Real Madrid – Villarreal: Chukwueze Puts the Team on His Back (2-3)
In a match that showcased excellent winger play, Samu Chukwueze rose above Vinícius Júnior as the most impactful player on the pitch. The Nigerian scored two goals and was key in creating the third, and was responsible for all of the good done by Villarreal in the final third. Though Real Madrid pulled ahead twice, the away side fought back each time before Chukwueze’s brilliant curling effort stole the three points from the hosts.
Tactical analysis and match report by Charlie Tuley
Real Madrid came into the matchday hot off of their best week of the season, after first beating Real Valladolid 6-0 in LaLiga and then thrashing Barcelona 4-0 in the Copa del Rey during the midweek. Though Carlo Ancelotti’s side is just about out of the title race, the team needs to stick to winning ways to keep up their momentum to put themselves in the best positions to win the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.
Ancelotti had nearly a fully fit squad for the match against Villarreal, with only Ferland Mendy kept out of the matchday squad due to injury. Despite this, he elected to rest a number of key players, with Éder Militão, Toni Kroos, and Luka Modrić all dropped to the bench to get some rest. Thibaut Courtois was the side’s goalkeeper, with Lucas Vazquez, David Alaba, Antonio Rüdiger, and Nacho making up the back line. Aurélien Tchouaméni and Dani Ceballos made up the double pivot in midfield, with Rodrygo, Marco Asensio, and Vinícius Júnior making up the more advanced line in midfield. Karim Benzema led the . . .