• Prasanna B.

Supercopa de Espana: Real Madrid dominate their way to the final

Jan 9, 2020.

Valencia vs. Real Madrid

Starting XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos (C), Mendy, Casemiro, Kroos, Valverde, Modric, Isco, Jovic

Zidane set the team up in an unorthodox 4-5-1/4-3-2-1 formation by including five central midfielders in the starting eleven. Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde, Modric, and Isco all packed the midfield behind Jovic, who started the game in place of the injured Benzema. Sergio Ramos was back in the team after being suspended for the game against Getafe.

1-15 minutes

Real Madrid started with the gameplan to control the middle of the pitch and dominate possession. Valencia quickly settled in an organized 4-1-4-1 block in their half. The first chance of the game fell to Los Blancos when Casemiro sent a darting cross from the left. Varane, fresh off scoring two headers at the weekend, connects with the ball, but his effort was saved by Juame. Madrid passed the ball around with command and held 70 percent possession early in the game. Isco played a promising cross towards Jovic in the far post, but the ball was cleared out for a corner. Kroos went up to take the corner and showed great awareness to see Jaume off his line. Valencia keeper was busy instructing his defender as Kroos quickly turned around and scored a magnificent 'Olimpico' from the corner.

16-30 minutes

Los Blancos, with a goal up, gained more control of the game and recycled the possession skillfully, but did not create many chances in the first 30 minutes. Los Ches rarely kept the ball, however against the run of play, they managed to put together a good sequence. Gameiro got in a shooting position, but he squandered the opportunity by sending the ball over the bar.

31-45 minutes

Real Madrid scored their second goal after a long stretch of possession and some excellent team play. After good possession play, Carvajal gets the ball on the right; sees Valverde's run and puts him through with a perfectly weighted pass. Uruguayan does well to pick out a well-positioned Modric with a cut back whose shot at goal is blocked. Isco collects the rebound, controls the ball with his chest, and volleys it home to increase Real Madrid's lead by two. A couple of minutes later, Isco connects with a header from a Toni Kross corner. His attempt hits the woodwork, and a follow-up effort from Jovic is saved by Juame from a close range.

Half-time (Valencia 0 - 2 Real Madrid)

Real Madrid put a commanding first-half performance. Zidane's scheme with five central midfielders has worked out perfectly. There was always an outlet to progress the ball up the field. Valencia was pushed back and have barely shown any teeth in the attack. Isco was everywhere. He was the best player of the half creating lots of problems with his dribbling and pressing. Zidane's men showed energy and intent to press and counter-press, making things difficult for Valencia.

46-60 minutes

Valencia started the second half with a tactical adjustment. Instead of sitting deep, they tried to press Real Madrid high up the pitch. However, Real Madrid players were easily able to cut through the high press and move the ball up the field. Isco continued being a nuisance to Valencia's defense. He made a dazzling run down the middle dribbling past few defenders and into the penalty box. He squared the ball to Kroos, but the German was not able to take the shot.

61-75 minutes

Isco, in action again, intercepts the ball in the middle of the park. He sends a wonderful line-breaking pass to Jovic. The Serbian forward finds Modric with a great pass, and the former Ballon D'or winner took a couple of stepovers before putting a beautiful outside of the boot finish past Juame. What a goal! Zidane made his first substitution at the 70th minute by bringing in Marcelo for Mendy. Courtois didn't have to make a single save until the 75th minute when Maxi Gomez tried a long-range effort. That was Valencia's first shot on goal and only their third attempt.

76-90 minutes

Zidane brought in James for Modric in the 76th minute. With the 3 -0 lead, Madrid took their foot off the gas a bit, and the game became more back and forth. Los Blancos still created most chances, but it was Valencia who was awarded a penalty following a VAR review in injury time. Dani Parejo converted the spot-kick for a consolation goal.

Full Time ( Valencia 1 - 3 Real Madrid)

Real Madrid dominated the game and came away as deserved winners.

Final Thoughts

  • Zidane got his tactics spot on. He keeps showing everyone how good of a tactician he is.

  • Valencia could not force their way up the field. Madrid completely controlled the midfield and recycled possession masterfully.

  • The defense looked solid once again. It would have been another deserved clean sheet if not for the unfortunate handball that led to the penalty.

  • Many consider this to be a glorified friendly, but it is good to see the team putting in the work and showing intent in their play.

Three stars of the match

  • Isco - Man of the match. The 'Magia' was present everywhere in this game. He was creating havoc in attack while also tracking back and counter-pressing to recover the ball. He had seven completed dribbles, and a career-high 102 passes with 94 percent accuracy. This was his best game of the season.

  • Kroos - Scored a cheeky yet brilliant goal direct from a corner. Dictated the tempo of the game along with Isco. He had 105 passes with 95 percent accuracy. Among those were 12 accurate longballs.

  • Valverde - His energy is electrifying. Constantly running up and down the pitch. His fantastic run and cut-back pass led to the second goal in the first half.


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