Connect with us

Football

Player ratings as Real run riot despite early scare

Published

on


Real Madrid returned to the top of the La Liga table with a comeback 2-1 victory at home to Mallorca on Sunday.

Two brilliantly taken goals from Federico Valverde and Vinicius Junior ensured Real maintained their 100% start to the league season, despite falling behind in the first half.

Carlo Ancelotti made a handful of changes to his side following their midweek Champions League win and at times looked somewhat clunky for it, but ultimately showed their talent to see off Mallorca, who caused the defending La Liga champions problems on the counter attack.

Advertisement

The visitors had a golden opportunity to take the lead from a long ball inside the first minute of play, with Vedat Muriqi getting in behind and forcing a low save out of Thibaut Courtois.

Real dominated possession after the early scare, with Mallorca happy to sit in deep and absorb the pressure as best they could. The hosts couldn’t break through the block, though, resorting to wayward shots from distance which simply didn’t trouble Predrag Rajkovic in the Mallorca goal enough.

When Los Blancos upped the tempo of their passing and pushed on their full backs, they began to find space and a fine layoff from Valverde into Rodrygo’s path almost resulted in the opener after 27 minutes, but the Brazilian couldn’t steer it into the back of the net.

For all their possession and dominance, though, Real fell behind after 35 minutes. Valverde gave away a foul deep into their own half, allowing Lee Kang-in to whip in a free-kick to the back post which was headed in by Muriqi for 1-0.

Advertisement

Ancelotti’s rotated side perked up again after going behind, but clearly struggled in the heat. That was until Valverde made amends for his error on the cusp of half-time with a fabulous equaliser, picking the ball up in his own half, dribbling towards goal and rifling in an incredible strike.

Proceedings were much the same after the break, with Los Blancos dominating possession and Mallorca dropping deeper and deeper in order to hang on for as long as they possibly could.

Changes were made around the hour mark to try and swing the game one way or the other. A free-kick on the edge of the box for Real saw the ball laid short for Lucas Vazquez after 61 minutes, but his curled effort whistled just wide of the post.

After another lengthy spell of possession, Real were almost undone against the run of play after 64 minutes when a neat pattern of play saw Mallorca slice open the hosts, but Antonio Sanchez poked a square ball wide from point-blank range.

Advertisement

A moment of brilliance tipped the game into Real’s favour with around 20 minutes to play. Luka Modric picked out Rodrygo who – with some sublime footwork in a central area – threaded the ball through to Vinicius Junior to coolly poke the ball past the goalkeeper for 2-1.

After notching a smart assist, Rodrygo sealed the result with a fantastic finish of his own in the 88th minute, picking the ball up deep, driving at Mallorca’s defenders and slaloming his way towards goal with a collection of chops and skills, before slotting the ball home for 3-1. The floodgates were now well and truly open, as Antonio Rudiger volleyed in his first Real goal from a free-kick in injury time to put the icing on the cake.

Dani Ceballos, Federico Valverde

Valverde celebrates his stunning solo goal / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

GK: Thibaut Courtois – 5/10 – Little he could do to stop Mallorca’s opening goal and was stood twiddling his thumbs for the rest of the afternoon.

RB: Lucas Vazquez – 6/10 – Could’ve done more to stretch the game and help put Mallorca under more sustained pressure. Ventured forward in spells, but didn’t do enough to stretch the back line.

Advertisement

CB: Antonio Rudiger – 6/10 – Little for the German to do in terms of defensive duties. Crucially, though, rounded off the afternoon by heading in his first goal for the club.

CB: David Alaba – 5/10 – Alaba could’ve done more to join the attacks given his versatility, but didn’t.

LB: Ferland Mendy – 5/10 – A quiet day at the office. Mendy didn’t seem keen on venturing forward too often, leaving him with little to do. Also lost Muriqi when defending the free-kick, which allowed him to head in the opener.

CM: Federico Valverde – 7/10 – A performance that sums up the Uruguayan. Gave away a poor free-kick in trying to make up ground, but made up for it with a tireless run and stunning finish. Real’s source of energy.

Advertisement

CM: Toni Kroos – 5/10 – Missing his shooting boots. Kroos tried his luck from distance several times, but lacked any real finesse.

CM: Dani Ceballos – 6/10 – Started brightly, but tailed off as the game grew on. Made some nice passes in midfield, but couldn’t find his range in more high-pressure moments.

RW: Rodrygo – 8/10 – Often looked outnumbered trying to take on defenders, but didn’t stop trying. His patience paid dividends later in the game as he produced an excellent assist and an even better goal. Lovely footwork.

CF: Eden Hazard – 5/10 – Got lost within a sea of red shirts and failed to assert himself – hooked after an hour as a result. Disappointing considering his impact from the bench against Celtic earlier in the week.

Advertisement

LW: Vinicius Junior – 8/10 – Vinicius stayed sharp despite not seeing much of the ball. Crucially, though, came alive when it mattered most. Brilliant first touch to set up his goal and turned up the heat to see out the result.

SUB: Luka Modric (59′ for Hazard) – 7/10 – His impact was immediately felt from the bench. Was able to pick much more complex passes and unleashed Rodrygo for Real’s second.

SUB: Nacho (59′ for Mendy) – 6/10

SUB: Eduardo Camavinga (60′ for Ceballos) – N/A

Advertisement

SUB: Dani Carvajal (71′ for Vazquez) – N/A

Player of the Match – Vinicius Junior



Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

EPL

RUMOUR: Man Utd could launch shock Pickford swoop as they consider letting De Gea go

Published

on

RUMOUR: Man Utd could launch shock Pickford swoop as they consider letting De Gea go

Manchester United may consider a shock bid for Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the midst of uncertainty encompassing David De Gea’s future, reports propose.

As per the Telegraph, United are not persuaded they need to broaden De Gea’s agreement, which runs out in June and procures him an astounding £350,000, and could allow him to go free of charge in June.

The Spanish shot-stopper, who was omitted from Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for the international break, suffered a poor start to the season with a raft of errors most notably at Brentford.

And United are also dealing with a high wage bill that reached a Premier League record of £384million last season.

Advertisement

The Red Devils announced earlier this week that their salaries have increased by a whopping £61.6m from the previous year.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s return as well as Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane’s arrivals led to a 19.1 per cent increase in their salary bill as well as a net loss amounting to £115.5m.

United are assessing their long-term plans and a change between the sticks can’t be ruled out, even though De Gea, 31, has improved recently and has been integral in the last 11 years at Old Trafford.

That could bring England’s No1 Pickford, 28, into the frame come January.

The Everton shot stopper has various clubs carefully monitoring his situation as he will have just one year left on his Everton contract at the end of the season.

Advertisement

The England international is also a homegrown player, which is very appealing to his suitors.

Continue Reading

Football

Rob Page says Wales ‘will be in contact’ with LAFC regarding Gareth Bale’s World Cup fitness

Published

on


Wales boss Rob Page has revealed he’ll remain in close contact with LAFC regarding Gareth Bale’s fitness as the World Cup approaches.

Bale played the full 90 minutes as Wales lost 1-0 against Poland on Sunday in a result that confirmed their relegation from their UEFA Nations League group.

However, that’s the first time the 33-year-old has managed a full game at any level since March of this year, while he hasn’t gone 90 at club level since a La Liga match against Getafe for Real Madrid in April 2020.

Wales’ next game is their World Cup Group B opener against the United States on November 21. Before then, it’s vital Bale plays as many minutes as possible in the MLS regular season and Playoffs for LAFC.

Advertisement




“They want Gareth available for them and we want him in the physical position for the first [World Cup] game against the USA. We will be in contact with them and make sure he is in the right place,” Page said of Bale’s situation at LAFC, where only two of the forward’s 11 appearances have been from the start.

“What he does from now until the first game, we will be in contact with the club and help manage those minutes. They are a good outfit, LA, so they will know exactly how to get him from where he is now to full fitness, which is 90 minutes week in, week out.”

LAFC are level on 64 points with the Philadelphia Union at the top of the overall MLS standings. The Black and Gold have just two more regular season games remaining – away to the Portland Timbers and at home against Nashville SC – before they begin their Playoffs run.

Advertisement




Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.



Source link

Continue Reading

Football

Federico Bernardeschi reveals why he switched Juventus for Toronto FC & MLS

Published

on


Federico Bernardeschi has revealed he had multiple offers after leaving Juventus, but the ambition of Toronto FC and Major League Soccer played a key role in his move across the Atlantic.

The 28-year-old Italy international was one of a number of eye-catching additions for TFC this summer alongside compatriots Lorenzo Insigne – who agreed a contract earlier in the year – and Domenico Criscito.

Speaking to TLN, Bernardeschi has revealed he turned down other offers from ‘important’ clubs to move to Toronto.

“I believe that I finished a journey at Juventus. There were various teams we spoke to, and various teams that came forward,” he said.

Advertisement




“They’re important names and I thank them, but there were little things that didn’t work out one way or another. With Toronto, everything went smoothly.”

Though TFC have continued to struggle, Bernardeschi has made an excellent start in MLS, scoring eight goals and assisting another two in his first 11 appearances.

That’s given the forward plenty of time to evaluate the quality of the league, and Bernardeschi has certainly been impressed by MLS so far.

Advertisement




“I think MLS has a great future, I think they have very big projects, not only here in Toronto as they’re showing, but for the entire league,” he said.

“This is good for all football worldwide but especially for football and sport in North America. It is beautiful to see and for sure it’s beautiful to be a part of.”

Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.

Advertisement








Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Home
Live Scores
Videos
Live TV
Predictions