Courtois holds the League and Casemiro bites it as Madrid does, with or without a game, if a trace of blood is left on him. Predators kill even without strength. Atletico left his wound open and Madrid took advantage of it to get within three points, although with one more game. For now, one shot. There is League. The circumstances were the worst for Madrid in Valladolid, decimated by injuries, but with libido through the roof. This was not the time to woo, for which I had no suit, only to win, take the hill, and wait. The game by game is today, a ZZ thing. The absence of Benzema showed how important the construction of offense is. Madrid put a hammer where there is a brush and, beyond the differences in quality, they are not the same. A team needs both. Madrid does not have them as they would like and Zidane prefers that his compatriot paint and hit, although he does the former much better.

Mariano occupied the place of the ‘nine’, with Asensio and Vinicius on the sides. They were the bands of a Madrid of 2025 because if things had been as their president wanted, Bale and Hazard would have been there today. The history of the first was written with crooked lines and with the second they have not been straightened, a year and a half later. Patience is a sin in football and a mortal sin in Madrid. We will see. Mariano was agitated and solved each hand-to-hand well, but without measuring the offside well. It is part of their trade. What the Hispanic-Dominican did not do is be another vertex, support in the evolution of the attack actions. Benzema leaves his zone, creates doubt in the defenders, and offers himself as one more playmaker. Without the Frenchman, Madrid was more predictable in their arrivals, always looking for the bands. On the left, Vinicius is a danger, but a known danger because his pattern is unique overflow.

On the right, Asensio started active, but he needed to project inwards to enrich the area of ​​the field where surprises depended on Modric’s arrivals, again the mast, fireproof. You have to take care of the Croatian. In the clearest, after a loss from Valladolid, Modric served Mariano the second of the times he reached the net in the first period, but with half a meter more. Zidane knew that this could happen and, amid the injury pandemic that plagues Madrid, he only had one footballer who could contribute to discovering spaces in the three quarters. It was Isco. The rest of the bench was occupied by meritorious ones. He ended up resorting to the Malaga, along with Arribas and Hugo Duro, who made his Madrid debut. Arribas has things to say in this team if they let him.


Zidane was aware that, with such fair resources, he would need intensity, and with that slogan, Madrid entered the game. Two very long possessions, with excellent mobility of the ball, constituted his letter of introduction in Zorrilla, with improvised spectators who were dolls to help a campaign against childhood cancer. Nice gesture from the club chaired by Ronaldo, Zidane’s former teammate at Madrid de Los galacticos. Other times, what times. However, the danger in the game did not come until Valladolid decided, with two characteristics that could be contraindicated: a very low defensive block, tight against Masip, and on arrival in the opposite area with several footballers. Sergio Gonzalez, a seasoned guy, with many miles, is one of those who doesn’t believe in being in the area, but in arriving. In Zorrilla, Kike Perez, Janko, or Orellana did it, among others.

The Chilean is a level player who, surely, would be in higher segment teams without any departure from the tone. From the left-wing, he caused most of the danger from Valladolid. The help he had from Nacho Martínez in the offensive actions ended up anchoring Lucas Vazquez to the side, with less projection than desired until after the break. Almost immediately, Valladolid forced a double chance from Courtois, against Orellana and Janko. The Belgian, decisive, was again at the beginning of the second half, against a volley from Orellana that Mendy gave him. He centered like he was a forward. Unheard To all of them, Madrid had opposed just two shots from Casemiro, in addition to the non-goals of Mariano, who left before the end without materializing them, but in time to see how he did it, to the third, Casemiro. A set-piece shot that was like a bite to the League then returned to his natural place with clenched teeth.