Everything is to be done

An ambitious Rangers proves that Ancelotti has a job ahead of him. Great goal from Rodrygo and a Scottish comeback. Only Lunin and the homegrown players looked. Nacho was expelled.


In Glasgow, at the beginning of his second chapter in Madrid, Ancelotti discovered that the last notes that Zidane left him were quite accurate: that those who spent last year on the bench (Isco, Marcelo ...) did not suffer unfair treatment; that those who came out on loan (Odegaard, Jovic ...) deserved it; that Nacho is more than a third center back and that looking back at the quarry was justified. Ibrox left sufficient evidence that everything has to be done, that Lunin can curdle, that Rodrygo has an intermittent charm and that young people like Arribas or Miguel Gutiérrez can complete the squad in times of scarcity. The homegrown players, who entered the second half en masse, balanced the overwhelming initial superiority of Rangers with their vigor, which, however, went back very late, when their weeks of filming crashed down on Madrid.

Roy Evans, who coached Liverpool in the mid-1990s without much to brag about (a League Cup in four years), loved summers, "that time of year when you don't miss matches." Now they are also lost and they are not as painless defeats as Evans believed. Ask Madrid about that 7-3 against Atlético in New Jersey. But it is true that summer defeats hardly leave scars. That is for fall, winter and spring, the seasons of drama. Now is the time for illusion, to believe that the one who arrives will be better than the one who left. And if there are no new faces, as in this Madrid, they are invented. And you look at Odegaard or Jovic as if they had never been here. In fact, there were times when they didn't seem to be there.

Ancelotti started with both, I suspect for different purposes. The club hopes that the Norwegian will end up being a profitable player and the Serbian, a source of income. And he did not touch the most successful drawing of Zidane, 4-3-3, with only two homegrown players, Chust and Blanco, those who have more options to make a squad after another summer in which the club has forgiven itself to go to the market (with the exception of Alaba) unless Mbappé remedies it. But Odegaard and Jovic seem to be where they left off and the rest are still showing the marks of their flip-flops. So the essay served to grow, in equal parts, in rhythm and restlessness.

Veterans and newcomers

Ancelotti has a lot of work ahead of him: finding a new tribal chief, stretching the remains that have come less than the imperial era (Marcelo, Isco, Bale, Modric ...) and getting a dozen footballers, future investments, go out to the end of the shell. But before arriving, it is necessary to put the team at takeoff speed. Three weeks into the league and with the main newcomers on vacation, he is worryingly far from it. In Ibrox he found himself at the mercy of the initial swell of Rangers, a team whose bankruptcy did not cleanse its pride.

At the start he took Madrid ahead with a game as little Scottish as the day, unusually sunny. With a boiler-busting pressure, bending to his sides, playing space with precision, he put this first Madrid in his field and almost in his area. A cross delivery that Sakala did not reach, another Zambian cross, a header from Goldson, a left-footed shot from Kent (the last two saved by Lunin) and a shot to the crossbar of the latter almost to an empty goal summed up that unstoppable flood with a parenthesis : Rodrygo's great goal, born from one against Odegaard. The Norwegian opened, at the end of his adventure, the pass to the Brazilian, who cleared the area with a double cut, in first, out later, and subtly finished off the net. Of how many promises the club has bought in recent times, it is the one with the most goals. There is his great virtue. And in the lack of continuity, his sin.

In the hands of the goalkeeper

In the first half only heard of Lunin, providential on four occasions, and the two centrals, Chust and Nacho, who turned off all the lights of the fire. It was a full-blown bombardment of a Madrid adrift, to which neither Isco nor Odegaard offered a way out and with three castaways, silent witnesses to the extreme suffering of the team. The Rangers, inflated by its audience, was remarkably superior in legs, ambition and elaboration. Then, at the auction, he blew it all.

Ancelotti decided at half-time that it was better to play without nine than with Jovic and put Arribas there, a player of difficult classification: he is almost extreme, almost playmaker, almost point guard. With him Madrid improved. Or at least the party began to have two directions. A header from the skilled youth squad could increase Whites lead, but an overconfidence in Lucas Vázquez's departure ended in a tie. He stole Kamara and shot Sakala, who had deserved to hang that medal long before.With ten

In a way the Rangers got their merits and the score wrong. Because the Madrid youth balanced the game a lot in the final stretch. The entry of Miguel Gutiérrez released Marcelo and both were accomplices of Madrid's best antics. In one of them the youth squad crashed a ball on the post.

With Madrid already touching the void fight, Nacho saw the second yellow for a bulky plate and remaining with ten in the first preseason game ended up wiping out the energy of Ancelotti's team. Without the two center-backs from the start, Itten hunted a half lap in the heart of the area and culminated the Scottish comeback. There were reasons in that final stretch, as at the beginning, for the Italian coach to raise his eyebrow, that gesture so much his that indicates maximum alert. This will continue until the start of the League.

Photos from as.com
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