Real Madrid maintained their unblemished record this season because they have found a magic combination.
Vinicius Jr and Federico Valverde unblocked the game at Celtic Park proved once again to be the key to unlocking a tight defensive unit. Real Mallorca went ahead and dreamed of taking a victory, however the intensity Los Blancos played with proved too much for the visitors.,
Carlo Ancelotti‘s changes sparked a slow start from the hosts, whilst Karim Benzema and Eder Militao were forced to sit out.
Luka Modric, Dani Carvajal and Aurelien Tchouameni were rested ahead of another Champions League week. After just one minute of play all the energy was sucked out of the crowd when a Muriqi header forced a smart save from Thibaut Courtois.
It is true that Aguirre’s team, with two tightly packed lines, one of five and the other of four, did not get forward on the counter, but it forced Los Blancos to work hard to put together a move in front of so many defenders.
Vinicius was looking for the short pass, but the staggered markers cut him off. Rodrygo was looking to surprise by appearing in all sectors. In one run through the centre he had a chance but fired a shot over the bar. Eden Hazard, as a false 9, did not play well, his contribution was virtually non-existent. The most notable thing about the Belgian was a foul in which a penalty was called, although it was more a case of him looking for contact.
Kang In Lee put in a perfect cross at the far post that Muriqi crowned with a goal. A reward for the excellent application of the defensive block and Real Madrid, once again were forced to come from behind.
On the verge of half-time, Valverde came out of his own halfway line, powerfully outpaced two opponents, took a diagonal run and unleashed a left-footed shot into the top corner from the edge of the box. An extraordinary goal to bring the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu to its feet.
Ancelotti had no choice but to change the plan after the break. The match demanded an extra gear to ensure a full house of victories before the double header against Leipzig and Atletico Madrid. After a Vinicius raid down the left that Rodrygo narrowly missed, Modric and Nacho came on to speed things up. Aguirre also freshened up his side with Grenier and Antonio Sanchez. It worked. The former almost made it 1-2 when he cut inside from the left. This was the last chance the visitors had.
It was Vinicius Jr who finally found the breakthrough. Rodrygo burst through the middle, opened up his partner and Vini took the bal. What followed was a long touch to the right, enough to take out the centre-back and create just enough space to take a shot.
He finished subtly, pinpoint, smoothly, to consolidate the comeback. He went to the corner and did his little dance, the kind that pisses off the opposition so much after conceding a goal. Pablo Maffeo got annoyed and kept looking to foul the Brazilian, who accepted the challenge. Someone should recommend to Vinicius, in his immense growth, that he should not fall into the trap of becoming Neymar, and merely concentrate on the things he does well.
Rodrygo and Antonio Rudiger both scored late goals to secure a 4-1 win for the hosts.