This was a good start of the new year for Real Madrid. Celta is a decent team that currently sits in position #8. The only changes in the lineup compared to the previous match was the presence of Nacho for Sergio Ramos and Mendy for Marcelo. I found it curious to see Madrid's attacking players being Benzema, Asensio, and Vazquez for the second match in a row but it turned out to be a good decision from Zidane.
The couldn't have started better for Real Madrid, right in the 6-minute mark Vazquez scored the first goal after an excellent cross from Asensio. This is the second assist from Asensio in the season, and I am happy that he finally is delivering a productive performance when playing matches because not so long ago his productivity was zero.
Vazquez is the type of player that is always happy to sacrifice himself on the pitch by adopting a service-related role, this means focusing a lot on the defense even though he is playing as an attacking player and doing a lot of movements as a right-winger with the goal of providing assistants to his teammates. He is also a sort of jack of all trades because his usual position is as a winger, but he can also play as a right-back and does it wonderfully. In fact, in today's match he played in both positions, first as a winger, and then at the end of the match when Zidane was substituting players, he moved Vazquez to the right-back position. He is not a superstar but is the type of useful player that every time enjoys having around.
Real Madrid didn't control the ball which was a surprise but this probably happened because since they scored an early goal, Celta was the one forced to attack and try to score goals. This allowed Madrid to have more calm throughout the match with a higher focus on defending. Real Madrid didn't have that many opportunities to score goals but the same happened to Celta. Maybe the players were still a bit hungover due to the New Year festivities but the match was all that intense.
In fact, there were only 3 shots on target in the entire match, 2 of those from Real Madrid, and both shots ended up being goals. The second half began in a similar way, 8 minutes into it and Madrid was already scoring the second goal. This time the roles from the first goal were inverse, Vazquez assisted it and Asensio scored it, this was Asensio's first goal in this season.
Unlike in previous matches, Zidane today did make changes but a little bit late in my opinion. He first changed Asensio for Hazard around the 75-minute mark, I was surprised to see Hazard on the bench but I guess his fragile body is being protected because he has been suffering a lot of injuries. 10 minutes later there were 3 changes, Vinicius for Carvajal, and Kross and Modric for Valverde and Odegaard. I was happy to finally see Odegaard back on the pitch even though it was only for less than 10 minutes. The final change came at the 90-minute mark, the striker Mariano went it and Benzema got out of the bench. I am not sure why Zidane didn't choose Jovic for this change but either way, Mariano also deserves more minutes.
Real Madrid had a solid match against a good rival and it was a good way to begin the new year. My only wish is for Zidane to make more changes and give more minutes to the good players that spend a lot of time on the bench, mainly Odegaard, Jovic, Mariano, and Militao. The next match is going to be next Saturday.