After losing 3-1 away to Sporting Huelva, Real Madrid faced another tough test away to Deportivo Alaves. The Basques had previously played with a 1-1 draw when the two teams met earlier in the season and it was a thorn in home play in the entire season, suffering only 3 defeats at home.
With the players returning from international duty, Torrell lined up at 4-2-3-1 with Mighty on the left and Athena on the right wing. Aslani returned to the starting line-up with Lucia as RB. Alaves were lined up at a 4-3-3 turned 4-1-4-1 out of possession with Miriam at the base midfield and Mito and Alba in eighth.
Real Madrid won the match thanks to Esther’s well-made goal by moving the ball in its path. Real Madrid created enough chances to win the match but were frustrated in creating chances from stable possession against the deep block incorporated by Alaves. The match opened with time allowing Real Madrid to look more dangerous.
Here are 3 players who excelled in the game
It was the replacement of Nadakari that shifted the momentum in Real Madrid’s favour. Her first engagement since she came was her help to put Madrid ahead. She played well with the full-back to her goal and positioning overall asking more questions about Alaves’ block than Mighty was capable of. She tied the play down brilliantly and allowed Esther to roam a freer role that she liked. She could have had a goal for herself with a header from a cross but couldn’t connect after a good run.
Esther could have scored more than one goal in his name had it not been for some great saves from the goalkeeper. She was the same relentless one, running through the defenses and descending deep to receive the ball. It hit the crossbar from a header from Zornoza’s pass. It was her deep fall that helped take Madrid onto the field in the first half as well. She is a tireless piston.
Teresa had a solid performance on the midfield base. She coordinated play from the deeper turn, escaping the opponent’s pressure, and increased possession and switching play to facilitate opportunity creation. Corner kick routine in the eighth minute saw her deliver a good ball to the far post for Rossio. She even tried her luck out of the box but it was over.
bits and pieces
- Athena didn’t have her best match and it wasn’t as impressive as one would expect from playing on the right wing. Her dribbling sequences managed to get the best player or players but she often found herself often outnumbered.
- Aslani also looked good on her return, although every time she received the ball, it was dropped or kicked. The ball’s drop sequences were a key factor in creating chances early in the first half. Her half-round reception was fantastic.
- Miriam was great at playing at the base of midfield. The necessary examination, reading and interception permits were provided regularly. She was also crucial to her accumulation as her passes were key in providing a switch to the far side. It was nicely complemented by Alba and Mitu, who did an excellent job cutting off passing lanes and avoiding transitional moments using some tactical errors.
- Gana Shin, 18, the goalkeeper, who started her fourth game was superb as well, keeping Real Madrid out of the competition and putting in some great balls in the process. Her distribution although not the best in the long run was decent and showed some calm when under pressure as well.
- Mighty was lost on the left, as she was unable to force herself on the game. In the second half, she drifted a lot more inside and managed to quickly create an opportunity and ran to the far post as well before being grabbed. Trying to use the Maite outside didn’t quite work out on occasions where you wouldn’t step in and catch the ball, which is desirable given its strengths.