For the fourth match in a row, Real Madrid won 2-0. This time, the victims on the end of the beating were Celta Vigo, who have not won at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu since 2006.
This time, Marco Asensio opened the scoring just before half-time with a left-footed rifle into the top corner of the net after a first half which had been one-way traffic for the most part. Shortly into the second half, Éder Militão doubled the lead with a header.
Here are three stats which tell the story of the game.
113: Touches from Eduardo Camavinga, more than in any other LaLiga game
Each passing game, Eduardo Camavinga looks more and more important and influential for Real Madrid. Against Celta Vigo, he produced one of his best individual performances yet, once again being deployed as a makeshift left-back with Carlo Ancelotti left with little alternative but to replicate Didier Deschamps’ approach with France.
In this match, Camavinga registered all-time highs for number of total touches (113) and number of dribbles (six completed out of seven attempts) in a LaLiga match. Adding in the highest number of duels won (12) and possession recoveries (10) in the match, it was a typically strong display.
With the third highest number of passes (71 successful out of 77 attempts), he contributed to bringing the ball forwards too. Eight of those passes were into the final third, creating 0.24 expected assists, and rounding off a complete performance.
Eduardo Camavinga vs Celta Vigo | La Liga 22-23— Yash (@Odriozolite) April 22, 2023
Camavinga is genuinely insane, incredible influence from left back and then equally insane from midfield.
10 ball recoveries
6 progressive passes
6/7 successful take-ons.
WHAT A MONSTROUS PERFORMANCE. STAR BOY! pic.twitter.com/b9Ar6VKxpf
There had been questions over Camavinga’s ability to play in the left-back role and whether he could be caught out against stronger opposition, but Celta Vigo were not able to hit him. They directed 38% of their first-half attacks down his flank but failed to register a single shot from those. That explains why the second half, despite more attacking presence, only 23% of offensive moves came down their right wing. They saw that Camavinga was unbeatable.
Post-match, Carlo Ancelotti spoke in his press conference about the display. “He has extraordinary quality,” the Italian reflected. “He can play in any part of the pitch. He’s special in that way and was at a high level tonight.” The stats certainly back him up.
95.8%: Of total xG conceded which came in the second half
At no point in this game were Real Madrid particularly under the cosh from Celta Vigo, but one major trend in this game was the way in which Celta had the majority of their chances in the second period. In the first half, Real Madrid conceded just 0.04 xG, but in the second period 0.93 xG were conceded.
In the first half, Gabri Veiga had two effort which both went high and wide from over 25 yards. In the second, there were real chances with Thibaut Courtois called into action to deny Iago Aspas and Gonçalo Paciência missing another opportunity from inside the six yard box only moments later.
It extends a trend which was the same against both Chelsea in midweek (76.0%) and Cádiz last weekend (52.6%) of the majority of the opposition’s expected goals coming in the second half of games.
There is no need for alarm or concern, particularly given the nature of this game which meant that the tie was pretty much done and dusted after Éder Militão’s headed goal only three minutes into the second half. However, easing off in games is not a habit that Ancelotti will want his team to fall into, even if it does save energy as the business end of the season approaches.
6: No defender in Europe’s top five leagues has scored more headed goals than Éder Militão
Set pieces haven’t been a major threat for Real Madrid since Sergio Ramos’ departure, but with Éder Militão this season, they have once again proved a key component of Real Madrid’s offensive tactics.
It was exactly through such a move that Militão doubled Real Madrid’s lead as he rose highest to convert a Marco Asensio corner as he ran from the edge of the box to a central position. With a powerful downwards header from six yards out, Iván Villar stood little chance of denying him the goal.
In scoring, Militão became the sixth defender in the last 35 years to score five headed goals in a single LaLiga season. Sergio Ramos is the only Madridista to form part of that club. For Real Madrid specifically, he joins Roberto Carlos, Fernando Hierro, Iván Helguera and Sergio Ramos in scoring five or more goals in LaLiga in the same season this century.
This season, with Karim Benzema slightly off the boil early on in the campaign, such goal contributions from elsewhere have been very important for Real Madrid. Fede Valverde’s goals from midfield and Militão’s from defence have been significant.