This Real Madrid are a real joy to watch
This Real Madrid clearly enjoy their football and are a joy to watch. Judging by the last two performances at the Bernabéu, it’s clear that the team is on the up. Solari has managed to lift spirits, he was astute with his substitutions and any doubts there were before have evaporated. The team’s still way off the pace in LaLiga, it has to be said, they also need a player who can guarantee goals but this team is capable of anything. They have good players – one of them, Benzema, whose next game is always better than his last, scored the team’s fourth goal yesterday which gives Madrid a comfortable advantage for the return leg.
Solari did the opposite to what Ernesto Valverde did in Sevilla, by fielding his strongest starting XI. Carvajal and Varane were rested, and Marcos Llorente and Toni Kroos – both back from injury, both appeared as second half subs. Even Isco was given a rare run-out. Just as the game was starting to warm up, Madrid suffered a setback - going a goal down in a move which left Marcelo gravely exposed once again; that could cost him another spell on the sidelines. But minutes later, Odriozola out on the right and Vinicius on the opposite wing, had Girona on the back foot.
So it was no surprise to see the scoreboard register 2-1 at the break; Madrid’s second goal was another Panenka-style spot-kick dinked in by Sergio Ramos. After the interval, Eusebio moved to close off both wings before Llorente, who had only just come on for Casemiro, inexplicably handled from a corner and a penalty was awarded. With the score at 2-2, Madrid’s resolve was really put to the test; the team deserved more but had little to show for their efforts. But that was when the players rose to the challenge, putting another two past the visitors. Madrid displayed ambition, from the move which ended in Sergio Ramos’ second goal of the night to the scintillating class shown by Benzema, who was rewarded with the fourth goal. The public went home happy. And Solari now has the team he has been looking for.