A few hours ago I saw today's Real Madrid's match and it was very awful. Since I saw Marcelo in the lineup I already knew the team's defense would be very fragile. 3 minutes into the match and Marcelo had his first mistake by giving away a corner kick to the rival team after a horribly aimed pass to Courtois.
In that corner, Nacho touches the ball with his arm by mistake which causes a penalty, and then Courtois is unable to stop it. 0-1 to Alaves in the first 5 minutes and it all began with the horrible pass from Marcelo to the goalkeeper.
Without Odegaard or Benzema in the lineup, there was an empty space just outside Alaves's penalty box. No player was able to move the ball efficiently in that zone so most attacking plays from Real Madrid came from the sides, especially the right side where Lucas Vazquez gave a lot of crosses. Hazard had some good moves but he was injured again and had to leave the pitch around the 30-minute mark. Rodrygo was the one chosen by Zidane to substitute Hazard.
Asensio was also part of the lineup and sadly, his performance for the entire season has been very disappointing, today's match included. Asensio has played 421 minutes in the national league and 238 minutes in the Champions League and has 0 goals and 0 assists, you can check the stats here. These are extremely poor results for an attacking player that was supposed to be one of the pillars of Real Madrid's attack this season.
Mariano was the striker again because Benzema is injured and Jovic still has covid, he had some good headers and one of them was saved in the line by a defender. He also committed several mistakes but the majority of the balls he got were for the head and he did an acceptable job with them.
The second goal was very tragic for Real Madrid due to the way it happened and the moment in the match, at the beginning of the second half Courtois, the best goalkeeper of the Spanish league last season, had an extremely horrible mistake, probably one of the worst ones of his entire career. He tried to pass the ball to Casemiro but didn't realize the rival striker was there to intercept the pass, he intercepted it and then score easily.
That goal drained Real Madrid's morale and from that point onward it was evident Real Madrid wasn't going to be able to achieve a victory. This team has a lot of problems scoring goals and 3 goals in such a horrible match would be just fantasy. 2 goals were possible with a little bit of luck.
Later on, Zidane did 4 changes and a lot of young players when it, first it was Vinicius for Asensio and then Odegaard, Mendy, and Isco. With these changes, the team did improve a little bit but it was also the result of Alaves getting tired and deciding to adopt a more conservative strategy to protect their 2 goals advantage. Ironically, Alaves could have scored the third goal if they had better aim.
In the final minutes, Real Madrid was able to score their only goal of the match after a messy corner kick that ended up in Casemiro's boots and in it went. Real Madrid's creativity is pretty much nonexistent when attacking and their defense is extremely fragile. This is a surprise because last season this same defense was the best one in Spain and one of the best in Europe.
It seems that Atletico de Madrid should be able to repeat their success from 2014 when they won the national league. Real Madrid is in bad shape and Barcelona is in a similar situation. Despite all the points of advantage Atletico has over the 2 Spanish giants, I believe there is still a long way to go and things could change in just a couple of matches.
Tomorrow I plan to watch Chelsea vs Tottenham in what I believe will be the best match of the weekend.