Real Madrid bounced back on the weekend — following a draining defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League — to put three more points on the board in league play. A late goal from Lorena helped Toril’s side continue their win streak in the league and their push to secure a top three finish.
With injuries to Asllani, Cardona, and Kaci, Toril made minimal changes from lineup midweek. Ivana came in to replace Babett Peter, Kenti returned in place of Lucía, and Nahikari replaced Olga in the starting XI. Maite was stationed on the right flank initially, with Esther at #10 and Nahikari up top in a 4-2-3-1. Levante, without Toletti, lined up in a 4-4-2 diamond, with Gio and Redondo as the front two and 17 year-old Erika as one of the interiors in the midfield four.
Here are three Real Madrid players that stood out from the game:
Kenti Robles was by far Madrid’s most dangerous player in the game. She created chances via her crossing and ball carrying. She found lots of space in the wide areas and attacked zones in front of her really well. Defensively, she handled the threat of Jucinara and looked solid in her duels. Her cross to find Maite on the far post early in the 2nd half was one of Madrid’s best chances of the entire game.
Olga came on in the 64th minute and her introduction instantly saw Madrid create more danger. She consistently got in behind following exchanges with Møller — and, later on, Lorena — and managed to get crosses off that resulted in multiple shots. Her combination with Møller instantly resulted in a shooting opportunity but the shot was straight at the GK. She found a lot of joy running in behind Lloris, who came on as a substitute for Tomás.
Rocío had a solid outing against Levante. The 24-year-old Spaniard was front-footed in her defensive approach, resulting in Madrid’s only decent sequence of play in the first half, when Athenea fired a cross-shot straight at the keeper. Rocío’s passing was good and she did well to get into positions to block shooting opportunities consistently. She looked good in 1v1 duels, although Gio and Redondo caused some problems with their runs in the channel. On the offensive end, Rocío was a threat from set-piece situations and managed to connect with the ball directly or on second balls.
Bits & Pieces
- Viola Calligaris had a solid outing for Levante at CB. She looked assured in her individual duels, held off attackers really well, and cleared all danger that came her way. She picked the ball up and made a run that almost resulted in a goal at the death. Her performance was reminiscent of the one against us two years ago, when she was in Valencia.
- Lorena came clutch again, as she managed to be in the right place at the right time to score. She also showed great awareness and efficiency in her link-up play.
- Carla Camacho’s brief cameo looked very promising. She managed to get on the end of two chances and could’ve had a goal for herself. The youngster pressed well and looked solid in her physical duels as well. Camacho then followed her performance up with a hat-trick for the B side today, making her the second top scorer in the division.
- Møller played three roles within 30 minutes after coming on in the 60th. It was Møller’s pass and subsequent movement that attracted the defenders and allowed Lorena to get the tap-in for the winner. When Møller came on, she joined Esther as the front two and instantly showcased her brilliant ability to link up play with her back to goal. She later moved to right back, before closing the ninety out by playing as a right winger.
- Esther continued to look threatening and grabbed an assist thanks to her relentless nature on and off the ball. Her pressing was great and there were occasions where she could’ve released the ball quicker to find teammates in better positions, but her overall impact was a big net positive.