Following Real Madrid’s 7-1 thumping of Deportivo La Coruna at the Bernabeu, we look at three things we learned from the match in the Spanish capital.
CRISTIANO RONALDO WORKS HARD TO GET RUB OF THE GREEN
For all his 419 outings in a Real Madrid jersey, this would have ranked among the top 10 in terms of frustrating matches he has played in. Nothing was going for the Portuguese star for the best part of 80 minutes, he was snatching at everything, missed a sitter and really struggled to keep his composure.
Ronaldo actually looked like he was losing rag when he booted the ball at the advertising hoardings but a legend like the 32-year-old doesn’t go home disappointed often.
He eventually crashed home a fine left-footed volley in the 78th minute – a finish in which he took out his anger on the football itself – and then nailed a brilliant header into the corner of the net for his second. In doing so, he took a hefty whack in the face and dully looked at his bloodied face on a mobile phone moments after. It was a nasty gash, it has to be said.
But, the general conclusion is that this two-goal haul (from seven shots) – taking him to six La Liga goals this term – will generally play a huge part in helping Ronaldo – who had gone three matches without a goal – and Real get back on track in La Liga.
The Whites legend was rewarded for his shear persistence and willingness to keep going when it just didn’t look like being his day. Write him off at your peril.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s game by numbers vs. Deportivo:
30 (97%) passes completed
3 take-ons completed
1 chance created
More like it. pic.twitter.com/wWAqs5PDGV
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 21, 2018
MAYORAL SELECTION SHOWS HOW LIGHT REAL ARE UP TOP
Real Madrid have been linked with a hatful of strikers in the January transfer window but it looks like Zinedine Zidane won’t ask for Florentino Perez’s chequebook.
Karim Benzema came off the bench after his spell out with injury and Marco Asensio was an unused substitute, but do either of these two provide the answers Real are looking for to solve their chronic goal shortage in the league?
Asensio is the man for years to come surely but he isn’t an out-and-out forward anyway while Benzema seems to be in the twilight of his Los Blancos career despite only being 30. As it was on Sunday night, young gun Borja Mayoral, who has netted five goals in all competitions this term, isn’t the solution either – though other players obviously chipped in instead.
He was picked from the start by Zidane and had three attempts on goal, one being on target, but unusually doesn’t really possess a standout physical or technical attribute at his disposal. Yes, he’s only 20 but definitely isn’t ready to the lead line just yet after starting only his second-ever La Liga match. His early substitution on 64 minutes perhaps said a lot about his evening’s work.
Signing an out-and-out striker has to be the Whites’ priority come the summer.
VICTORY LIFTS ELEMENT OF DOOM AND GLOOM
Having only netted just once in the last three home matches coming into this one, Madridistas couldn’t have really been blamed if the white handkerchiefs came out when Deportivo took a first-half lead.
Madrid are still searching for their best form and under-fire Zidane is tinkering to find his strongest XI, but seven goals and some outstanding attacking football was definitely more like the Real of old.
Although it should be noted that Deportivo are in the relegation zone and enduring a wretched season, this win is a big confidence-booster for the Spanish giants ahead of some bigger assignments ahead.
Physiologically, after this one, Real Madrid go back into the top four and that’s massive for the club following two defeats in their past three La Liga matches prior to Sunday.
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