehead, while this was Kroos’ 10th goal from outside the box for Los Blancos, accounting for half of his total for the club.
25 minutes, 7 seconds: How often Vinícius Júnior is fouled on average in LaLiga
LaLiga’s most fouled player by a margin of 10 fouls, Vinícius Júnior is now up to 49 fouls received from 14 appearances. That’s an average of 3.58 fouls received per 90, or one foul committed every 25 minutes and seven seconds. He also accounts for 29% of all of Real Madrid’s fouls awarded. Ouch.
This week, however, has set new highs. Seven fouls by Rayo Vallecano and five from Cádiz mean that the Brazilian has been fouled once every 15 minutes across the two games played this week. That number of 12 fouls on the winger alone is the same number of fouls committed by Real Madrid against the whole Cádiz team on Thursday night.
The knock-on effect of that is one that may begin to concern Carlo Ancelotti, though, as Vinícius is now on four yellow cards in 14 games in LaLiga this season. His previous high was six in 36 matches last season, having never before surpassed four across a full campaign. With suspension kicking in after the next yellow card shown, Vini may well end up walking a tightrope in the first few weeks after the World Cup.
January 21st, 2006: The last time Real Madrid beat Cádiz at the Bernabéu
At last, the Cádiz jinx at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is over! 16 years after the last win over the Yellows on home turf, Real Madrid have done it again. That day, Robinho, David Beckham and Roberto Carlos were all on the scoresheet. Éder Militão’s header from Toni Kroos’ cross was in fact the first time that a Real Madrid player had scored against Cádiz in the capital since a certain Zinedine Zidane set up another Brazilian, Robinho, to score in 2006.
Since then, the 2015 Copa del Rey tie was awarded to Cádiz after Denis Cheryshev was played while suspended in the first leg in Andalusia, then Álvaro Cervera’s team won 1-0 at the Estadio Alfredo di Stéfano following promotion in 2020 and secured a 0-0 draw last year.
The only bad news was that Lucas Pérez’s late consolation means that the wait for a win to nil against Cádiz in Madrid goes on. That particular feat hasn’t been managed since 1989 when a 25-year-old Emilio Butragueño was among the scorers in a 4-0 win. Maybe next year.