Real Madrid 4-0 Elche (Asensio, Benzemax2 & Modrić). Goals galore for Madrid. Here is my reaction to win. Coming up: Player ratings, post game quotes and a ManagingMadrid podcast.
The Club World Cup was won, the team had returned, and domestic business was to resume against bottom side Elche. You’d think with the momentum of a trophy win in their stride, that Madrid would be looking to sweep away their opposition - but their form up until that cup had been questionable. Andriy Lunin started in goal as Thibaut Courtois remained out injured. David Alaba sat in at left-back as Ferland Mendy was also on the medical table. Dani Ceballos continued to start, alongside Club World Cup hero Fede Valverde. Marco Asensio was joined in attack by Rodyrgo Goes and captain Karim Benzema. Castilla star Sergio Arribas was amongst the subsitutues, as Eden Hazard also missed the game with an injury.
✅ Our starting XI @Elchecf_en! #RealMadridElche pic.twitter.com/FfYmWRd4Dx— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) February 15, 2023
The game was pretty one way from the first moments, as Éder Militão almost found the top corner from distance when the ball came out to him. Marco Asensio then opened the scoring within ten minutes as he went on a decent run before finishing predictably well past the goalkeeper. Karim Benzema later came close with a headed attmept, and Fede Valverde made the keeper work hard with a long shot of his own. Madrid were awarded a penalty after a defending Elche player made contact with his hand - and Benzema made no mistake to add his name to the scoresheet from the spot. Elche then had their only chance of the half, hitting a shot pretty close to Andriy Lunin’s post, but not close enough. Just before the half was out, Madrid won another penalty - this time for a foul in the area. Karim happily made it two out of two after striking the ball into the left hand corner. 3-0 at half time and strolling.
Solid Real Madrid half without making it too complicated.— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) February 15, 2023
Rodrygo has been excellent. Hasn't misplaced a pass yet, 3 key passes, great line breaking.
Rodrygo Goes kicked off the second half with a superb strike that took a great save to stop it, and then found himself one on one - but the keeper came out on top again. Eduardo Camavinga then came close after running past a couple of players and spraying a shot wide. Asensio could have had yet another world class goal, but his shot was saved by the in-from keeper. Luka Modrić came onto the pitch to replace Dani Ceballos, and it only took ten minutes of his presence for him to add his name to goals. The ball came to the Croatian on the edge of the box, and he arrowed a shot into the top corner to score his sides fourth. Rodrygo had a pop to try and make it five, but clearly it was only penalties and special strikes beating this goalkeeper today. Madrid kept the ball in the final third for the remainder of the game, but were unable to add to their tally. 4-0 the final score. Exciting performance, or standard for Real Madrid? Let me know in the comments.