Real Madrid kept pace with Barcelona in the race to win La Liga, as they routed Deportivo La Coruna 6-2 on Wednesday.
Real Madrid bounced back to winning ways, having suffered a late defeat at the hands of Barcelona only two days ago, as they romped to an emphatic 6-2 win over Deportivo La Coruna on Wednesday night. The result ensures that Los Blancos are level on points with their arch rivals with a game in hand.
Zinedine Zidane’s men established a foothold in the match only moments after kick-off as Alvaro Morata continued his fine scoring run in the La Liga, before James Rodriguez doubled the advantage by the 14th minute.
Deportivo 2️⃣-6️⃣ Real Madrid
— Real Madrid C. F. (@realmadrid) April 26, 2017
By the time the half-time whistle was blown, the score read 3-1 in Real Madrid’s favour as Andone pulled a goal back before Lucas Vazquez restored the advantage a minute before the break. The lead was stretched to four goals by the 77th minute as James Rodriguez completed his brace before Isco grabbed a goal for himself.
Joselu grabbed a consolation goal before the sixth was scored by a long-range effort from Casemiro. With Real Madrid making an emphatic statement of intention on Wednesday, here are the main talking points from Wednesday’s match.
The Title Race Will Stretch Until The Very End
The result on Sunday in the El Clasico blew the race wide open in the title, as it left Barcelona and Real Madrid level on points, with the Blaugrana holding a slender lead ahead of Zinedine Zidane’s men due to a slightly superior head-to-head record.
Deportivo 2-6 Real Madrid FT:
Chances created: 15-17
Pass accuracy: 87%-88%
So close at the top. 👀 pic.twitter.com/Cvb7nXWULb
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 26, 2017
Luis Enrique’s side then backed the Clasico result with an emphatic 7-1 win over bottom-of-the-table Osasuna to suggest that a beast may have finally woken up with the final run-in in the season beckoning. That meant that Real Madrid had to back that up with a win themselves, and they did just that.
Playing a set of fringe players, the visitors were as fluent as they have ever been this season blowing Deportivo away at their own home to grab a convincing and dominating win themselves. Thus, Real Madrid aren’t going anywhere as Barcelona continue to pile on the pressure.
The game they have in hand may yet prove to be decisive, and Real Madrid know that they can clinch the title if they can better Barcelona’s tally for the remainder of the season. The pressure is on on both the rivals and it will be exciting to witness the finale in this thrilling title race.
The ‘B’ Team Delivers Yet Again
Zinedine Zidane threw up a surprise when the team sheets were announced as he chose to give Cristiano Ronaldo and Toni Kroos the night off, with the likes of Isco, James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata were handed the start on Wednesday.
Isco has now scored or assisted 12 goals in his last 12 starts for Real Madrid.
Always takes his chance. 🤘 pic.twitter.com/kunnX6mDhy
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 26, 2017
The decision was hardly going to be a popular win with this game being a crucial one in the title race, despite Deportivo’s lowly ranking in the La Liga table. But the fringe players showed yet again, why their coach entrusted them with the responsibility to put the hosts away on the night.
Showing more fluency than the first choice players have in recent times, the ‘B’ team brushed Deportivo aside with ease, and showing just why some of them deserve more game-time, ahead of a few big-name players.
This is now the third time when the famous BBC trio have been left out entirely of the match day squad, and the return certainly makes for impressive reading – three wins and 12 goals scored – leaving Zidane with a lot to think about as the most crucial juncture of the season beckons.
Defensive Frailties Just Won’t Go
Zinedine Zidane has made quite the mark in just one and a half year as the Real Madrid boss, and attack in particular has been the big positive under him, with first-choice as well as fringe players making an impression.
A certain Casemiro has also had his Real Madrid career resurrected, with Zidane entrusting him with the responsibility of keeping things tight ahead of the back four. That decision can certainly be termed as a masterstroke because if not for that, Los Blancos might have been in dire straits really.
That is because defence has been one major concern area for Zidane, and a department that needs to addressed quickly, with Real Madrid managing to keep just one clean sheet in their last 15 games. Time to add steel at the back for Zidane.
Varane A Welcome Return
While it is true that defence has been an area of concern for Real Madrid, a lot of it is down to the constant chopping and changing that Zidane has had to do at the back this season. That can be pinned down to some defender or the other being injured across various stages of the season.
— SB (@Realmadridplace) April 27, 2017
With no settled central defensive pairing this season, the understanding that two partners need to develop has been starkly missing all through the campaign. Zidane had to change the pairing at the heart of his team’s defence yet again, with Sergio Ramos injured.
But just when it looked like a defensive crisis may be on the rise, Raphael Varane became fit and available for selection. With Nacho not proving to be up to the mark time and again, his return is vital to Real Madrid’s title aspirations, as a pairing with Ramos can add some much needed steel at the back.
Morata and James Make Another Case For Themselves
It has largely been happy days at the Santiago Bernabeu for Zinedine Zidane and his charges, but there have been two players who have cut unhappy figures for the most part. Those players are Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez, with the duo making no bones about their unhappiness at being snubbed time and again.
Most #LaLiga goals for Real Madrid this season excluding penalties:
🇪🇸 Alvaro Morata (13)
🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo (13)
🇪🇸 Isco (10) pic.twitter.com/8E6yFglu4W
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 27, 2017
4 – Midfielders with most goals + assists this season:
Pablo Sarabia 10/11
JAMES RODRÍGUEZ 8/12
Arda Turan 13/6
Raúl García 12/7
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) April 26, 2017
On Wednesday though, both of them were given an opportunity to impress the Real Madrid boss and they surely did leave a mark on the game. Upbeat and energetic all through the night, the duo, alongside Isco, were the biggest threat to the Deportivo defence and created a raft of clear cut chances.
Morata and Rodriguez scored half of Real Madrid’s goals on the night showing just why they deserve more playing time. Morata, in particular, has been far more impressive, scoring more goals that Karim Benzema (18 to the Frenchman’s 17), having played 1,000 fewer minutes.
This eventually begs the question – If the duo add more fluency to the Real Madrid attack, why have they played so few minutes this season? With just five games left in the season, and not an inch to spare, Zidane may have to make hard decisions as Morata and James continue to make a case for inclusion.