Real Madrid emerged victorious for a 16th consecutive visit to Andalusia, this time as they secured a 3-0 win over Cádiz courtesy of some efficient counter-attacking and a little dash of magic offensive play.
That came primarily from Rodrygo Goes, who scored two goals for the team including a very impressive solo goal for the first, and then a third strike came from Jude Bellingham to settle the tie later on. It was light work in the end for Los Blancos, who had initially relied on individual brilliance from the Brazilian to break the deadlock in the first half.
Here are three stats that help to tell the tale of the game.
14: Goals in his first 15 Real Madrid games for Jude Bellingham
The attention may correctly go to Rodrygo after he scored two in this game, but it also points to the fact that Jude Bellingham scoring goals is almost a given for Real Madrid at this point. This was his 15th appearance for the club, his first since returning from a shoulder injury, and he scored his 14th goal.
In doing so, he continued to beat the stats of some club legends. Behind him in the rankings for goals in their first 15 games are Cristiano Ronaldo, Alfredo Di Stéfano and Pruden Sánchez on 13 each, followed by Ferenc Puskás on 11, and then Raúl on seven. Bellingham is already way ahead.
This time, it was another poacher’s finish as Bellingham got forward to support Rodrygo Goes and then was fed in neatly to place his finish into the bottom corner. It won’t be the most memorable or magnificent of his 14 goals to date, but it shows that yet again, he has turned up in the right place at the right time.
The 0.07 xG of this goal again puts it among his lowest xG strikes this season, but with Bellingham positioned well, he was able to place the ball into the bottom corner and Jeremías Ledesma could do little about the Englishman adding to his tally.
4: Men beaten in the box by Rodrygo in the build-up to his goal
What a goal this was from Rodrygo Goes. Receiving the ball on the counter, he looked rapid and clinical as he advanced and then cut through the box, beating four Cádiz defenders, one with a nutmeg, to then add a pinpoint finish into the top corner to convert a chance which was rated at 0.1 xG.
When he later added a second, he scored his fifth goal in his last three appearances for Real Madrid, in addition to three assists over the same run. He scored two from 0.25 xG on this occasion, after scoring two from 0.9 xG against Valencia and one from 1.07 xG against Braga in the previous game.
His first strike was a goal so impressive that it’s hard to imagine that the very same player could have produced it only a few weeks ago. This was not only a goal which came after beating four different Cádiz defenders with a dribble and neat footwork, but it also became his longest distance goal of the season. Since his long distance strike against Sevilla in the penultimate round of last season, he had not scored from so far out.
In addition to that, he created more chances than any other player with three, including his assist for Jude Bellingham’s goal as the two appeared to build a real connection which Cádiz could not quite handle as they were caught on the counter.
25%: Duels won by Real Madrid’s two full-backs
Carlo Ancelotti has repeatedly spoken in the past about how the diamond midfield shape can leave his team exposed in wide areas, and that was clear at times in this encounter even as Cádiz struggled to create much of a threat to worry the Real Madrid defence.
The concern comes from the fact that the two full-backs, Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy, struggled in their duels. Carvajal failed to win a single duel, while Mendy won only one and was also shown a yellow card for the second of his two fouls committed, while Carvajal committed three.
In fact, Fran García, who only came on in the 88th minute, actually won more duels from one attempt than Dani Carvajal did from 10. It was clear that Carvajal was not at his best, with some disappointing attempts at crosses as he failed to complete a single one, but it was perhaps expected after playing 114 minutes for Spain over the international break.
With Napoli visiting in midweek, Ancelotti may opt to rotate his options on the flanks of defence given their concerning performance here against opposition who offered little.