Tuesday, August 26, 2008

6-5, 4-2, 11-0 (0-1), 10-1 (1-1), 9-3 (4-2)

6-5 on Aggregate, a 4-2 scoreline for the second leg.
With 11 men on the pitch, we went down 1-0. With 10 men on the pitch, we score 1 goal to equalize... then with only 9 men left, we manage to score 3 goals. What a match, what a way to win the 8th Supercup!
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Yes indeed we were so atrocious after the first half that I just HAD to write about it during halftime: blogging in bed at 5am in the morning Singapore time. I even had these (now they seem that way) 'drunken' suggestions on what the tactical options could be. Where in fact, all it took as one simple move: Allowing Guti to prowl foward.
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As I pointed out, I couldn't manage to understand the idea of Guti so cautiously choosing to align himself with Diarra in a double-pivot formation. Guti's limited passing range was there to see: as he hardly was able to connect on a long-range pass towards either of the fowards, to Robben or Van Der Vaart (when he was in the game). What's more is that when he did in fact have the chance to advance, once the Valencia defense applied the presure to us, there was no 'attacking fulcrum' whom sould recieve the ball and re-direct it towards another channel of attack: a role Guti plays well (on his day at least).
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Was it Schuster's decision to instruct Guti to position himself so deep in the pitch? Or was it some half-insane notion that Guti himself had of his role on the pitch? Things changed though in the second half with Guti able to advance foward and deliver passes to Robben and futher foward. Eventually, the cross that led to RVN's winning of the penalty was created by Guti's passing from his favored position ahead of Diarra. His posiitoning there allowed us to be far more vertical and allowed us to be more precise and dangerous when we had the ball.
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The second goal would eventually come off a Dead Ball situation and I think it was pretty obvious that it was then where Valencia's morale was utterly destroyed: a 9-man Madrid taking the lead from them. De La Red's wonder strike and Higuain's Raul-esque goal were just cherries on Sundae....but what a Sundae!
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Yes indeed it was a victory created by Madrid's unwaering desire to win and inability to surrender. But it was also largely a result of just going for it, and allowing some of the players to play the role that they are really supposed to play within the scheme of things for the team. I worry for the Deportivo Match though as we are going to have to play that game without VDV. Can't wait for the season to start!

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