Zidane's seventh title in a year and a half
The ball got rolling and the bad blood was washed away. There were certainly some protests in the seventh minute, against the sanctions given to Cristiano, but football can do anything. The football of Madrid, I mean. Barça didn't last long, in reality. Los Blancos came out with energy, suffocated them deep and got the early goal, thanks to a belter from Asensio. Then they took a breath, waited for something from Barça, but Barça were not there. They went forward with little belief. Messi's face said it all. He looked around and didn't see Xavi or Iniesta, he didn't see anyone to link up with. And when Madrid wanted to and pressed, they caused damage. Before the break had come they had added another goal and had another effort off the post.
Valverde's Barcelona challenge
Valverde started the game experimenting with three central defenders, and Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba as wingbacks, but it didn't work. Benzema, very active, kept the three entertained, while their wide men were caught two on one again and again, on one side by Lucas and Carvajal, on the other by Marcelo and Asensio. The switch from this was almost forced on Valverde, Piqué having to come off at the beginning of the second half due to groin pain. Semedo entered the fray, Sergi Roberto moved into midfield and Barça reverted to 4-4-2. At the same time, Madrid took their foot off the gas. You could almost they went for a siesta. About as much of a siesta as Barça, who did little, but did twice hit the woodwork.
No stopping Zidane's Madrid
It was an ugly second half, disappointing for those who had come with the hope of cherishing a goal fest. But, after the game, the scores were added up and the celebrations started: Madrid had won 5-1 on aggregate in this two-legged final and take their fourth title of 2017. And this was without their star, Cristiano, other than his 24-minute cameo in the first game. For Zidane it's the seventh title in a year and a half. Outrageous. Looking back, when he arrived, taking over a sad Madrid left by Benítez, he has given more merit with what he has done. Larrea, acting president, handed over the cup, following the disappearance of Villar. Nothing is stopping this Madrid.
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