Betis and Madrid, Joaquín and Asensio
There's nothing better than dedicating time to watch a game like last night's eight goal thriller at the Benito Villamarín, A match that featured two sides who are very solid going forward but with a tendency to leak at the other end. Not a game for those puritans who like to see controlled tussles with little quarter being given. For me this game epitomized just what a great spectacle football can be, played with passion, errors, diverse tactical set-ups and plenty of shots on goal...as to score you have to shoot. This game had the makings of being riveting and both teams fulfilled expectation. Betis are a joy to watch with the ball but are vulnerable defensively whilst Real Madrid are a team that can blow hot and cold in equal doses.
I'm more than aware that Quique Setién receives plenty of criticism for his style of play. Many Betis fans will have gone home last night frustrated wondering who their side managed to score three and still end up losing the game, whilst others will have been happy with the performance of their side. This sentiment was reflected by Joaquín in his post match interview. Despite ending up on the losing team, he was happy with the Betis performance and it's a joy to see him enjoying the game so much and showing little signs of his age. Asensio was the Real Madrid player who spoke post-game and his performance was refreshing after an indifferent campaign. Despite limited playing time in Zidane's first-team this season, the 22-year-old has managed to bag ten goals this 2017/18 season.
It was another mixed performance from Real Madrid. They secured maximum points and played well in patches. The negative aspect of the night was Marcelo's worrying hamstring injury with the PSG game looming, the poor performance of his replacement Theo, who has been a major disappointment since his arrival at the club and a discreet performance from Gareth Bale. We also witnessed that rarity of a Cristiano Ronaldo substitution in the final stretch of the match. Zidane changing the Portuguese striker for Karim Benzema, who is another player playing under-par this season. The French striker did at least thank Zidane by way of an injury time goal.
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