It was in evidence once again in last night’s game against Celta - Real Madrid tend to struggle against teams who sit back and defend but do well against those who play open football and allow to them to play. Although I’m not entirely sure that applies in every way to Celta because they like to play, and play very well but they don’t always let their rivals play. In the first half they played the ball about so well and took the game to their hosts that Madrid struggled to get the ball off them. Celta’s problem was that they lacked penetration. They only managed to create a couple of clear chances, in both, Nacho stopped them from scoring. Madrid on the other hand, were efficient despite not getting close to their rivals’ goal as often, which is why they ended taking all three points on a bitterly cold evening in Valdebebas.
Asensio delivery for Lucas Vázquez
The first goal came not long after Nacho had saved them from going behind, clearing an Aspas effort off the line. Madrid broke down the left and in a classic wing move, the ball was lofted over and left on a plate for Lucas Vázquez to leisurely nod in at the back post. Just a few minutes into the second half, Madrid found the target again. Modric intercepted as Celta tried to break and the ball ended up at the feet of Lucas Vázquez, who squared to Asensio for a comfortable finish. Two goals from lightning counters which resolved a game which lost much of its spark after Iago Aspas went off injured.
Versatility on the right
The two protagonists of the night a deserve special mention. Asensio finally gave the la sensation that he is on his way back to the sort of form he was in before his injury – and moves ahead of Hazard, for whom we’ll continue to wait. He came on towards the end but didn’t do anything. Lucas Vázquez is a fighter who has won his place by being able to cover two roles out on the wing – right-back and winger. And that’s why he merits a place ahead of some of the others. Zidane’s not one for taking risks and while he plays it safe and the results keep coming, he’ll win time so that Asensio can continue improving.