Real Madrid 3-0 Deportivo Alavés (Asensio, Vinícius Júnior & Benzema). Here is the immediate reaction to the win. Still to come: press conference details, player ratings and the ManagingMadrid podcast.
Real Madrid have entered a dry patch. Performances of late have not been satisfactory, and results have reflected that. The lack of ambition in the 1-0 loss to PSG midweek was only the culmination of weeks of stagnation. Whether that be down to fatigue within the squad and a lack of rotation, or a tactical disconnection was up for debate - but the team would need to turn things around and quickly to avoid any awkward title slips in the remaining competitions. The starting squad was again strong for today’s home game against Alavés. Fede Valverde came into the midfield as the only change after being one of the only bright sparks in the last two games. Eden Hazard remained on the bench as was joined by the likes of Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos. Karim Benzema captained the side as he continued to use fixtures to return to full fitness.
✅ Our starting XI @alaveseng! #RealMadridAlavés pic.twitter.com/Bb0ZL7hapv— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) February 19, 2022
One word could sum up the entire first half: dreadful. If the objective was to overcome this dry spell, then fans would end up only getting more frustrated watching the players run out of ideas very early on. The visitors defended well but Madrid were simply unable to challenge them in the slightest. No changes were made at half time as Los Blancos continued to struggle - but they managed to take the lead in the only way possible in these conditions. Marco Asensio cut inside before scoring a world class goal from outside of the area. It was clear the players were unhappy with the treatment given to them by the fans at the Bernabéu, and the goal did lift the spirits of everyone slightly. Karim Benzema almost took advantage of the new found openness by hitting the post, but realistically it was from a chance within the area that he should normally be scoring. For one phase of play, it was business as usual - as Valverde, Asensio and Benzema linked up really well to free up Vinícius Júnior to score. Asensio then came off to a round of applause from the home fans, as he clapped them back and made way for Dani Ceballos to come on. Karim Benzema returned to the scoresheet with a late penalty that was softly given, but it was enough to secure the comfortable victory after a much improved second half. The result will be something to build on for Real Madrid to start rebuilding their previous form. What did you think about the victory?