It has been some time that Real Madrid has produced a perfect performance of the highest quality. But their match against Valencia in the semi-final fixture of Spanish Super Cup was one of those matches when the Galacticos actually played like the Galacticos. Zinedine Zidane’s men turned up hot in Saudi Arabia and in fact, proved too hot for Valencia as they beat Albert Celades’s men 3-1.
Real Madrid sprung tactical surprises
It was an interesting line-up put up by Zinedine Zidane with a total of five midfielders fielded. It was a castaway from their usual tactics of using wingers or wide players on the flanks. The five midfielders included Federico Valverde, Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Isco and Luka Modric. And it was the two veterans, Modric and Kroos who turned up the best amongst all with some glorious goals. While Valencia fielded a more familiar with a 4-1-4-1 formation. They had their usual starters in the line-up including the likes of Dani Parejo, Gabriel Paulista, Francis Coquelin and Ferran Torres.
Toni Kroos produces a beauty
Any range is shooting range when you're Toni Kroos 😍pic.twitter.com/8SjzSN72D5
— Goal (@goal) January 8, 2020
Real Madrid delivered the first blow as Toni Kroos showed great presence of mind to open the scoring from a corner. Though it wasn’t a usual goal through a corner, this one was put right in the goal post by the German midfielder. Kroos saw Valencia goalkeeper, Jaume Domenech, out of his position and took a quick corner and curled the ball in his net. Jaume could only manage to get a hand to the ball after it crossed the line.
Isco and Luka Modric scored in the 39th and 65th minute respectively to make the score 3-0. Though Valencia did get their consolation goal through a penalty in the 92nd minute. Sergio Ramos was judged to have handled the ball in the box and Valencia were awarded the penalty after VAR’s interference.
The Spanish Super Cup is being played in Saudi Arabia. The other semifinal of the tournament is set to be played out between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona on Friday.
What the Managers said:
Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid Manager
“I’m happy with how everyone played, it’s difficult to pick one above the rest. I’m thrilled for Isco getting his goal, he needed that recently; Kroos’ inventiveness was fantastic, and Modric’s effort, that’s his speciality,
“We could have played with more wide players, but we chose to use Isco and Modric inside to give the full-backs more freedom.”
Albert Celades, Valencia Manager:
“We are aware that we have not played a good game. We have not been at our real level,
“Yes, it is true that until 0-1 we were not too good, but that goal has hurt us because of how it has been produced. It has been difficult for us to recover. You do not believe that things like the first goal can happen and they happen.”