Zidane watches a play during the Valladolid-Real Madrid this Saturday.Quality Sport Images / .
Madrid was planted in Zorrilla with a mathematical problem. He had lost 30% of the season’s goals at a stroke, Benzema’s, the last one disgraced in the infirmary. His entire starting lineup together barely added five more than the French. But the whites are not a wacky solutions team, so they turned to the most obvious thing at hand: Courtois to stop, Kroos to set it and Casemiro to head.
The Brazilian established himself as the second highest scorer of his team: sixth target [cinco en Liga y uno en Champions] and fourth through the air. No media in Europe equals him in this statistic. And the German was exhibited as the main assistant: his seventh of the course, the third to his partner in the center of the field. Between the two they have woven one of the most productive associations in these times of scarcity and hardship. And before they were present in Masip’s beard, another one appeared every day, Courtois. With this prosaic recipe, the Zidane boys took advantage of the gap that Atlético opened in the middle of the afternoon with its trigger. “We come from many suits, we have to continue,” said ZZ.
Not everything happened the first time for Casemiro. “Until the third I have not put it. I got angry with the others that I failed because it is not normal that I have so many opportunities, “he confessed. “The bastard of Toni [Kroos] always puts it by hand. It’s incredible ”, he released with a smile to describe his delayed bingo, which places his team three points behind the rojiblancos, although with one more game. “We believe in the League, not only because they have punctured,” warned the Brazilian, who was there to give and take away. He scored the goal and finished central.
Before the midfielder struck down Valladolid in alliance with Kroos, the first of the meringues to raise his hand at Zorrilla was Courtois. By minute ten he had already left three stretches of great merit, especially the first two to Orellana and Janko. And at the beginning of the second half he took another from the Chilean, who received an unexpected center from Mendy from the corner that was intended to be a clearance. “Today we have not done beautifully, but it was key to put pressure on Atlético. And soon we will face them [el 7 de marzo a las 16.15]”, Finished the Belgian.
From the start, the spotlights were pointed up. Benzema’s injury lit up Zidane’s 13th attacking formation this season: Mariano, Vinicius and Asensio. Between physical misfortunes and a line from which not all the desired oil comes out, the wheel continues to turn in the offensive zone. However, the pucelano trio left with much pain and no glory. Before Kroos put it on Casemiro, Zidane had already arranged a triple change: Isco, Arribas and Hugo Duro on stage for the starting three.
Mariano was as agitator as usual, however, in the two he had started offside. Asensio was participatory, although not very decisive. And Vinicius waned as fast as their careers. Four days from Bergamo, the stop in Valladolid certified the hole in attack without Benzema, who this Sunday undergoes more tests. “We are not going to risk. If it were a Champions League final or the last league game, still. But there is a long season left, ”said Zidane.
With casualties on all sides and a restoring victory, it was the night to enhance the group. “We have 11 players and Courtois. Many things come together and it is not easy ”, commented the white coach. “We arrived well,” he said in reference to the Champions League match. “We are having continuity, it is the third game in a row without fitting in [su mejor racha liguera]. Today we did it again. We all defended and with the ball we can do things “, settled the French.
Isco, the ‘discard’ among the 11 field players
With nine casualties, Zidane only had one player to spare to set up an eleven with everyone in place and there were no surprises in the discard. Isco is right now the last in line in the white booth. At 28 years old, the Malaga-born began the duel in Zorrilla as the oldest member of the substitute bench. At his side he had, for example, Sergio Arribas, 19, who had already overtaken him in recent dates in the rotation. His declining football and Zizou’s non-negotiable trio in the middle (Casemiro-Kroos-Modric) have ostracized the Andalusian. He came out just after the goal in place of Asensio, in 66, and his minutes on the field coincided with the phase of less trouble for Madrid.