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Immediate Reaction: Celta de Vigo 1 - 2 Real Madrid

Ancelotti’s men clinch another win despite another unconvincing performance.

RC Celta de Vigo v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

At this point in the league, it doesn’t come as a surprise to see Real Madrid win against Celta the way they did. Despite the disorganized pressing, the shaky defending of the box, and the lack of offensive structure, Los Blancos keep getting the results game after game. A lot of this efficiency in results has to do with the tremendous form of the players defending their own box (Courtois, Militão) and the ones who attack the opponents’ box (Vinicius, Benzema). These outstanding individuals compensate for many of the team’s structural deficits.

During the first half, Real Madrid were outplayed by a Celta team who pressed aggressively while overcoming Real’s meek pressing attempts. Once again, Ancelotti’s men failed at pressing coherently, allowing Celta’s wide attackers to easily receive the ball behind Real’s midfield. Courtois once again made big saves to prevent Celta from capitalizing on their dominance. Despite these issues, Real Madrid scored first from a penalty committed on Militão that Benzema put in the back of the net. Celta came close to scoring at the end of the first half, but their goal was canceled after the video review showed Aspas in an offside position.

During the second half, Celta had even more possession and Real stayed back even more. This didn’t necessarily help the home side, who now had to attack tighter spaces than those of the first half. Their insistence paid off as Nolito scored in the 52nd minute after another failed pressing attempt from Real Madrid. Substituting Asensio for Rodrygo helped boost Real’s attack a bit, and soon after coming in, the Brazilian forward drew a penalty foul. Dituro stopped Benzema’s penalty kick, but five minutes later Mendy would draw another penalty foul, and Karim wouldn’t miss this time.

Towards the end of the game, Celta tried to take the initiative, but Real’s defense managed to break down their attacks even before they arrived in the box, without needing many emergency interventions from Militão and Alaba. All in all, Real achieve another victory in which they weren’t necessarily the dominant side, but they were efficient.

While these lackluster performances might be enough to win the league, it’s hard not to wonder whether Real can really get past Chelsea playing like this.

Let us know what you thought about the game in the comments, and stay tuned for upcoming player ratings, podcast, and more post-match content!

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