Cristiano Ronaldo

The amazing scoring form Cristiano Ronaldo is in won’t matter if the Real Madrid defense, filled with talented yet not too intelligent players like Pepe and Marcelo keeps making things a lot more difficult than they should be as they feverishly try and catch up with the league leaders before it gets too late.

A story of two different matches in a tough stadium against a tough outing like Rayo Vallecano for Real Madrid, who can’t seem to finish matches without things getting complicated at least for a little while. The win over Sevilla wasn’t as easy as the 7-3 scoreline suggested, and it was obviously complicated in a 3-2 win against Rayo. The home side did score from two penalty kicks, but they were both justified, as Real Madrid gave up on trying to control the match, simply relying on the talent and counter attacking efficiency of their forwards.

Carlo Ancelotti felt too confident and many early substitutions, taking out Xabi Alonso being the most important of them. Asier Illarramendi might be very good defensively, but he’s not the kind of player that helps retain possession and lets the game effortlessly flow through him. Real Madrid pretty much gave up on trying to move the ball at that point, and introducing Alvaro Arbeloa for Dani Caravajal made it even clearer that their first half lead was enough.

Karim Benzema

They ended up involved in a wild match that could have gone either way, only Rayo weren’t clinical enough with their finishing after bouncing back to the match in a matter of two minutes early in the second half. Cristiano Ronaldo had chances, but it became a lot more random and disjointed. Having him and Gareth Bale might be perfect for this kind of style, but it didn’t help Real Madrid make things easier for them.

Right now, Ronaldo is on a scoring run that has him scoring 7 goals over the last four matches. It seems the Blatter comments, foolish as they may be, have helped the world forget just how bad Ronaldo and Real Madrid were for most of the Clasico, able to vent their anger at the FIFA president and avoid the difficult questions about the problems in their squad.

Gareth Bale didn’t score, but he’s looking like a different player these last two matches. Still playing on the right wing which doesn’t really suit him, but a lot more free to move around the pitch as he wishes, without any injury or too many tactical restrictions bothering him. He might be better suited for a different position, but Ancelotti has another firing weapon to count on.

A big kudos to Ancelotti has to be about how he and Zidane handled the Karim Benzema situation. He was only benched for one match, making it feel like a rotational issue and not being disappointed with his ability. The Frenchman has scored in the last two matches, and all the talk of Alvaro Morata has disappeared for now, although it does seem to be easier for Benzema to shine away from the Santiago Bernabeu, with the home fans wanting to see a home grown kid in the lineup.

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