Real Madrid edge past Vallodolid.
Real Vallodolid vs Real Madrid (La Liga)
Starting XI: Courtois, Nacho, Sergio Ramos(C), Varane, Mendy, Casemiro, Modric, Kroos, Rodrygo, Isco, Benzema
Zidane rolled out a traditional 4-3-3 formation with Benzema coming back from injury. Isco and Rodrygo played in wide positions. Kroos, Modric, and Casemiro started in the midfield.
Vallodolid didn't allow any room for Real Madrid to control the game early. The home team was well organized and set up in a compact 4-4-2. They were quick to close down players. Real Madrid found it hard to pass through the middle and gain any dominance. However, Joaquin should consider himself lucky to be in the field after 10 minutes of play. He went in for a dangerous two-footed tackle on Rodrygo and got away with a yellow card. Casemiro put the ball in the back of the net following the freekick but was correctly ruled offside.
Los Blancos found it laborious to progress the ball and found themselves battling for control in the midfield. Vallodolid came into the game having lost only one of their last nine home games in the league. They have been a tough team to play against at home, and it showed in their performance. While the offensive side of Real Madrid was struggling, the defensive side was outstanding. They kept Vallodolid forwards at bay with zero shots on target in the first half. While the offensive side of Real Madrid was struggling, the defensive side was outstanding. They kept Vallodolid forwards at bay with zero shots on target in the first half.
Rodrygo does marvelously well to dribble between a couple of defenders towards the box, but he couldn't go all the way through. On the other end, Courtois brilliantly parry away a dangerous cross towards the far post by Raul Garcia. The first half ends with the score at 0-0.
It was a tedious first half. Neither team was able to create anything substantial. Vallodolid was exceptional at keeping things structured and tight, preventing Los Blancos from creating anything at all. On the other end, the Whites' defense was once again on their A-Game. Both teams ended the half with zero shots on target.
Early in the second half, Casemiro dribbles past multiple defenders and gets his shot off. His attempt is blocked, but only as far as Rodrygo. The Brazilian winger with a great first touch away from the defender and takes a shot at goal with his left foot. Masip makes an important save down to his left. Isco finds Benzema inside the six-yard box with a magnificent diagonal pass. However, the French forward fluffs his chance at goal as Masip mops it up.
As the game went on, Real Madrid started gaining momentum and influenced the game more in the final third. They were able to move the ball much freely and progress vertically. Benzema had another opportunity to give Los Blancos the lead; his header from a lovely Rodrygo cross went just wide of the post. Isco splendidly dances past his markers and whips the ball across the six-yard box. Another opening goes begging as no Real players get to the end of it. Vasquez comes in to replace Isco in the 73rd minute.
Real Madrid finally earns the breakthrough when Toni Kroos puts in a second ball following a corner into the box. Nacho makes the run towards the near post and connects with a majestic header to put the ball in the back of the net. Vallodolid 0 - 1 Real Madrid. Minutes later, Vallodolid has their best chance of the game when Guardiola is through on goal, but his shot gets blocked by Mendy. The home side thought they grasped a late equalizer when Guardiola sends the ball past Courtois. The goal, however, is correctly disallowed for offside.
Full-time (Vallodolid 0 - 1 Real Madrid)
Vallodolid made things onerous for Real Madrid.
Los Blancos showed character and started commanding the game in the second half. They eventually got the winning goal.
This wasn't an easy fixture; a win here is extremely important if the men in white are to win the league.
Zidane's men need to do much better offensively in future games.
The defense was rock-solid once again. Vallodolid was limited to zero shots on goal.
Three stars of the match
Nacho: He did not put a foot wrong in defense. He had five interceptions and four successful tackles. Scored the match-winning goal.
Kroos: Kroos control allowed Real Madrid to gain command in the second half. He had game-high 105 touches and 97.8 percent pass accuracy. He also led with four key passes and assisted Nacho's game-winner.
Isco: His movements were constant, worked hard to create space, and get on the ball. He didn't have the most commanding game but was still the influential of the three forwards. He had five completed dribbles, four of which in the final third. Also, put in a gorgeous diagonal ball in Benzema's feet.