Real Madrid reached their fifth Club World Cup final with a 4-1 victory over Egyptian side Al Ahly thanks to goals from Vinícius Júnior, Federico Valverde, Rodrygo Goes and Sergio Arribas in Morocco.
In a comfortable win, Los Blancos added to their margin despite Ali Maaloul scoring from the penalty spot for the African team after a foul by Eduardo Camavinga.
Here are three stats to help us to understand the game.
11: Shots on target, the highest figure since the first LaLiga match of the season
Not since matchday one of LaLiga have Real Madrid had so many shots on target in a single game with 11 of their 17 shots ending up between the woodwork. Coming only days after managing only one shot on target, from the penalty spot, against Mallorca, it’s a welcome relief for Carlo Ancelotti.
In total, goalscorer Rodrygo Goes, Federico Valverde and Vinícius Júnior all had two attempts on target, while Aurélien Tchouaméni joined the club, and Antonio Rüdiger also had one. Luka Modrić’s penalty added another, as did Sergio Arribas’ late goal.
Of those, Rodrygo attempted six efforts on goal, with two coming on target, while Vinícius was responsible for four as the Brazilians combined to account for over half of the team’s shots.
Such a cutting edge in front of goal is exactly what Real Madrid have been missing of late and while Al Ahly may not be the toughest of opposition, they were not an easy opponent to break down and this match will have provided a real boost in confidence to the Madridista attackers.
2: More missed penalties than any other club in the Club World Cup
As Luka Modrić stepped up to take his third penalty of the season, he missed his first of the campaign with a low penalty down the middle but slightly to the right which was easily saved by Al Ahly goalkeeper Mohammed El Shenawy.
It means that Real Madrid become the first team to miss two penalties, excluding penalty shoot-outs, in the Club World Cup in the tournament’s history. It comes after French forward Nicolas Anelka missed from the spot against Corinthians in the first edition of the competition in 2000.
Such a stat also means that Real Madrid match their tally of missed penalties for the entirety of last season with four, which in itself was the highest figure for missed penalties since the 1999/2000 season when Anelka missed against the Brazilians in addition to misses from Raúl and Fernando Hierro.
It reflects a problem for Carlo Ancelotti as this was the second consecutive match in which Los Blancos missed from the penalty spot. Fortunately in Morocco it didn’t cost Real Madrid anything other than a moment of frustration, but the hunt for a second choice penalty-taker will continue and may see a fifth penalty-taker this season chosen should the referee point to the spot any time soon.
3: Touches from Sergio Arribas to score
28 seconds and three touches was all it took for Sergio Arribas to take the ball down, get it out of his feet and power the ball into the back of the net. It showed a kind of composure that has been sorely lacking from Carlo Ancelotti’s options off the bench this season.
The Castilla captain has nine goals to his name in Primera RFEF with Raúl this season, but this was his first goal with the first team and it came when he was probably not expecting to score as he came on for Vinícius with seconds left on the clock.
It was more than Eden Hazard has done in his last 197 minutes or Mariano Díaz has contributed in his last 120 minutes, dating all the way back to last season in the case of the latter. They may not be huge amounts, but Arribas took his chance to make an impact while they didn’t.
If Ancelotti continues to desperately look to the bench for goals as Karim Benzema struggles to maintain his fitness and the business end of the season nears, Arribas may well be putting himself into contention with moments like this.