Saturday, January 16

Zidane’s unit B lays Madrid as leader


  • The goals of Lucas and Asensio and two saving actions by Nacho give the victory to the white team against Celta

  • The Vigo team overcame an early goal, but fell apart after Aspas’ injury

As if it were a game from four years ago, Zinedine Zidane’s unit B has given this Saturday to Real Madrid the three points before him Celtic (2-0). The goals from Lucas Vázquez and Marco Asensio they brought down the Vigo team, which could not maintain its magnificent streak in Valdebebas despite showing (while it could) as the daring and dominating team that it has become Eduardo Coudet. Madrid soon took an advantage and then felt relatively comfortable against a team that did not force them to carry the weight of the game and lost their star through injury. Iago Aspas, for the second half.

Madrid did not have them all with them after playing against Elche and having to measure themselves with the most fit team in La Liga without Sergio Ramos, who followed the game from the stands with his stomach ailments piggyback. The low of the camero -which crossed with Florentino Pérez in the changing room tunnel in full debate about its renovation and the possible arrival of Alaba– covered her Nacho, definitively relegating to Militao the middle quarter of the squad. It also did not start Danger and Asensio and Lucas flanked Benzema. The rest, the same ones that Zidane has trusted in the last month.

Nacho, Salvador

Fears turned to panic within five minutes upon seeing Nolito the unchecking of Aspas, who stood before Courtois and beat him with a subtle Vaseline. The Belgian was already beaten, but the solvent Nacho (another illustrious of that unit B of 2017) sensed the action and took the ball under sticks. There, a counterattack from Madrid was born on the left in which Asensio won the baseline and crossed to the far post, where another Galician on a streak, Lucas Vázquez, finished off dive to overtake his team (m. 6).

The duel was fought from then on in the center of the field, with both teams pressing the exit of the ball and without committing errors. Celta finished the first half dominating possession, but far from Courtois’s goal (also from Rubén’s), which did not disturb the Whites.

Aspas injury

The heavenly hopes in the second half began to fade when Aspas (who had already finished against Huesca) noticed a puncture that forced him to ask for the change. The ‘Prince of Batting’ left and Madrid finished the game with the same protagonists of the first goal. This time Lucas led the counterattack and found Asensio, who sent the ball into the net (m. 53).

With the second goal, Madrid erased the ghosts of Elche and the Celta finished collapsing. Zidane gave 20 minutes to Eden Hazard, but did not dare to play anything else until the final 10 minutes (with Carvajal forcing the fifth yellow), aware of the importance of a victory that allowed him to sleep as leader, with one point and three more games than Atlético and 11 points and two more games than Barça. Nacho, throwing himself to the ground before a point-blank shot from Baeza, closed the game with a round performance.

Real Madrid, 2 – Celta, 0

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos Lucas Vázquez, Benzema and Asensio. Coach: Zinedine Zidane. Changes: Hazard de Asensio (d. 74); Vinícius de Carvajal (c. 84); Valverde for Kroos (m. 84); Odegaard de Modric (c. 84); Mariano de Benzema (m. 90).

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Celtic: Rubén Blanco; Hugo Mallo, Araujo, Murillo, Olaza; Brais Méndez, Tapia, Denis Suárez, Nolito; Aspas and Santi Mina. Technician: Eduardo Coudet. Changes: Fran Beltrán for Aspas; Baeza by Nolito (d. 64).

Goals: 1-0 (m. 6), Lucas Vázquez; 0-2 (m. 53), Marco Asensio.

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