Real Betis 2 – 3 Real Madrid (Mandi, Carvalho; Valverde, Emerson (OG), Ramos). Right here’s our fast response. Nonetheless to return: Participant scores, post-game podcast, post-game quotes, and many extra.
This complete previous week, from Matchday 2 to three, the discourse surrounding Real Madrid was all about Luka Jovic. Why didn’t he play towards Real Sociedad? Can he and Benzema coexist? Zidane was short in the pre-game presser, and our podcasts — gradual information days, to make certain — centered on the topic closely.
Zidane will not be one to care about surrounding dialogue. He doesn’t really feel stress to change his decision-making, so seeing Benzema and Jovic collectively in as we speak’s line-up was most likely on his personal will and fruition, however it was stunning nonetheless.
At present’s staff was a deviation from final weekend. Zidane himself acknowledged that what we noticed towards La Actual will not be going to be the norm. What we noticed as we speak towards Betis could or many not be replicated once more. As we talked about final week, these first few video games could take an experimental form. One thing would possibly stick, or not. Zidane omitted wingers as we speak in favour of 4 central midefielders — Casemiro, Kroos, and Modric in a single line, with Odegaard main a diamond.
It was attention-grabbing to see Odegaard’s positioning in as we speak’s scheme. He performed the Isco function, however barely totally different. Odegaard’s positioning is extra inflexible than the Spaniard’s. He occupies central positions most frequently, and retains himself between the traces — sitting fairly in Zone 14. Defensively, he has not had many defensive duties in these previous two video games.
And that’s the place the diamond turns into weak defensively. Neither Isco nor Odegaard do a lot monitoring on this scheme (although they do press nicely), and the transition protection can get chaotic. Betis had probabilities with numbers in transition, and with Sergio Ramos making gambles within the first half, the staff’s form broke on a pair sequences. On William Carvalho’s go-ahead purpose for Betis within the first half, Odegaard’s positioning in transition off the ball was clearly a problem:
The staff headed into half-time down 2 – 1. Whereas the lineup on paper seemed good, there have been three clear points:
- The staff didn’t have a way of management on the ball regardless of having 4 central midfielders
- The staff didn’t press excessive regardless of being designed to take action, which led to Betis breaking traces
- Actual Madrid’s protection stored a excessive line, which, should you don’t have the ball, nor are you profitable the ball excessive up the pitch, is an issue.
Zidane’s reply at half-time was to convey on Isco for Odegaard: A like-for-like sub with one slight distinction: Isco hedged to the left whereas Odegaard was extra central. The transition protection remained in situation.
I’ll summarize another key factors shortly earlier than the post-game pressers begin:
- Actual Betis weren’t higher than Actual Madrid defensively, and this turned a back-and-forth, frenetic recreation the place each groups had house in transition, with neither staff actually taking management of the midfield.
- Actual Madrid’s equalizer got here within the forty eighth minute, the place Fede Valverde’s fast diagonal ball to Dani Carvajal was adopted by a ball into the field by Actual Madrid’s right-back which was deflected into purpose by Emerson.
- Emerson’s evening received worse when, defending a Jovic breakaway, the Brazilian dedicated a foul on Actual Madrid’s striker and earned a pink card. Grr.
- Actual Madrid’s profitable purpose got here, in fact, by means of a Sergio Ramos panenka penalty.
- On Jovic, he had few touches, as anticipated, however did have delicate and necessary sequences. On each open play targets, his presence within the field occupied the eye of Actual Betis’s defenders, creating house for Benzema and Fede Valverde respectively. Clearly, his run that led to Emerson’s pink card was an enormous second for the staff.
- Zidane modified Jovic for Borja Mayoral. It was attention-grabbing that he stored the scheme a continuing all through, reasonably than bringing on Vinicius or Rodrygo to benefit from the Betis excessive line.
- Robust performances from Mendy and Benzema. Ramos had an awesome second half after a shaky first half. Modric, who got here on for an injured Kroos within the first half, seemed sluggish.
We’ll break this down in rather more element on tonight’s post-game podcast.