To the derby with the water around the neck

A goal from Vinicius on 89 'prevented the defeat of a Madrid without attack. La Real went too far behind after Portu's goal and paid for it.


Madrid has been relying on his sprint for too long, taking a tubular at the finish line and thus pulling until Florentino finds the key to Fort Knox. And when the victories are measured in centimeters, matches can appear that are tied by millimeters. Especially if you find a one-piece team in front of you, with rennet and danger. The seriousness of the tie will lead to a critical situation if he does not win the derby, which he wanted to reach with Atleti within reach. Vinicius's goal was a lesser evil that turned Real off the key to the Champions League, but Madrid is now the third of three.

Mondays have bad press among employees, Rubiales' advisers, football fans and those he sends Tebas to play. The first day of the week causes a devastating effect in the stands, although after the pandemic all the games are equally unpleasant from that point of view, and behind are, in addition, the results of the weekend, which put a pressure point on the affected. La Real came out with Sevilla hypothetically closer and Madrid seeing the back of Atlético and Barça. Or what is the same, with the inescapable commandment to win to appear on Sunday in the derby as a specter. That need to win prompted Zidane to keep Mariano and to skip Vinicius, whose special effects have stopped convincing him. Also to put a fourth midfielder, Isco, against a team that exploits well is territory, even without Merino or Illarramendi, their first swords. Turning that key will not appear the goal. Behind Benzema is only the abyss.

A good white start

La Real has long been a recognized firm, loaded with tall footballers although in the classification they often dance the yenka. In Valdebebas appeared with a high range attack, Portu, Silva, Oyarzabal and Isak, the goal that Madrid is missing, for more than two years a thrifty team out of necessity. And also difficult to overcome when he acquires that point of solidarity in the pressure, plays together and puts himself in the hands of his trio of midfielders. This is how it started against Real, although at the beginning it swallowed a Monreal boarding that could end in a penalty. It did not seem clear to the VAR or to anyone, because the full-back had hit his left-handed center attempt in the air before Casemiro reached his height.

It was a counter-style set, because Madrid commanded, although they did not seem to be aware of the situation, that this was the game. The start was hopeful: Lucas Vázquez and Mendy were expansive wingers; Modric got behind the wheel; Casemiro was the longest player on the team because nobody influences both areas so much; and Asensio and Isco raised the tone of their game a point, it was about time. From that authoritarian phase, Madrid got half an own goal from Gorosabel when he crashed his clearance on the crossbar to avoid Mariano's header. Also two shots without prize from Asensio and Casemiro and a link from Kroos that was running out of angle with each hip blow. The best of the Real, his offensive quartet, was hoarse, withdrawn, Isak included. Madrid only lacked a point of emotion in their task, but reaching that outburst costs too much without the Bernabéu crowd.

No auction

It has happened to him too many times this season. He commands without defining and ends up spending time on him. Even in trances like this, when he seemed to bring the intended game from home. At halftime he arrived with another distant zapatata from Modric that was repelled by Remiro's reflexes. As the midfielders are the alpha and omega of the team, there are plenty of shots from outside the area and in this way Madrid only get 14% of the goals in this league. Definitely the trophies are conquered in the area. La Real only left Monreal's persistence for his band and Isak's strides of seven leagues, who gets run over too much when spaces decrease.

The second half brought another air. The ball changed feet. La Real locked up the other Madrid, the one with the absences, took four corners, was able to score in a Chilean after an aerial ball to which Courtois put oil gloves. The goal was not going to be long in coming. It was in a Monreal center and a header to the Portu squad. Mendy was caught trotting back. And to Madrid, the following minutes, in Babia. Between Portu and Isak they lost another very clear opportunity. Zidane had put Casemiro in third center. An error as fleeting as it is fatal.


It was the signal for Zidane, as in Valladolid, to put his attack backwards with Rodrygo, Hugo Duro and Vinicius in front, although his nine guard is Casemiro, who was headed for three fingers.

Meter extremes was the message of rainfall over the area. Madrid hung balls with no other finisher than Casemiro and Imanol, seeing their team locked up, but not in pain, responded with three centrals to combat the downpour. A bad message with worse consequences. With the team stacked up in a draw, Vinicius hitched a pot early that Zubeldia deflected to the net. Nobody exploits the chance of the rebound better than him. This time he gave Madrid a point, which went from critical to serious on the way to the derby.

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