Sergio Herrera: Madrid’s Worst Nightmare

Sergio Herrera: Madrid's Worst Nightmare
Image Credit: AP Photo

Osasuna held Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu. Kike’s header in the 50th minute cancelled out Vini’s long range goal. Ultimately, it was a poor performance from Los Blancos and we’ll break down what went wrong in today’s match. Sergio Herrera: Madrid’s Worst Nightmare

1st Half

Image Credit: Helios de la Rubia

There’s two crucial things that must be done if you are to successfully break down a low block. You must hold width when attacking and the ball has to be recycled with speed and intent.

The defending team wants you to have the ball in central areas. They know they have enough bodies in midfield to limit any penetrating passes. However, width encourages the opposition to press your wingers or full-backs which opens space between the lines and allows midfield runners to find pockets. 

In the first ten minutes, we moved the ball with intent, created chances and attacked through our wingers. After that period of sustained pressure, our attack lacked dynamism and variation. 

Afterwards, We kept crossing the ball from similar areas which was easily defended by the Osasuna defenders.

Image Credit: LaLiga TV

The few times we actually took the ball to the byline and crossed, we caused mayhem in the opposition’s defensive line. 

Video Credit: LaLiga TV

Fortunately, Vini’s attempted cross found its way into the back of the net and Los Blancos went into the locker room 1-0 up. 

2nd Half

Image Credit: Helios de la Rubia

Five minutes after half time, Kike guided a deft back header over Lunin and into the bottom right corner to tie the game. In the build up to the goal, Kroos and Vini left Unai Garcia with time and space to pick out the perfect cross onto Kike’s head. 

Carlo reacted by bringing Camavinga and Fede on to boost the energy and tempo of the match. They accomplished their job and provided extra defensive stability as well.

However, the second half was almost identical to the first. For large parts of the half, it was very easy for Osasuna to defend. We were crossing from inauspicious positions and moving the ball at walking pace. 

In the 78th minute, Benzema had the chance to win the match for Real but failed to convert the penalty. Sergio Herrera: Madrid’s Worst Nightmare

The Real Madrid captain clearly has a mental block when he’s up against Sergio Herrera. Nothing usually fazes him, but when it’s against this keeper, he always seems to second guess. 

Real tried to get the winner until the end, but it wasn’t meant to be. 

Conclusion

 Lack of intensity, poor decision making in the final third and little to no inventive ideas all contributed to this result. Real must learn and improve going into their midweek fixture against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. Credit must be given to Jagoba Arrasate and his team as they put in an immense defensive performance.

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