Carlo Ancelotti opted for heavy rotations after a humiliating performance vs. Atletico last weekend, searching for a bounce-back against Las Palmas at home. Joselu and Tchouameni returned to the starting XI. Jude Bellingham was rested, and Vinicius was cautiously left on the bench as he had just returned from an injury. Brahim Diaz got his first start.
Real Madrid started the game with a high defensive line. The passing blocks were compact in length, but the team was stretched to provide width. Leading up to the game, Las Palmas were one of the two most efficient defenses in the league, conceding only four goals in six games. But they were also the team that scored only two goals in six games.
Madrid’s slow start picked up pace after the first 15 minutes of the game. Joselu had two great chances in minutes 18 and 20, but Las Palmas goalkeeper Alvaro Valles made two good saves to deny him both times. Brahim was denied soon after in another 1v1 situation. Real Madrid’s injury troubles got worse near the end of the half, and center-back David Alaba had to be taken off. Lucas Vazquez replaced him, and captain Nacho Fernandez moved to center-back.
Eventually, it was Brahim who opened the scoring. A cutback from the right found him right in front of the goal. The Spaniard had plenty of time to slot home in the added time of the first half. It was a dominating half from the home side, with 18 shots, eight of them on target, and three big chances missed.
Real Madrid kept pushing for the second goal since the start of the second half. It arrived in the 54th minute when Rodrygo’s cross found Joselu, who placed the ball into the back of the net with a finely taken header.
Joselu made way for Vinicius Jr. soon after that, and Brahim was replaced by Dani Ceballos. Toni Kroos and Fran Garcia were Real Madrid’s final two substitutions for the final 15 minutes, as Eduardo Camavinga and Ferland Mendy were taken off.
Real Madrid was mostly focused on controlling the game and not conceding for the remainder of the game. There were some transition opportunities created by the likes of Fran Garcia and Vinicius, but nothing consequential happened.
Real Madrid leapfrogged Barcelona due to this win, who dropped points against Mallorca yesterday.