So there are many who look back at our win over Zenit in St. Petersburg in a negative light. We took the lead on a classic RVN 'fox-in-the-box' goal.... and shortly after that we proceeded to defend. We spent the entire second half on the backfoot, defending from one wave after another of Zenit's attacks. We miraculously left the game with all three points and Zenit with no points in 2 games. By the time the game was over, I felt relievsed but admittedly, like most Madridistas, a feeling of disappointment from how we pulled off the win.
After much pondering however, I actually have to say I'm happy with the win.
-It was Real Madrid's first away win in the Champions League in almost 2 years
-It was against Zenit St. Petersburg - who count Bayern Munich, and Manchester United among their European scalps.
-It was the first time I've seen the team spend 45 mins. with 11 men behind the ball to pull off a very un-Real Madrid-like win: something that tells me that we as a team, have stepped out beyond our usual notion of having to beat everyone by merely attacking them. Most of the time, for opponents like Zenit however, such a mentality / philosophy has always resulted in us heading back home with our tails between our legs.
So, let me say this now after looking at the situation retrospectively: a win is a win, and perhaps we Madridistas should not think of our team as the team to beat. Perhaps we and the rest of the world should stop looking at this particular game as a matter of Zenit possibly nicking a win against us and counting us among their scalps: it is us who should think of counting them as among ours.... after all, this was exactly the type of game that we were incapable of winning: and here we are with 6 points from 2 games in the Champions League... with only half of our midfield line intact. I'd say this was a darn good result considering the circumstances.
We're playing Espanyol at the Bernabeu in a few hours... I'm now totally hoping for a good performance with a convincing scoreline to put some comfort back into the hearts of all Madridistas... we especially need a good win after Barca's thrashing of Athletico...