Real Madrid-Brugge: An average game, an average result
An average game, an average result.
Real Madrid came out extremely relaxed against Club Brugge and subseqeuntly put themselves at serious risk of destroying their Champions League campaign just two games in.
The defensive unity that resulted in the three previous games ending in clean sheets had fallen apart. Zidane’s side didn’t press high, allowing the Belgians to throw long balls towards the two spritely hares in attack, Tau and Dennis, who enjoyed much of the ball and plenty of space. That resulted in two goals for the visitor's in the first half. They were two odd goals, the first of which was, rightfully, awarded after a long VAR deliberation that ruled the goal had actually been onside.
Ramos and Casemiro save face
With the visitors looking like a team with a plan and the will to succeed, and Madrid asleep at the wheel, the outlook appeared catastrophic. The opportunity for reflection at half time led the home side to sort things out in the end, with Sergio Ramos scoring with a header on the 55th minute to scare Brugge.
Then, after a period in which the Belgian side had time to breathe, Casemiro stepped up a half an hour later to put the finishing touch on a free-kick set piece, after a foul by Brugge captain Ruud Vormer that saw him receive a second yellow and his marching orders. The biggest disappointment for Zidane will be the fact that his side could not secure the win against ten men in the closing minutes.
Hazard still offering nothing
Again the attack was led by Benzema. Again Hazard offered next to nothing. Lucas played only the first half, where he lacked support and lost a few balls. His replacement was Vinicius, who is far less potent on the right. In fact, it should have been Hazard that came off, but Zidane preferred to respect him, despite the fact that he had offered zero on the left.
The match also saw the surprising half-time withdrawal of Courtois for Areola, allegedly due to stomach problems. And were it not for the fine work of Areola in the second half, it could have been 1-3.
The game in short: Madrid came dangerously close to catastrophe, but it was avoided by the skin of their teeth. And we are still waiting for Hazard to pull the finger out.
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