After having accumulated both determination in the attempts and criticism for the failures, the day he chose Vinicius to take off as a scorer could not be more appropriate for Madrid. The Brazilian’s match in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final, with his first double since wearing white, will be remembered as the day he rose from an erratic dribbler in decision-making to a striker who left knocked out. to an unfortunate Liverpool that he found, in the ten minutes he dominated, a goal that leaves him a thread of hope for the return in a week at Anfield.
Vinicius’ goals were the result of a great Madrid match, masterfully raised by a Zidane who managed to impose his idea of a match, which managed to overcome the opponent’s attempts to make a physical match and achieved success with his idea of exploiting the spaces behind the rival defense thanks to the excellent match of Kroos.
Varane withdrawal and system change
Only Zidane knows if, in addition to the absence of Bouquets, the last minute low of Early, after a positive for covid that will also leave him out for the classic against Barça at the weekend, it was decisive to discard the idea of the three centrals with which he had rehearsed, but Madrid did not suffer any shot against in the first half and, with his usual system with three attackers, he found Asensio and Vinicius as the ideal recipients of the passes of a Kroos who became the commander of the party.
Jurgen Klopp sacrificed Thiago to equip his midfield, with the entry of Keita, of an added dose of physical power to put into play an intense pressure that did not bother as expected the birth of the Madrid play.
As demanded by the instances of the match, Zidane’s team went out to the intense and combinative match, with speed in passing and execution, with no room for speculation in their offensive vocation.
Goals on the run
Although the pace of the game was frenetic, more than 20 minutes passed without clear chances, until Kroos had a second to think and execute a masterful pass to the run of a Vinicius that he gained the space with the control to face a heads up that he resolved with a quick definition, without thinking too much, to score the first goal.
Liverpool continued without generating danger, but, in addition, the scoreboard against seemed to be knocked out and began to lose balls regularly. The English pressure attempts were unproductive and, with the defense advanced, Madrid’s deep passes continued to do a lot of damage. Thus came the second white goal, shortly after half an hour, with involuntary assistance from Alexander-Arnold in the attempt to cut another pass to Vinicius that left a clear advantage to a Asensio that he scored to reflect the white domain on the scoreboard.
Madrid had found a mine in the long balls and had the rival so touched that Klopp did not hold at halftime to change the disposition of his team. Took away Keita to win game and judgment with the ball with Thiago, but the one who could score again before the break was Madrid.
Salah’s goal and Madrid’s reaction
Halfway between the urgencies of Liverpool and Madrid’s wishes to find the spaces behind the rival defense again, Zidane’s team backed down after the break and the center of gravity of the game moved towards the vicinity of the Courtois area. With that panorama and before having deserved it, he cut distances Wrong for Liverpool, stumbling and after a rejection, but with almost the entire second half ahead and the tie alive again.
Spurred on by the goal against, Madrid regained control of the ball and the game. He settled in the rival field, returned to finish plays and, again Vinicius, found a shot inside the area with which he scored again.
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He did not leave Madrid again in command of the ball and did not suffer again in defense, until the last minutes, although he certified a victory that leaves him on track for the tie.
REAL MADRID 3
Real Madrid: Courtois (6); Lucas Vázquez (7), Militao (7), Nacho (8), Mendy (6); Modric (6), Casemiro (7), Kroos (9); Asensio (7), Benzema (8), Vinicius (9). Technical: Zinedine Zidane (8). Changes: Valverde (7) by Asensio (m. 69), Rodrygo (pb) de Vinicius (m. 84).
Liverpool: Alisson (5); Alexander-Arnold (4), Kabak (5), Phillips (4), Robertson (5); Keita (4), Fabinho (4), Wijnaldum (5); Salah (6), Diego Jota (7), Mané (5). Technical: Jurgen Klopp (4). Changes: Thiago (6) by Keita (m. 41), Firmino (pb) by Kabak (m. 80), Shaqiri (pb) by Diogo Jota (m. 80).
Goals: 1-0 (m. 26), Vinicius. 2-0 (m. 35) Atkinson. 2-1 (m. 50). 3-1 (bar 64), Vinicius.
Referee: Felix Brych (6), German.
Cards: Mané (d. 38), Lucas Vázquez (d. 48), Thiago (d. 55), Alexander-Arnold (m. 82).
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.