Friday, December 8, 2023

Bellingham dazzles in Maradona’s Olympus

There is a Neapolitan saying that goes ‘L’acqua è poca e ‘a mumps nun galleggia’, which means that ‘when there is so little water not even a duck floats’. Something applicable to Madrid’s situation in defense. And it is that When Real Madrid looked at the attack with uncertainty this season, the problem has come back. Especially after the injuries of Courtois and Militao. In Naples, Real Madrid was playing its tenth game of the season. Ten games in which Ancelotti has experimented, seeking the most consistent balance for this dystopian Real Madrid that plays without area forwards.

Strength in the core

In the preview Carletto verbalized his mantra for this course: ““If the goal is kept clean, there is a greater chance of winning than losing.” This boutade explains decisions that are beginning to become routine. He shielded the left-handed side with the reliability of Camavinga, who has lost the midfield battle with Tchouameni, because this is more positional. And Aurelien’s deployment at anchor He combines it with Kroos’ criteria and Valverde’s all-roundness. A mix that offers robustness in the midfield, although it does not finish closing the wings and condemns Modric to the bench. This bet allows Bellingham to get off the hook, as he associates freely with Vinicius and Rodrygo, forming an attack of finishers. Violinists whom he adds as an alternative to the percussionist Joselu.

This is how Madrid came out to Diego Armando Maradona. Sober approach and three-quarter attack to move the game away from their area, where Rudiger and Nacho, who will miss three games in the League due to the entry to Portu, defended Kepa’s area. Precisely the Basque goal, who turned 29 tonight, He was photographed in an exit at 18 minutes. Play in which the Neapolitans won the aerial game twice, the second time with a header into the net by the Norwegian Ostigard.

The Bellingham exhibition and the VAR…

The goal would no longer remain clean, which made it difficult to win mainly because it needed two goals and this Madrid only scores when coming from behind. This is how it came the first goalin a high pressure in which Bellingham’s instinct allowed him to recover a ball that served Vinicius to tie. First connection of the course between English and Brazilian. And just ten minutes later Jude peeked between the lines and started from midfield to reach the area, avoiding rivals in a ‘Ronaldian’ slalom that allowed him to score (1-2). Bellingham has eight goals and three assists in nine games, which confirms that Ancelotti has made the right choice by placing him in the midfielder because he has a special relationship with goals.

The game ended open in the first half and became even more unraveled at the start of the second because Naples waited fearfully behind for the white stampedes, giving space to the starts of Bellingham and Vinicius. While Madrid suffered with each ball into the area, where Osimhen touched them all. So much so that Kepa saved the tie before the break with a great save. But It was the VAR, in the 54th minute, that hurt Madrid. Some hands that the video arbitration revealed and Zielinski converted the tie. Madrid lost the ball and in Naples they connected with Kalavaskelia, what lit up the stands. Ancelotti raised his eyebrow again, aware that each Neapolitan bite was hurting him behind. It was another thing in attack, where Bellingham was exhibited in Maradona’s temple.

And then Carletto changed the game again with his substitutions: Mendy shielded the left-handed lane and the Italian handed the ball to Modric who replaced an outmatched Kroos. In addition, Joselu entered to give air to Jude and Vini. There were twenty minutes left and, given the strength of the two contenders, it was difficult to think that the match would end in a tie. who ruled the scoreboard. The ball wandered further into the white area, but Maradona was overwhelmed on each Madrid counterattack.

Valverde’s goal

The first play that took the ball to Joselu ended in a corner that Valverde picked up on the edge of the area and from there the Uruguayan blocked the Naples goalkeeper, off whom the ball bounced after hitting the crossbar to put Madrid ahead. Carlo finished his tactical clinic by taking out Ceballos for Vinicius to cool down the clash and save a valuable lead (2-3) in “the most complicated scenario we are going to find in this group stage.” Outstanding victory in a majestic setting with a dazzling Bellingham and a decisive Ancelotti on the board who still has work to do with the defensive vulnerability of his team.

Data sheet:

2 – Naples: Meret; Di Lorenzo, Ostigard, Natan, Olivera (Mario Rui, m.88); Anguissa (Simeone, m.88), Lobotka (Ctrabajo, m.88), Zielinski (Raspadori, m.75); Politano (Elmas, d.69), Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen.

3 – Real Madrid: Kepa; Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Camavinga (Mendy, m.64); Valverde, Tchouameni, Kroos (Modric, m.64), Bellingham; Rodrygo (Joselu, m.75) and Vinicius Junior (Ceballos, m.84).

Goals: 1-0, m.19: Ostigard; 1-1, m.27: Vinicius; 1-2, m.34: Bellingham; 2-2, m.54: Zielinski, penalty. 2-3, m.78: Meret, own goal.

Referee: Clement Turpin (FRA). He cautioned Natan (m.45) for Napoli and Camavinga (m.29), Bellingham (m.70), Kepa (m.89) for Real Madrid.

Incidents: Match corresponding to the second day of the group stage of the Champions League played at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Naples 26,000 spectators.


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