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Immediate Reaction: Sporting Huelva 0 - 1 Real Madrid; Liga F

Three points in a frustrating game for Real Madrid.

Real Madrid CF v Paris Saint-Germain: Group A - UEFA Women’s Champions League Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Real Madrid managed another 3 points against a complicated rival. The game was one of the most frustrating games of the season, below are some of my comments on it.

  • Toril went for more of a 4-2-3-1 with Zornoza and Toletti behind Olga, Weir, and Athenea with Nahikari up in front.
  • There’s not much to say about the first half really. It started off with bad passes and it ended with bad passes. Add bad ball control to that and you have a great cake to eat...if you like sour cakes.
  • Olga and Svava were caught miscommunicating quite a few times. It was the most apparent when Olga kept passing to the sidelines giving Huelva throw-ins because Svava had in mind to go for a run immediately after Olga would get the ball.
  • Out of all the players on the pitch, the biggest stand-out for me was Svava. She won a freekick in the second minute of the match which ended up nowhere. However, she also gave away a freekick later on at around 18’ but she handles it herself. Perhaps the cleanest part of the whole match was seeing her hold up the Huelva attacker to let the ball pass to the goal kick for Meline. That says a lot about the match.
  • Svava also received a yellow card which dangerously reminded me of the last season’s match where she got two yellows in the first half. Except for this and the miscommunication with Olga, she was perhaps the best Real Madrid player on pitch.
  • 34’ GOAL by Athenea [0:1]! Olga crosses to Nahikari (who appeared offside, but nothing was called), she had to run to get the ball just behind the second post, then passed it back to Athenea who shot it in.
  • Five minutes after the goal, Meline made a dramatic Misa-like save by running out of the box. It ended up being offside but nevertheless, it was a great and save.
  • There was one great longshot by Weir at 41’ which was on target and another attempted cross to Nahikari’s head. End of the first half.
  • Halftime substitution: Møller in for Svava
  • The first couple of minutes of the 2nd half were much more interesting than the entire first half. Firstly, Olga tried to cross to Nahikari but it got intercepted giving us a corner. A minute later, the opponents got a dangerous chance; after #8 received the ball in her half, she ran all the way to Real Madrid’s box, going 1 vs 1 on Meline Gérard, but missed in the end. Very bad from our defense.
  • At 48’, Nahikari was seen pressing on the goalkeeper who then misplaced a pass which Athenea intercepted. She then passed to Weir, but she miscalculated the distance to Nahikari so the short pass, that should have been completed, was even shorter than intended. Something was off with Weir in this game generally. It’s also unusual for Nahikari not to be pressing for the whole game as this was the first time she was seen pressing. Perhaps the only time.
  • Toletti gave a freekick at 50’, they had an insane center to someone’s head in the box. It went just over the crossbar.
  • Substitution: Freja Siri and Feller in for Toletti and Nahikari
  • Møller moves to the center forward position.
  • Naomie Feller was perhaps the best part of the game, along with Møller who kept helping on the left wing as well. The French managed a few crosses and a great pass to Weir at 71’. In this chance, Weir runs up to the Huelva’s box, going 1v1 with the goalkeeper. She shot directly in front instead of chipping it and the shot was saved.
  • She also had a couple of chances herself. At 69’ Zornoza made a long pass to Athenea on the right, who crossed it into the box to Feller who was right beside the second post, but she didn’t receive it well and the ball ended up in a goal kick.
  • At 70’ there was a major heart attack alert. The opponent made a longshot which hit the post after which Meline had to intervene again against the Huelva player that was positioned in front, Ivana then cleared it.
  • There was a high number of freekicks in this game, more for Sporting Huelva. There were 4 yellow cards and all 4 received by Real Madrid players.
  • Substitution: M.Oroz in for Athenea
  • Until the end of the game, there was a great save by Huelva’s goalkeeper after Olga’s strong longshot and a fun detail with Kenti’s nutmeg.

All in all, it was a very frustrating game, too much unnecessary suffering. However, this unnecessary suffering has become the trademark of this team, so with these 3 points, at this very moment, I can’t complain much.

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