It is time to take Vinicius seriously

Real Madrid ran out 5-0 winners in Kiev on Tuesday night in one of their easier games the season. Shakhtar struggled to threaten up front and were open at the back. They also failed to convince in their press and had lots of holes in defence. Madrid have been able to call upon their tried and trusted midfield trio of Modric, Casemiro and Kroos. Shakhtar's night got off to a terrible start an with own goal from the home side's captain. After that, Madrid scored some wonderful goals, especially the second from Vinicius.

It's worth dwelling on Vinicius, as Álvaro Benito did yesterday on SER. There is no need to rush judgement on young players. When Vinicius joined Madrid, he was presented to us as a speedy and skilful but raw winger, who didn't always find the cross or convert the chance. Now he can do both, and he displayed that this week. He scored two and set up Rodrygo for the fourth goal of the night. The Brazilian is now a razor-sharp winger who slips through defences with the same ease as before but who now moves in the box with the coolness of the greats.

SOCCER-CHAMPIONS-SHK-MAD/REPORTSoccer Football - Champions League - Group D - Shakhtar Donetsk v Real Madrid - NSC Olympiyskiy, Kyiv, Ukraine - October 19, 2021 Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior celebrates scoring their third goal with Ferland Mendy REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

If there was anything missing in Kiev, it was emotion, which was in abundance at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid on an unforgettable night. Liverpool took an early two-goal lead. Atlético put on a colossal display up until half-time that deserved more than the 2-2 scoreline. Then came Antoine Griezmann's dismissal for a foot to Roberto Firmino's neck. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was yellow carded for an identical incident on the same night. There was plenty of time left when Mario Hermoso gave Liverpool the opportunity to go ahead from the spot and Mo Salah duly converted. The referee then pointed to the spot in Atleti's favour but the VAR overruled him. Atlético lost a great game that they deserved to win.