The weekly summary
by Jacob E. Cardenas
Real Madrid saved a tie on the 3rd game of the season against a very complicated Villareal. This time los blancos played at La Cerámica. The match ended in a 2-2 draw along with a feeling of luck, given the performance of the team. In the aftermath, a point is valuable as the team continues polishing continuous mistakes and missed opportunities.
This time around Zidane needed to get back into winning numbers, and the yellow submarine seemed like a little less than a worthy opponent, and more like an opportunity.
The starting 11 had a 4-4-2 which determined the fate of the game, including the unexpected return of Jovic to the above starting line-up. Also a first start for Mendy who managed to be among the best of Madrid’s side.
The 12th minute saw a fast paced counter attack finished by Gerard Moreno with the 1-0 opener. Ramos and Varane started to fall into despair. One showing lack of speed and commitment in divided situations. The counter coming as a result of a poor delivery from the back line.
The game went on and Villareal proposed a game of possesion and pressure in the midfield. Kroos and Casemiro struggled to take control of the ball to distribute and create. Overall, Ekambi received and retrieved most passes through and from Villareal’s midfield.
Right before the end of the first 45 minutes, a brilliant backheel from Jovic drew Carvajal to the endline to pass the ball making it so easy for Bale, who just tapped it in. Carvajal did all the work there and it was now 1-1 and into the first break.
The Welshman, although the combination was amazing, still gives plenty of sparks which complicate any defense. He can be unstoppable, and was the player of the match by far. For the next period, Zizou tried Valverde and Modric in efforts to improve the repossesion of the ball and generate clearer chances, however, not much changed and the hosts scored again.
The 74th minute changed by Moi Gomez who received a great assist from Ontiveros with no doubt or VAR needed.
The Vikings continued trying to save the night, however, a mediocre style and weak efforts showed desperation by the coach. But Madrid is a name on its own, and somehow a master execution by both Modric and Bale allowed the welsh to put in a wonder. His signature power shot made it 2-2. But Gareth Bale was also sent off, as he committed two very foolish fouls that earned him two yellow cards almost at the end of the match.
Truly the sensations left are not absolutey negative. The evening seemed worst than what it became. It is only 5 out of 9 points available obtained. It is imperative that a pattern is established. A pattern of efficiency and players.
Much is left to be desired of the 4-4-2, as we still have the same players, the same philosophy, and the same needs. So it would be better if the rivals to come don’t take advantage of those shortcomings, but Zidane rather fixes them now.
A point to consider is the wings and their ability to feed Benzema, Jovic, or whomever it may be for when the center is congested like agaisnt Villareal. The league this year may be a long one.
Lastly, the Areola-Navas swap will be for next week. There are things which have more than one ingredient. But for now let the blancos get back to training and come back to the winning days.