The jeering by the fans seemed to have worked as the style of football presented to the fans at the Bernabeu certainly improved against Ajax, the speed of play isn't "Real Madrid" yet but the defense has been super solid.
Sergio Ramos had picked up a knock just before the game and Alvaro Arbeloa had to step in, Jose Mourinho, dropped Karim Benzema and gave the start to Angel Di Maria, Mourinho started the match with a 4-5-1: Casillas, Arbeloa, Carvalho, Pepe, Marcelo, Khedira, Xabi Alonso, Di Maria, Ozil, Cristiano Ronaldo and Higuain.
Martin Jol's Ajax were missing their captain—Luis Suarez and central defender—Jan Vertonghen through suspension, they too lined up a 4-5-1 with El Hamdaoui the lone man upfront: Stekelenburg, Van der Weil, Alderweireld, Ooijer, Anita, Enoh, Emanuelson, De Jong, De Zeeuw, Sulejmani and El Hamdaoui.
The pattern of the game was set in the starting minutes of the game, Real Madrid dominated the game, took a lot of long shots and wasted a lot of chances. Despite the horrid finishing there were a lot of positives for Real Madrid in the game.
|Goooool del Pipita!|
1-0: Anita (OG): 31': The first goal was scrambled in from a corner kick taken by Xabi Alonso, the goal was first given to Gonzalo Higuain, but after a few replays the goal was called an own goal by Ajax defender Anita.
2-0: Higuain: 74': The second goal was a result of some brilliant play between Ozil and Di Maria, Ozil was set free in the box by a pass from Di Maria, Ozil set himself up well, took a good shot only to be denied by the brilliant Stekelenburg, but the ball came back to Ozil, who this time played the ball across the goal for the waiting Gonzalo Higuain, who taps the ball in.
- Despite Angel Di Maria showing flashes of brilliance in the game, he had troubles getting past defenders. He also lacks a passing brain, taking a shot whenever he saw the slightest of opportunity instead of passing it to his teammates in better positions.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has something wrong in his head, he was very selfish and very wasteful, he too like Di Maria took unnecessary shots. Plus it wasn't his day, he missed a simple tap in after Higuain played the ball back to him.
- Gonzalo Higuain is an odd creature, when he hasn't scored his first of the season (or for 3-4 games in a row) he looks dull, sulks and moans a lot, but when he does get his goal, he starts looking amazing and sharp and there is a glow on his face, if you haven't noticed. Such was the case yesterday, he came to life after scoring Real Madrid's second.
- Mesut Ozil was once again the man of the match, brilliant performance from the German playmaker earned him a standing ovation from the crowd at the Bernabeu.
- 3 MATCHES, 3 CLEAN-SHEETS
- Ricardo Carvalho is just the person Real Madrid needed in defense.
- Needless to say, the finishing has to improve otherwise it will come back to haunt Real Madrid.
- Marcelo is amazing, was more than a handful for the stand in Ajax captain—De Zeeuw, even got him yellow carded. It was a decent showing from him at left back defensively, if he can keep this up and improve his defending, we will be looking at one of the best left backs in the world.
Quote Of The Game
"Sooner or later a few teams are going to suffer for all the chances we create." - Jose Mourinho
|Shots (on Goal)||35(14)||8(1)|
|Time of Possession||64%||36%|
The trimmed version of this post can be found on my Fan vs Fan blog—Paseo Castellana.