Real Madrid – Rayo Vallecano: Benzema Overcomes A Lack Of Collective Mechanisms To Push Madrid Over The Line (1-0)
Real Madrid struggled to break down one of the worst defenses in the league before Benzema took over and led a brief renaissance. Half-time killed the momentum, allowing Rayo to grow back into the game and force Courtois to save the result at the death.
Tactical analysis and match report by Om Arvind.
Now that the new manager euphoria has well and truly worn off, Real Madrid do not look good. They were destroyed by Eibar, managed an unconvincing win versus Roma, lucked out against Huesca, and suffered their worst home defeat in Champions League history midweek against CSKA Moscow. The only positive performances following Santiago Solari’s first two weeks have come against Valencia and Melilla – the latter meaning little, since Melilla is a third division side.
In general, Solari has struggled massively to implement his vision. He prefers rigidity when in possession and likes to position his wingers high and wide. The location of his wide men theoretically helps to facilitate fast passing movements down the flanks, while the rigidity helps protect against the counterattack. But it also makes Madrid vulnerable to pressing, as it is easy to pressure a team that has a highly structured shape and possesses a disconnect between their wingers and the rest of the team.
We saw this against Eibar and Huesca, possibly prompting Solari into a change versus CSKA Moscow, where Isco and Marco Asensio replaced Bale and Lucas Vázquez to play in an inverted fashion. Unfortunately, they were limited by . . .