Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gameblog: Real Madrid vs. Almeria

I semi-got my wish tonight as I see Van Der Vaart and Granero come out to replace Kaka and and Lass respectively... but Marcelo remains, which means that Cristiano's return has still come at the expense of Karim Benzema. It's a midfield Diamond with Xabi Alonso as the lone-pivot, Granero to the right, Marcelo on the left and VDV behind CR9 and Pipita. Why can't CR9 play winger (for Marcelo) and let Benzema start with Pipita?
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0:30 - Real Madrid doing a great job keeping possession.
1:33 - Cristiano still remains at a very central position. I'm not really in favor of this. We're still great at ball possession and control of this match though.
2:50 - Whoa! VDV charges Almeria and takes a shot! Saved! Cristiano next! Both saved by the keeper! Uff!

4:09 - Replays show that CR9's shot came off a great feed from VDV... looks like he's playing well in this preferred role behind the striker.
5:52 - Almeria is playing like they have absolutely NO CONTROL in this match. They can't hold onto the ball at all.
6:25 -AAAARGH! Almost a goal from Pipita! Nice pass from CR9!
7:28 - Shot from VDV. Blocked.
8:20 - Real Madrid still in complete control. Pipita's first touch let's him down off a great cross. We've seen that happen.
9:00 - Uff! Ramos gets on the end of VDV's free kick. Saved.
10:00 Real Madrid are winning the ball back not even at midfield. They're doing so in attacking positions.
10:47 - Whoa!!!! Higuain now marauding at the left side puts in a floating cross for CR9 off a backheel from Marcelo. CR9 doesn't get on the end of it though. Dazzling stuff!
11:51 - 6 Fouls to Almeria, 0 to Real Madrid.
13:00 - Ramos somehow finds himself in an Attacking Midfielder's position on the left side but ends up fouling the defender.
14:12 - Albiol loses the ball in Almeria's territory... what are you doing there???
15:15 - What the hell is wrong with Almeria: they give away a corner while their keeper and defender kick each other on the face.
17:00 - CR9 proves he's better from the wing as he slices the flank of Almeria and wins a corner. Pull Marcelo out please and let's see Benzema in his place.
19:00 - There's a drop in the pace of the game...
19:56 - Granero looks funny as a right winger.
20:12 - Marcelo takes a shot, easily saved by Alves.
21:50 - Statbox comes on: we have 76% possession.
22:00 - Shot from Granero! but he fires it right AT the keeper. Great pass from VDV.
23:53 - Nice camera shot of Raul enjoying the warmth of the bench.
25:11 - Almeria is growing into the game. Nothing to bother us so far though...
28:04 - First hint of frustration: CR9 forces a shot from long range that's easily blocked.
30:00 - Still no goal. Brownie points for good play though. Great Real Madrid break... no goal though.
30:50 - GOAL!!!!!!! I wanted to see this! Sergio Ramos scoring off a header! Assist from CR9!
33:45 - VDV Shoots! Saved! Higuain Again! Saved! AAAAARRRGH. Diego Alves is keeping his team alive. Should be 4-0 by now. So much for the level dropping after we score.
36:00 - Great tackle from Xabi Alonso!
38:14 - Ronaldo shoots off a Marcelo-led counter... easily saved.
38:45 - Another CR9 shot... goes wide.
40:50 - Let me just say this: VDV is really convincing me. He's been great this first half.
44:38 - Crusat of Almeria tries to counter, dancing around the Madrid midfield, but he's alone.... nowhere to go... he loses the ball.
45:00 - Halftime. The Bernabeu applauds (I think that's the first time we've seen it happen this season).
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Halftime thoughts:
-Real Madrid has played a very good game I have to say.
-Midfield pressure has been great - allowing us to win the ball in critical area of the pitch to start our attacks.
-Our passing has been really great too: we're seeing a lot of movement, great inter-passing.
-We've been playing some nice Vertical football: pacy and dangerous.
-We need more goals! We need to put away those chances! We'd be 4-0 by now if we'd been more clinical with the chances we've been able to create.
-I can only hope we maintain this type of intensity and score a pile of goals. I know I predicted a 2-0. Goal.com predicted a 4-0 and so did Corey from the Offside, but it'd be nice to be wrong... :P
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45:57 - Nice buildup play leading to a Ramos cross.... to Marcelo? He's too short! hahahah
46:27 - Pipita wins a corner in. Diarra v1.0 is seen warming up. Uff... Ronaldo flicks off the corner, no one gets on the end of it.
47:20 - What a pass from Xabi Alonso! That must've been 50 yards.
46:58 - Statbox comes on 19 shots for Real Madrid and 1 for Almeria.
49:15 - This 2nd half feels like an open game... even for Almeria. We shouldn't play this way.
49:50 - UFFFFF! CR9 hits it just wide.
53:30 - Real Madrid in control. nothing very tangible though... until CR9 thinks he has a legit claim for a penalty which is denied by the ref.
54:00 - Let me just say that our defense has also been doing a very good job.
54:50 - And just when I say that. Uche gets a shot on... Casillas, thankfully was still awake.
57:10 - Almeria Scores. Totally against the run of play. The cross was allowed in. Shot was deflected off Albiol. Shit. I shouldn't have said that thing about our defense doing well.
59:15 - Is it now THAT time of the game? Where our level drops off and we can't seem to do anything afterwards???
60:27 - The Bernabeu is stunned. Almeria just managed to launch a very dangerous counter, winning a corner.
61:16 - Goal for Kalou Uche. Oh Gosh. It's now 1-2 to Almeria. Asleep yet again defending the corner.
61:30 - Benzema comes on for VDV. Well played Rafa.
65:15 - Granero puts the ball into the box. No one there.
65:50 - Benzema can't shoot when the ball gets to him, Granero does but he seems to be aiming at the crowd. Shit, we're really up against it now.
67:08 - Crusat takes a shot! he misses. He's been a pain in the neck.
70:00 - 20 mins and in need of 2 goals. this is miserable.
70:05 -- Albiol heads in! Cleared off the line! Shit!
71:30 - Uff! Uche gets a pass... misses
72:10 - PIPITA SCORES!!!!!!! This boy is CLUTCH! When people tell him we're about to lose, he just doesn't get it! It's 2-2 now! Game on!
73:10 - Pipita again!!!! He couldn't to the Zidane volley though.
75:07 - Almeria's got us pinned down at our own half.... we now need to play long balls.... what happened to all that first half beauty?
77:00 - The Madrid seige is on. Almeria have 11 in their half. Hopefully they won't be able to stand the pressure.
78:32 - Free Kick for Madrid in a dangerous area. RPG?
79:00 - RPG on target! But saved. Pellegrini curses his luck.
80:30 - Penalty!!!!!! CR wins the Penalty! Alves gets booked. Replay shows he slide tackled CR9.
81:30 - Ronaldo's shot gets saved! But Benzema scores!!! Off the rebound! It's 3-2!
82:40 - Ronaldo is miserable for missing the penalty. Cheer up man! Chalk it up to rust.
83:25 - Diarra V1.0 in for Marcelo
84:01 - Ronaldo scores!!!!!!! Pipita tears up the defense apart from the wing and crosses in! Tap in for CR9. He gets the yellow too for taking the shirt off... come on man. We all know you have the 6 pack, no need for that shit.
85:40 - Pipita almost makes it 5! Almost! This guy does NOT know how to give up.
87:35 - Xabi Off Drenthe on.
88:00 - CR9 gets sent off - another yellow card for retaliation. Nice one you jackass. Now we lose you vs. Valencia. That yellow for taking your shirt off now REALLY hurts eh?
+1:40 - After some great ball control, Benzema runs at the Almeria defense who gets it to Granero.... finding a Drenthe who's called offside, who fluffed his chance anyway.
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Game ends... more thoughts on it in the coming days.

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My Man of the Match: Gonzalo Higuain... industrious and dangerous throughout the match. He has been relentless and it was his typical Pipita-like relentlessness that won us this match: scoring Madrid's 2nd out of sheer insistence... and further tearing up the Almeria defense to cross in for Madrid's 4th.
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CR9 was in contention for it.... but he was a bitch with his antics.... which might REALLY cost us against Valencia.

1 comment:

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