By Jacob Cardenas
Real Madrid has seen the day and night this week as the Zidane’s side has gone from an embarrassing defeat in Paris, to top La Liga in solitary within 7 days.
The match in Paris started promising with a starting 11 that most fans were wanting to see, with the likes of James, Bale, Hazard and Benzema leading the attack. At the back, Militao and Mendy were the ones called to replace the sanctioned Ramos and the injured Marcelo.
PSG started strong, with high pressure on the pitch, while Madrid was not finding a way to create plays and keep the ball. Di María opened the scoreboard after finishing a low cross. Both Carvajal and Courtois could have done more to prevent the goal. It was Di María again with an outside shot who would double the lead. This time Militao was slow to come out to cover the shot.
From then it was all PSG. Bale momentarily put the whites back on the match, but VAR ended up taking the goal away as the ball had involuntarily touched his arm prior de shot. Under the new rules the goal was rightly cancelled. In the second half it was all PSG, their intensity leagues away from that of “los blancos” (blue this time). Benzema found the back of the net, but once again VAR took it away for a positional off side on Lucas Vazquez’s part. Nothing was going for Madrid. PSG would find the third goal during injury time, to sealed a great victory for them and a night to forged for the thirteen time European champions.
Sunday had an absolutely different then. The rival in turn was Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. The 5th round of LaLiga ended In a rough 1-0 win for Madrid. A few familiar faces were those of Reguilon and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez playing for Sevilla, and of course, Lopetegui. Both sides had very few, yet clear chances. Carvajal being among the best in the field. The overall defense performed outstandingly. Even though the hosts started without some of their more dynamic players like Munir, “los blancos” managed to sum the only goal in the 64th minute. Gareth Bale received a pass at the line to then pass a through ball towards the end line for Carvajal who delivered a precise cross to a Benzema who jumped higher and connected a header onto the opposite post of Vaclik’s. The lads did the job as expected, and knowing it was a difficult 90 minutes. At a time where intensity and commitment are demanded by the fans, they can surely rest knowing that Zidane’s team put up a fight against the most complicated rival so far in the season.
Last night due to the number of games in a short period of time, the “merengues” hosted recently promoted Osasuna. From the regulars were only Sergio Ramos, Casemiro and Kroos Present in the starting squad, in preparations to the Madrid derby. ”Los azure as” come as temporary leaders in LaLiga with 11 pints. Now the leaders aren’t with much distance from their rivals in turn Osasuna (7)
The first half was shared in possession and attempts to goal. However, at the 36th minute Vinicius made it 1-0 for the hosts when he connected a screamer from just outside the 18. It appeared slightly deflected, but it was enough. The goal was followed by a very emotional celebration. The madridistas definitely hope he continues to sharpen his finishing.
Later in the second period, Madrid managed the game with ease. It is worth mentioning Osasuna’s Estupinan who managed to push our left side, especially Odriozola whose performance didn’t disappoint. Then, another Brazilian, Rodrygo, finshed it with a fantastic ball control and a demonstration of the talent which had brought him to Valdebebas in the first place. The 18-year old cut into his right, to then fire the 2-0, ending another unbeaten game in the season.
The game was an opportunity for several players who will play in the derby to rest and prepare during the upcoming few days. Another plus was seeing Valverde, Areola, Militao, and Rodrygo getting significant playtime.
Osasuna’s side didn’t really do much damage. The white’s defense was solid, continuing to prove that work is being done during training.
Ahead is one of the hardest games of the season. In hopes that the result becomes favorable, the big names are expected to be fit and ready for the clash of this week’s round of LaLiga.